September 2013 Newsletter – Comaskey Properties

Charity fun day is a massive success

Over 3,000 euros has been raised by the Comaskey Properties/Spanish Solutions/Worldwide Horizons first ever Charity Fun Day in conjunction with the Lion´s Club of Torrevieja, much to the delight of the event’s organisers.
The funds raised will be donated to ALPE, the educational centre for disabled children and young adults in Torrevieja. Representatives of ALPE present on the day were thrilled by the support given to the fun day. One lady who visited the event with her son, who attends ALPE, gave sincere thanks to the Lions and event organizers for what they were doing for the centre.

“It was absolutely fantastic day, bustling and happy, with hundreds of people attending. Everyone seemed to have a really good time. We were lucky with the weather, given the next few days turned rainy, and we are so grateful to all the local businesses that sponsored the fun day, and to all the people who gave time to help as well, as to those who came out to support us” – said Ian Comaskey.

The day included hours of entertainment including Juan Angel, Sunflower Valley and Matrix Studios, Paul Cullen and the JB Brass Band, food by Carnicos Rios, drinks, and other attractions including a reflexologist and face painter. The raffle was very popular, due to the generous prizes donated by local businesses and the first prize; a 7 day all-inclusive Mediterranean cruise donated by Comaskey Properties, Spanish Solutions and Worldwide Horizons. Ian Comaskey and Iain and Janette Bennett of the Lion´s Club said that the amount raised for ALPE was over 3,100€!

For those of you not familiar with all of our companies, Comaskey Properties is a down to earth, family run, real estate company which has been selling quality properties in the Orihuela Costa area since 2002. They have been sponsoring the Lion´s Club for the past two years. They have a joint office with their sister company, Spanish Solutions Legal and Tax, which besides dealing with paperwork for buying and selling houses, tax, also helps with a variety of issues such as cars and notary paperwork.

Worldwide Horizons is based at La Zenia and has eleven years of experience in the travel industry (it was previously Estival Tour, opened in 2002). It is English speaking, fully bonded, and sells everything from luxury holidays to basic getaways, cruises (including last minute and discounted Caribbean), football packages and fantastic group deals, including in some cases free trips for group organisers!

Reduce your Electricity cost

You are almost certainly paying too much for your electricity in Spain. – In fact, we all are.

Up to recently we didn’t even know how much we were paying and the Iberdrola help line, is, well, no help!

Spanish Solutions are dealing directly with Iberdrola Generacion to bring all our clients reductions all the way down to 0.12€ in many cases – the lowest legal price electricity in Spain can be bought for.

If you are not already sure of who Spanish Solutions are, maybe its important we mention that since 2005 we represented over 3,000 sellers in the Notary. We also helped 3,000 buyers complete their move, filed over 10,000 resident taxes, handled hundreds of divorces, drew up thousands of Wills, and still had time to raise 3,200 Euro for the Torrevieja Lions club this month!

Back to Electricity… Real Madrid, Seat Motor Group and (possibly) Rafa Nadal are all putting cost saving ideas into operation – Should you be too?

The cost of this service should be 49 euro.

For those of you who reply to this email to Ana on [email protected] and we give you the details that we will need, we will reduce that cost to 29.50 euro (plus IVA). This is valid in connection to this email only.

If for some reason there is not a possibility of reducing your next bill (we will be able to inform you that day or the following day) we will refund you. If you have friends you´d like to forward this email to, no problem, we will sort it for them too…

Please get cracking today and take advantage of this opportunity while it still exists.

Remember this quote..

“there was a time when a fool and his money were easily parted, now its happening to all of us.” – Adlai Stevenson

Tourism Figures

Hotel and tourist apartment occupancy in Orihuela Costa exceeded 85 percent in August. The Councillor for Tourism, Rosa Martinez welcomed the encouraging figures recorded for the coast over the months of July and August. According to information gathered by the Tourism Department and provided directly, the occupation of the nearly 1,000 central hotel rooms during the summer months was nearly 85 percent. Around 45 percent of that figures was generated by the Hotel La Zenia. This same hotel has recorded 86 percent occupancy across both July and August 2013. Thus of course boosting the local ecomony around our offices, and where many of you have homes. Tourist apartments achieved an average occupancy of 88 percent across the summer.

Meanwhile, tourist offices have handled more than 5,000 consultations over these two busy summer months. In the centre of Orihuela city 60 percent of these were made by Spanish tourists, especially those from Valencia, Madrid, Murcia and Catalonia. The remainder were international; half British and Irish and the rest mainly French, Belgian and German. On the coast it was practically reversal of the trend, with 68 percent of the enquiries being made by foreign nationals. The others were inquiries from French and Belgian tourists at the expense of Germans and visitors from the Nordic countries, whose enquiries were less than in previous years. However, as always most of those who come into the Tourist Information Offices on the coast are still British and Irish.

This year the two main tourist information offices, one in Orihuela and one at the coastal Town Hall, were supplemented by an additional information point at Zenia Boulevard. This will remain in place throughout September and October. This has been providing maps, details of local tourist attractions, information on festivals, cultural activities and hiking trails. This has been fundamental in encouraging coastal tourist to venture further than the local beaches and recognise all there is to offer.

After 5 years here I only found out the other day of the hiking trails in Orihuela up to the cross (something for a winter´s day!).

Throughout August there has been a strong presence of tourists at the city’s theatre and cultural tours with 183 visitors registering for guided tours.

It has been good to see a busy year and the tourism industry back doing well again (and of course it all has an impact on the property market!).

Your bills explained!
Have you been struggling to understand the lingo used on your electric and water bills?

if so this guide is exactly what you need. Spanish Solutions guide will walk you through every point on your water and electric bill making it simple to understand, finally.

Click here to view the guide >>

Taxes in Spain

Are you paying your Resident or Non Resident tax, and SUMA (council tax)?

Click here for more info


Real Madrid football club has doled out £85.3m for a certain Gareth Bale causing anger among cash-strapped Spaniards who are unemployed and struggling to feed their families.
The six-year signing of Gareth Bale for a record €100m ignited a debate about how much is ‘too much’ when it comes to football deals, especially given the European economic crisis.

It is hard to imagine what such a huge amount of money equates to, so here are a few examples of how else the money could have been spent. What exactly would £100m buy you in recession-hit Spain today? …

  1. Long-term unemployment in Spain may have soared from 18 percent in 2008 to 45 percent in 2012, wouldn´t £100m help more Spaniards into work
  2. After drawn-out negotiations, Spain’s finance ministers were able to secure a £100bn bailout fund for the country’s banks.
  3. If Tottenham were to donate Bale’s £100m price-tag, they could boost the bailout fund by 0.1 percent for a year.
  4. Spanish fortunes have long been important to the British – not least because it’s the third largest destination after Australia and the US for British citizens who choose to reside abroad.
  5. Almost 800,000 Britons are now resident in Spain and would perhaps prefer to see this money going into the economy.
  6. I know how people love football, but makes you think doesn´t it?!!

Click here for more information or contact Amanda [email protected]

Comaskey Properties

The Comaskey name has been known in La Zenia since we opened the world famous Paddys Point Irish bar in 1999.

  • Spanish property sales since 2002
  • Fully legal and tax compliant Property Agents
  • A large rental and letting division
  • Guidance with tax, financial and legal advice
  • Friendly, personalised, professional service
  • Multilingual staff
  • Collaborations with many other estate agents.
  • A large number of exclusive listings.
  • The most knowledgeable team in La Zenia.
  • A high street office, open and accessible
  • A network of third party professionals, who we trust, and who trust us to help you
  • Adherence to a strict code of conduct; our own honest values

Find out more on…in…/252827218071127‎

Madrid loses out on Olympic bid…again.

It was third time unlucky for Madrid, as the hosting of the 2020 Olympics was awarded to Tokyo.

To the shock and surprise of the Spanish team, Madrid was eliminated in the first round, after a tie with Turkish capital city Istanbul – with 26 votes each compared to the 42 garnered by Tokyo, which proved to be well ahead in the voting right from the start. In the final vote, Japan beat Turkey by 60 votes to 36. The winning candidate is the most solvent in terms of its economy, and also showing itself to be the most efficient in the fight against doping in sport. The economic crisis that still refuses to loosen its grip on the country weighed heavily on the Madrid bid. It was a crushing blow for the Spanish team, who not only lost out for the third time in a row, but also did so when the hopes for victory were even greater than when they fought to host the 2012 and the 2016 games.

Tokyo had another secret weapon: its own funds. The Madrid team explained that it only lacked investment of 1.5 billion euros over the next seven years; an amount that it argued could be raised between the city council, the regional government and the central government. But the Madrid bid never specified exactly how it would deal with this investment. Japan explained that it needed 3.4 billion euros to complete its bid, but it could put the money on the table right now if need be. Hardly surprising given the two countries we are talking about!

With the country mired in the economic crisis, and the seemingly never-ending cases of political corruption, Spain needed something to hope for, the Madrid delegation argued. The government will now have to continue to battle against unemployment figures of 6.2 million people, with no positive stories of an Olympic future to serve as a distraction. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, meanwhile, will have to continue answering (or avoiding) questions about his involvement in the Bárcenas scandal, in which he is alleged to have accepted irregular cash payments from a slush fund run by the Popular Party’s former treasurer Luis Bárcenas. And the Madrid city council will now have to deal with its eight billion euros of debt, relying only on the resources it can secure in Spain.

It might be a shame but this Editor feels Spain could not really afford an Olympics at the
We’ve recently bought our house and were told that we need a Spanish Will.
What is the position with regard to inheritance tax?

If you have assets in Spain, it is important to understand the regulations in Spain before making a Will as it has an impact on the amount that your heirs may have to pay in Inheritance Tax.
We recommend making a Spanish Will as otherwise looking to an Irish or British Will in Spain will only incur additional expense and delays to your beneficiaries. We can only give you a brief picture of the situation currently in the Valencia region, as each area independently dictates their tax, and we must stress that this can change at any time in the future.

The tax is calculated by adding up the assets of the person who has died (property, bank accounts, cars, investments etc). Then 1) Calculating the heirs´ tax free allowances (this differs for residents of Spain or non residents). 2) Calculating the percentage tax applicable to the Inheritance 3) Calculating the final amount of tax an heir will pay.

1) Depending on the relationship between the deceased and the inheritor, there is a scale of tax allowances. There are four groups;
Group 1: Direct descendants under 21 years of age – An allowance of 15,956.87€, plus 8,000€ for each year under the age of 21 to a maximum of 156,000€.
Residents of Valencia Community: 100,000€
Group 2: Direct descendants over 21, Spouses: Each gets an allowance of 15,965.87€.
Residents of Valencia Community: 100,000€.
Group 3: Other relatives e.g. brother, sister, uncle, nephew, and niece: Each gets an allowance of 7,993,46€.
Residents of Valencia Community: 7,993,46€.
Group 4: Remote family and unrelated persons, including common law partners. Nil
Residents of Valencia Community – Nil.

Heirs who are Residents have to prove this with a variety of official documents. The family home has a deduction of 95% when the heirs are living there and they keep the property for more than 5 years. There are other benefits for heirs if they have lived in the Valencian Community but they are best discussed at a meeting.
The worst Spanish inheritance tax cases are mostly the transfer of large estates to distant relatives or non-family members. These are the cases that may need some type of tax mitigation planning in advance and advice, but we should advise that very few cases justify the cost of setting up corporate structures. So how do you work out how much tax might be payable at the present time?

Basically, the amount of tax allowance per kinship group is deducted from the sum to be received (which will have had allowable deductions and reliefs taken off such as a mortgage and funeral expenses in Spain), and the remaining figure is that which is subject to tax.

2) The current scale of tax payable is detailed below. Each bracket carries a fixed amount of tax to be paid.
Up ToFixed AmountRemainder Up toPercentage
Up To Fixed Amount Remainder Up to Percentage
0 7.993,46 7.65
7.993,46 611,5 7.987,45 8,5
15.980,91 1.290,43 7.987,45 9.35
23.968,36 2.037,26 7.987,45 10.20
31.955,81 2.851,98 7.987,45 11,05
39.943,26 3.734,59 7.987,46 11,9
47.930,72 4.685,10 7.987,45 12,75
55.918,17 5.703,50 7.987,45 13,6
63.905,62 6.789,79 7.987,45 14,45
71.893,07 7.943,98 7.987,45 15,3
79.880,52 9.166,06 39.877,15 16,15
119.757,67 15.606,22 39.877,16 18,7
159.634,83 23.063,25 79.754,30 21,25
239.389,13 40.011,04 159.388,41 25,5
398.777,54 80.655,08 398.777,54 29.75
797.555,08 199.291,40 And so on.. 34
In a very simple example of a property valued at €120k and with a base taxable amount of 100k (after deduction of a small mortgage and funeral and medical expenses, say), jointly owned by non resident Mr & Mrs X: If Mrs X dies leaving her 50% to Mr X the taxable inheritance would be €50,000 – 15,965.87€ (as a spouse) = €34,034.13.

If the sum of money to be received falls between two brackets, the “leftover” amount is calculated at a percentage indicated in the table. Therefore, the inheritance tax due on that amount from the tax table would be the fixed amount in the second column on 31,955.81 which is €2,851.98 plus 247.32 (€34,034.13 – 31,955.81 = €2078.32 x 11.9% =247.32€), so a total of 3,099.30€.

On top of this would be the lawyer fees, Notary and other fees and minor taxes. If the couples were Residents of Valencia Community then the surviving spouse would have a tax free allowance of 100,000€ providing they can prove this with the necessary documents.

As the €15,965 exemption is per inheritor, if Mr X then dies and the property is passed to their adult non resident children, each child would have the exemption, so €100,000 property divided by 3 = approx. €33,333 less €15,965.87 euros each.

As you can see a more tax efficient Will for these people may read that on the death of a spouse their 50% should be divided between the remaining spouse and children, so that there are higher tax free allowances. It is important to note that in Spain, unlike the UK, there is no exemption from inheritance tax between husband and wife, and the transfer of a property to the beneficiary always has to be done at the Notary.

3) The final calculation.

If the beneficiary’s existing net wealth is up to €2,000,000 now in the Valencia Community the tax liability is multiplied by the figure below based on the Groups above:
Group I & II: 1.0000
Group III: 1.5882
Group IV: 2.0000

The above examples presented are part of Groups I & II so the figures are the same (multiplied by 1). But this means that an unmarried couple will pay twice as much inheritance tax as a married couple, and step-children will pay more than 1.5 times what a natural or adopted child would pay.

One thing to mention is that heirs have 6 months from the time of death to pay the taxes, after the 6 months the tax office has 4 years to claim for the money. After 5 years it is possible for the heirs to transfer the property into their own names without paying inheritance tax, but we are not advocating this as it may lead to problems in the interim years and the house would not be fully in the heirs names until they had gone to the Notary.

We recommend a meeting with our lawyer to discuss the possible inheritance tax payable by your beneficiaries and how best to write your Will.

Please contact [email protected] or Amanda on 966761741 and arrange your Will and discuss inheritance tax now.
For further important information click on Click on…/33770326961217…‎ to like us! All the best from: The Spanish Solutions and Comaskey Properties team:Editor: Amanda Thomas, Spanish Solutions

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