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March 15, 2019

The governments of France, Germany, Italy and Spain together with the UK and US have developed a “Model Intergovernmental Agreement to Improve Tax Compliance and Implement FATCA”. If you think that sounds like double Dutch it simply means that these countries have established a framework for reporting by financial institutions account information to their respective tax authorities. In other words if you are resident in any of these countries you need to be aware that the authorities are co-operating and regularly exchanging information in their continued attack on tax evasion.

This is not scaremongering, this is a reality. It was always bound to happen that tax authorities desperate for revenue would start talking to each other. However cooperation now even extends to offshore jurisdictions meaning there is less and less opportunity to keep assets undisclosed in other jurisdictions.

This is not a conspiracy on our part to attempt you to part with your investments or to persuade you to give up your offshore trust arrangement (even though you may well be wondering why you have it, what it actually does and how much it costs you each year for the privilege!). This is FACT. We have been consistently advising that there is no longer any option but to restructure your assets in the most tax compliant way. The sooner the better in the light of this new initiative!

If you are a British national, living in Spain with an offshore trust in say the Cayman Islands or BVI then beware. The offshore jurisdiction will very likely report your details to the UK authorities who subsequently will tell their European counterparts and in the case of Spain the authorities will want to know why these assets were not disclosed on the Modelo 720 form you completed prior to the end of April 2013. You did complete and submit a return didn’t you? If you didn’t then you should be prepared to face the possibly of losing a good deal of your wealth in a single stroke without ever knowing where the information came from.

It simply is not worth the pain of running the gauntlet with the tax authorities when there are simple cost effective and tax efficient solutions readily available. This does not mean moving from one risk to another by lodging your investments and savings in a Spanish bank and worrying about a Cyprus style haircut on your funds. What it means is sitting down with a professional adviser and listening to some facts about solutions that will stand the test of time. No more sleepless nights or concerns every time you get a letter from Hacienda or HMRC.

Why not make an appointment to meet with one of our advisers at one of our tax and wealth clinics being held in your local area. You can make an appointment by telephoning +34 956796911 or by emailing