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I've been trying for well over a month to get reliable information on the new law requiring all residents of Spain to declare on Hacienda form Protected content owned abroad totalling €50,000 or more in any one asset class, including bank accounts, investments and property, and in particular the capital value of private pension funds. I'm prepared to pay an asesor or a gestor a reasonable amount if I can find one who I am convinced understands the law and the form, but that isn't easy.

Form Protected content to be submitted by the end of April this year (but next year by the end of March) and there are potentially huge fines for not completing it on time or for giving incorrect information. I believe you have to supply the address and registration number of each pension company, and the form must be submitted online using a digital signature, which you need to download. I've managed to do this, but a gestor or an asesor will have a digital signature.

I'm already receiving private pension annuities from three companies in the UK. These annuities I bought when I was 65 using funds which I'd contributed to for years, but I understand that the capital value of these funds still has to be declared, even though the pension companies control the money, not me. My problem is calculating the capital value of the funds, as the pension companies say that they have no current value. I've requested a letter from all of them giving the value of the funds used to buy the annuities and stating that they have no current value. Two of them replied very quickly, but I still don't have the information from Phoenix.

An article in The Olive Press said that Hacienda has tables to calculate the value of a pension fund, using the amount of pension being received, but when I went to Hacienda in Málaga the man I spoke to said he knew nothing about these tables. I speak fluent Spanish, but I couldn't get any information even though I persisted, sitting there asking questions for half an hour until they closed. I was told to use an estimated value.

An asesor in Fuengirola told me that there is a formula for calculating the capital value of a pension fund using the annual amount of pension that you're receiving, provided the annuities are renta vitalicia inmediata (I think mine are, although I'm not absolutely sure), which is as follows:
First you divide the annual pension by 0. Protected content %, the official rate of interest for last year).
Then you work out a percentage by subtracting your age at the end of the tax year Protected content in Spain) from 89, with a minimum of 10 per cent. The capital value is that percentage of the first figure.

Here's a specific example. For an annual pension of £4,400, for someone aged 69 at the end of last year the figures would be (4,400/0.04) x 0.20.

Using the official exchange rate on 31 December Protected content = €1. Protected content , the capital value of this particular pension fund would be slightly less than €27,000, well under the €50,000 limit, therefore there'd be no requirement to submit form Protected content pensions, provided this were the only private pension (and provided the formula is correct). I believe that UK government retirement pensions don't have to be entered in the form, although they are subject to Spanish tax for residents of Spain.

Although the man I spoke to in Hacienda hadn't heard of this formula, and even though he suggested I should put an approximate value, correcting it next year, he couldn't tell me how to calculate the approximate value. That was up to the pension companies, he insisted. In fact I understand that there is no need to submit the form again unless the total assets in any one class increase by €20,000 or more. Please check all this information, as I've been told different things by various people. And don't assume that what one person in Hacienda tells you is necessarily correct.

An asesor in Málaga said I didn't have to declare the capital value of pension funds. One in El Rincón de la Victoria knew less than me. He said two weeks ago that he'd check and phone me, but he hasn't. Another asesor in Benalmádena said I probably didn't need to submit the form but was prepared to do it if I supplied the capital-value figures.

There must be many thousands of people in Spain in my position. What do we do? Time is running out.

Help, please!

M. David Frost
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