Life in Benidorm

It wasn’t long before my parents were spending four or five holidays a year in Benidorm, spending my inheritance as my father liked to constantly remind me, and then he retired from the business and I had to buy his share off him and because I didn’t have the six figure sum necessary just hanging around in my bank account (there has never been six figures handing around in my bank accounts even if you move the decimal points around as much as you like) he agreed to take the payments at £1000 a month plus 10% interest per annum.

Yes I know, most children inherit things from their parents, I had to buy my fathers assets off him.

And I know who the idiot was in the equation, thank you for reminding me anyway.

Still, it meant that they could go to Benidorm more than five times a year and it wasn’t long before they were talking of buying a place out there, or rather they’d buy a place with the money I was paying them.

After my mother died he called a meeting with me and Ned and told us that he wanted to move to Benidorm and would we mind awfully if he sold his house and bought a place out there and would I mind to keep sending his grand a month to a Spanish bank account instead and did we approve but it would make no difference if we didn’t.

So off he went and I was secretly looking forward to the idea of inheriting a nice seafront apartment and even flew out there once to help him pick one although he did note that my choice for him wasn’t in Benidorm at all but a couple of miles up the coast in the Altea Hills development, when he asked why I had picked somewhere so far away from his favourite sing-along bars my answer “Because I don’t like Benidorm” didn’t go down too well.

In the event he didn’t buy an apartment at all, instead he kept his house in England and took a long term lease on an apartment at the back of town in amongst what could probably be termed “the workers apartments” which was just as well because when he died it took Ned and I forever to repatriate all of his money from the various bank accounts that he’d squirreled it away in, god knows what it would have been like to try and sell a property and get that money home without attracting any attention.

He soon discovered a wonderful loophole in Spanish law, as long as you didn’t own the property you didn’t officially exist in Spain at all, you were supposed to register as a resident after living there for a length of time and in doing so you’d appear on the radar of the local tax inspectors and be expected to pay local rates, have health insurance and all the other civil service gubbins.

He didn’t bother registering for the seven years that he was resident, never paid a penny in tax.

He also quickly realised that driving his Renault car out to Benidorm meant that because it was a British car he didn’t have to pay Spanish road tax on it and it didn’t take him long to realise that because it was in Spain he didn’t have to pay British road tax on it either – guess who had to pay for the tax on the fooker to bring it home after he’d died ?

And because he was never registered as a resident in Spain he shouldn’t have had a Spanish bank account, after all, he was just on holiday for seven years, but he read one day of how Nat West Bank in the UK had opened a Spanish subsiduary and he got his bank manager in Leeds to open a SolBank account for him so that I could shovel his grand-a-month into it, he even got his UK state pension paid into it. It was an interest bearing account too and after he died our accountant pointed out that the interest had been paid gross to him because he wasn’t a Spanish tax payer so if we repatriated it then I (as executor) would be liable for the unpaid tax…

… I can’t imagine what happened to it all.


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