Purchasing Property in Spain – What is NIE? Louise Morley Explains

Purchasing Property in Spain – What is NIE? Louise Morley Explains

More often than not, a Notary’s first meeting with a new client, and vice versa, if the country concerned is Spain, will be in relation to the preparation of a Poder.  A Power of Attorney, to enable the issue of an NIE.

All English Residents who buy or sell real property in Spain, need to be known to the Spanish Tax Authorities and issued with a card called NIE – ”NIE (Número de Identidad/Identificación de Extranjero)” – a tax identity card for Foreigners (non-Spaniards)

An English person must have an NIE in order to buy property in Spain, or if they wish to reside there as their main home, even if not buying a flat or house. Also you need this is you intend to take up employment in Spain or start a business there. Or buy a car. Or get a landline installed. Basically, if you’re not just on holiday there, you need one.

An NIE number can be thought of as being the Spanish equivalent of a UK National Insurance number. I mean, it isn’t, but it can be thought of that way. It is your Identity Number, so far as Spain is concerned and without it you have no official identity.

You can, just possibly, proceed in Spain to buy and sell property without obtaining an NIE identity and number, but this is not advisable.

Because, without an NIE number, you will not be able to declare your figures for annual tax payments such as income tax (IRPF), and the annual wealth tax (Patrimonio). Even if you do not actually owe any tax, you still have to make declarations if you are a resident of Spain, or a non-resident property owners.

Who needs an NIE in Spain?

Any foreigner who becomes resident for tax purposes in Spain needs an NIE number in Spain.
Any non-resident foreigner who buys property in Spain. If a couple buys a property in Spain together, and they register the property in both their names, then both of them must obtain an NIE number in Spain.
Anyone who wants to work in Spain, or wishes to start a business in Spain.

The taxes that are due when you sell a property (or a sum on account even if no tax is actually due) are withheld on your behalf and paid over to Hacienda (Inland Revenue). If you don’t have an NIE number, then the taxes cannot be paid and you may incur some fines. Many banks in Spain will now refuse to complete on a mortgage (issue the money) if their client does not yet have the NIE number.

The options for applying for your Spanish NIE number do include making application in person at Spanish police station [not every police station can accommodate this], or to apply in person at the Spanish Consulate in London.

However most English people will go down the route of appointing their chosen lawyer or other representative (i.e. typically a Spanish Abogado) to apply on their behalf, in which case a Power of Attorney [Poder] needs to be executed before me as an English Notary Public. Also I am required to copy and certify the data page of your British passport.

Then it’s off to Sunny Spain

If you require any further information about NIE then please do not hesitate to contact me or Chris Atkinson here at AtkinsonNotary [0113 816 0116 or notary@atkinsonnotary.com] where we shall be more than happy to assist further.

 

 

Landlords Must Distinguish And Not Discriminate

Do Discriminate Against Illegals. But otherwise of course, Don’t Discriminate.

The Immigration Act of 2014 Link here includes provisions which come in force throughout England on 1st February relating to the so called “Right To Rent”.

The idea as I understand it is that because everybody needs somewhere to live, and given that illegal immigrants in the main are unlikely to be able to afford to purchase a home outright, the Government therefore thinks it likely that such persons will seek rental accommodation.

So therefore the providers of rental accommodation – and if you are a private landlord then this means you – must effectively act as policemen.

Accordingly it will be a criminal offence from 1st February 2016 to provide permanent rental accommodation to any person who does not have a Right To Rent.  The penalty at first will be “not to exceed £3,000”

There is a link here to the actual Act of Parliament – see section 22 onwards.

At the end of this note I provide further links to Government guidance and to a Government site intended to work as an online Right To Rent checker.

This is all fairly straightforward and in truth the checking process does not appear to be particularly onerous. Although, do bear in mind that it is not only the person asking to be named in the lease who must be checked. Every adult who will “occupy” the house or flat must have a Right To Rent.

However there is one trap which landlords must be careful to avoid – that of race discrimination.

The Act and guidance notes contain definitions of those persons who do not have Right To Rent.  Clearly those people are mainly going to be members of the group commonly called “Foreigners” – although of course many “Foreigners” will have a Right To Rent.

And discrimination on grounds of Nationality or of Race, is illegal.

If any landlord were to take the view that only applicants for rentals who “look a bit foreign” should be made the subject of Right To Rent checks this would seem to be blatant race discrimination and therefore illegal.

For this reason it seems to me that every landlord will now have to carry out a Right To Rent check against every applicant in every case, in order to ensure that no charge of discrimination can be successfully made. And keep records, if I were you.

Please do contact us whether you are a tenant or a landlord and would like to discuss further, and Please do contact me whenever you need Notarial certification or Legalisation – at http://www.atkinsonnotary.com or phone me on 0113 816 0116 (internationally 0044 113 8160116)

Other links here

How to rent check – video

Screen by Screen Rent check

Anti-Discrimination Guidance

The new law Explained

It’s Cold Here in Yorkshire. Travel With the Kids? Take Paperwork!

Travel to the Sun? Make Sure You Have the Documentation.

So here we are again. In Yorkshire, in January. Lovely isn’t it? It’s cold, snow on the way, there is flooding all around – a good time for a holiday.

Perhaps a sensible time for me to bang the drum of warning for people who will be travelling with their children, or with other people’s children?

If you click on this link and read any of the first few blogs from last year you will be reminded of the issues.

When a child travels with one parent only, or else with an adult or adults who are not their parents then the situation – flight boarding, border crossing – is difficult to prepare for and it is getting worse.

Here is another link to a report which illustrates the difficulties people have recently found themselves in.

Whilst the Daily Mail article is something of a sob story seeking to present a family who were unable to travel to South Africa as being in some way random victims, the fact is that the rules appear to have been completely ignored and, surprise surprise, the result has been they have been unable to travel.

I suppose that, 20 years ago, few people would travel without consulting a Travel Agent. It is the business of Travel Agents to be aware of travel rules and to explain what precautions are needed. Today it is a very difficult time to be a Travel Agent – by and large travellers bypass the Agents and book flights direct with airlines.

I think that airlines which fly direct to South Africa would probably have warnings of the need for notarised consents published on websites but if the final flight to South Africa is booked from another country this is less likely.

Also, the cheaper the flight that is booked – the more “cut price” – the more the airline is likely to consider that meeting the travel requirements of various countries is your responsibility to meet and not theirs.

Whilst South Africa is far and away the most stringently difficult country to enter with a child travelling without both parents, most other countries and also airlines are catching up!

Over the Christmas break a Notary colleague of mine received a call from a friend of a family who were being refused boarding from Manchester airport because of the lack of an acceptable travel consent for the minor – the twist in this case is that the family had actually prepared such a consent but it was signed by a Solicitor – the airline quite properly was insisting that this should have been Notarised.

Unfortunately the call was received on a Sunday morning and the Notary was, not unreasonably, still in pyjamas and dressing gown having his breakfast and the call was made half an hour before closing of the flight gate.

Here is another link with regard to the South African situation.

As my blog last May set out, it would also be a mistake for parents to assume that there will be no problem even when both of them travel with their child. The difficulty in this case is of course that many a self-respecting child kidnapper [assuming that such a person would have self-respect?] is going to travel with an accomplice of the opposite sex in order to pretend to be the child’s parents together.

All genuine parents therefore would in my opinion be very well advised to carry with them sufficient documentation – at the very least a child’s Birth Certificate – to prove the relationship. Certainly if the document is also notarised you may expect to avoid being among the 600,000 plus travellers with children who are delayed at Border checks annually, sometimes refused travel altogether, often missing connecting flights and incurring huge expense.

And after that, happy holidays to you. Here’s a happy tune

Please do share this point with your colleagues and friends and spread the news, and Please do contact me whenever you need Notarial certification or Legalisation – at http://www.atkinsonnotary.com or phone me on 0113 816 0116 (internationally 0044 113 8160116)

Love and Marriage and Politics. Plenty To Get Into a Fuss About.

Love and Marriage and Politics. Plenty To Get Into a Fuss About.

May I quote Jimi Hendrix and wish all of us a Happy New Year First of All.

You may recall that I commented in July 2014 about the debate whether the English Marriage certificate layout should be amended. Here is a link to that Blog.

The perceived problem was that, unlike the practice in Scotland, the present English Certificate does not contain any reference to the Mothers of the Bride or Groom and is thus lacking in useful information.

To my mind there are good arguments in favour of change. The Notarial mindset probably is prejudiced in favour of “the more information the better”. The better for certainty, completeness and clarity and also the better for future historians and analysts of English society in this century.

Put it another way:- If you imagine that the present Marriage certificate did already include information about the mothers of the marrying couple, can you think of any reason to make a change to remove that information? Me neither.

Those arguments, ironically, are not really being made.

Instead the proposers of change seem to be driven by a more emotional “gut-feeling”: that the present arrangement is sexist, and by nothing more.

One Labour MP Christina Rees has been reported to say “It is safe to extrapolate” [my query what does that say – does she mean “Perhaps”?] “that hundreds of thousands of marriages have taken place whilst the Government have, by failing to act, accorded second-class status to women. In a developed Country in the 21st Century that beggars belief”.

Perhaps the late and wonderful Michael Winner would have responded “Calm down Dear” but it is too much to hope that David Cameron will do so. He got into hot water for that in 2011.

There is nothing wrong with political correctness, when it is actually correct of course.

David Cameron appears to accept the arguments for change and is reported to have instructed the Home Office simply to amend the layout of the Marriage Certificate to make room for the additional information.

Now it is reported that the Home Office has considered the point and responded that the changes cannot simply be made at the request of a Prime Minister, instead that “Primary Legislation” – an Act of Parliament – will be required before the changes can be made.

There will in fact be Parliamentary debate on making the changes as early as next month.

But am I alone in thinking it ironic that the Home Office has now advised the Government and its MPs to vote against changes? Why? Because, say the Home Office, what about the offence caused to the children of same sex marriages if every certificate presumes a Male parent and a Female parent?

So, in Poker terms, I see your political correctness [feminism] and raise you my political correctness [gay rights].

It’s a wonder Richard Harrington can keep a straight face. Sorry, pun.

Well I suppose Parliament has nothing better to do than agonise about all this, what with the economy, migrant crisis and Heathrow extension all finally sorted out. Link to All Right Now.

For Notarial Certificates, feel free to include the names of your parents, do contact me or Louise. As ever, http://www.atkinsonnotary.com or phone on 0044 (0)113 8160116