Old shares led to Span­ish tax tor­ment

Fi­nan­cial trou­bleshooter Jes­sica Gorstwilliams is here to help you with your money prob­lems

The Sunday Telegraph - Money & Business - - Money -

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Jes­sica, Tele­graph Money,

The Daily Tele­graph,

111 Buck­ing­ham Palace Rd, Lon­don SW1W 0DT

A full postal ad­dress, a sig­na­ture and day­time tele­phone num­ber are needed

Why won’t this in­sur­ance pay up?

More than a year ago I was di­ag­nosed with a heart con­di­tion that causes an ir­reg­u­lar heart rate called parox­ys­mal atrial fib­ril­la­tion.

Re­cently the at­tacks be­came more fre­quent and I was too ill to work and was signed off.

I then cor­re­sponded with Re­as­sure, with which I have a fam­ily in­come pro­tec­tion plan that I have paid into monthly for 25 years. I re­quested a claim form but this was de­nied. I feel thor­oughly let down.

MK, WAR­WICK­SHIRE

You are now 64. This pol­icy was de­signed to pro­vide a re­place­ment in­come if the pol­i­cy­holder was un­able to work be­cause of sick­ness or dis­abil­ity. It had a small in­vest­ment por­tion as well. You were signed off work just a year after the di­ag­no­sis.

In fact, the cover ex­pired two months after you put in your claim. Be­fore that there was a de­ferred pe­riod of six months dur­ing which no pay­ment would be made.

Al­though pre­mi­ums con­tin­ued to be col­lected on the pol­icy, no in­vest­ment units had been can­celled to pay for cover be­yond the six months be­fore the ma­tu­rity date. In­stead, the money was in­vested in your cho­sen in­vest­ment funds. The in­vest­ment amount in all to­talled £1,698 and has now been paid to you.

A spokesman for Re­as­sure said: “It’s com­mon for in­come pro­tec­tion poli­cies to have a de­ferred pe­riod be­fore pay­ments start, be­cause peo­ple in work gen­er­ally re­ceive sick pay from their em­ployer for an ini­tial pe­riod.

“The de­ferred pe­riod is usu­ally aligned to the point at which sick pay would stop, and helps re­duce pre­mi­ums. Mr K had the op­tion of de­ferred pe­ri­ods of two, four, six and 12 months when he took out the pol­icy. He se­lected six months, stat­ing that he had cover of full pay for six months from his em­ployer.

“While we’re sorry to hear that Mr K is no longer able to work, we’re sat­is­fied that his claim has been pro­cessed as per the terms he se­lected when he took it out. We strongly rec­om­mend that all cus­tomers reg­u­larly re­view their in­come pro­tec­tion, par­tic­u­larly if they change their em­ployer, where their en­ti­tle­ment to sick pay may be dif­fer­ent.”

Do I need to fill in Span­ish tax form?

As a re­sult of the de­mu­tu­al­i­sa­tion of Abbey Na­tional and Al­liance & Le­ices­ter, I ac­quired what later be­came 225 San­tander shares.

I re­cently re­ceived a cheque for £18.89 re­lat­ing to the out­come of a rights is­sue. San­tander told me that I had to fill in Span­ish tax form 210 on­line and en­close an HMRC cer­tifi­cate declar­ing my­self a UK tax res­i­dent. I might also re­quire a Span­ish tax rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

I have the tax dec­la­ra­tion, but I am an 80-year-old widow lack­ing a com­puter and com­puter skills. The li­brary staff I asked to help could get form 210 on­line only in Span­ish.

Ac­cord­ing to San­tander, which has been most un­help­ful, fail­ure to com­ply with this tax law will re­sult in an ini­tial fine of €100 (£88), which can then rise. What do you sug­gest I do?

DB, SOUTH WALES

This con­cerns re­cent changes in Span­ish tax law. I un­der­stand that San­tander is try­ing to work with the Span­ish tax au­thor­i­ties to see if they would con­sider any change to the process.

Given the mod­est sum in­volved and the fact that the trans­ac­tion is ex­empt from any tax pay­ment in Spain any­way, this bu­reau­cracy is more than a lit­tle oner­ous.

The bank’s ad­viser had given you the web ad­dress and told you how to down­load the form and find guid­ance notes. This was be­yond you and left you feel­ing scared.

Fur­ther to my in­volve­ment, San­tander said: “On re­view, while no er­rors have been made on our be­half, we un­der­stand this process was caus­ing Mrs B con­cern.

“To sup­port the cus­tomer, a San­tander ad­viser has printed out a copy of the on­line form and posted it to her home ad­dress. Mrs B can then com­plete the form and re­turn it to the ad­viser di­rectly, along with a copy of her HMRC cer­tifi­cate, to sub­mit the form on her be­half.”

This all hap­pened, but the whole ex­er­cise turned out to be less than easy as there were dif­fi­cul­ties ob­tain­ing the re­quired NIF code, a tax ID num­ber in Spain.

How­ever, the com­pleted form has now been re­turned along with the re­quired pa­per­work to the Span­ish au­thor­i­ties in Madrid. You say you are thrilled that this is sorted out.

You have sold your shares now to avoid hav­ing to con­tend with all this in the fu­ture. In the sale process, one stray share was left over. You gave this to char­ity. For in­for­ma­tion on how this is done, con­tact Sharegift on 020 7930 3737 or sharegift.org.

Be­cause of the vol­ume of mail re­ceived, it is not pos­si­ble to re­spond to ev­ery let­ter, and cor­re­spon­dence can­not be en­tered into. Please do not send orig­i­nal doc­u­ments or stamped and ad­dressed en­velopes. Re­spon­si­bil­ity, le­gal or oth­er­wise, for answers given can­not be ac­cepted. Cases cur­rently with an om­buds­man, go­ing through a court of law or sent to other col­umns will not be con­sid­ered. In ad­di­tion, I can­not take up is­sues when the writer is a third party, other than in ex­cep­tional cir­cum­stances. I can­not re­spond to emails.

Abbey Na­tional cus­tomers got shares when it de­mu­tu­alised

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