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Morfitt & Turnbull
 

Issue 44   

Christmas, Spanish Style!
As we held our Christmas Party with a Spanish theme this year (photos below) I thought that I’d look at the differences between the UK and Spanish Christmas traditions for this festive edition of our mailshot.

The Spanish have a number of unique Christmas traditions that differ from those to which you might be accustomed. From giant nativity scenes to “pooping” logs, fools’ day and the national lottery, here are eight Spanish Christmas traditions that you may not know.
  Feliz Navidad
Beléns
Beléns are elaborate nativity scenes – it is the Spanish word for Bethlehem. More than just a stable with animals and figurines, however, the Spanish beléns can be huge scenes, complete with many different houses, farms, rivers and marketplaces. The Spanish often set one of these up in their homes in the lead up to Christmas, but much larger ones are placed in shop windows or town squares.
 

Midnight Mass
Many Spanish people go to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, known as La Misa Del Gallo (The Mass of the Rooster) to celebrate their faith. Often the main Christmas meal is eaten on Christmas Eve, just before or just after the mass.

 

Caga Tió
A Christmas tradition unique to the Catalonia region is the Caga Tió, or pooping log. Essentially it is a piece of log, which has been dressed up with the addition of small wooden legs, a face, a blanket and a barretina (Catalan hat). Children keep the Caga Tió in their homes or schools in the run up to Christmas and feed it small pieces of bread or orange peel each evening. Then, on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, they hit the log with a stick, singing the special Caga Tió song, asking him to discharge lots of turrón (a sweet nougat) and other sweets for them.

  Caga Tió
 

El Gordo
The Spanish National Lottery is a big deal at Christmas time, and almost everyone plays it, making it the biggest lottery draw in the world. The Christmas Lottery is so big that it has been given the nickname ‘El Gordo’ or the ‘Fat One’, because of the huge amounts of cash you can win. Taking place on December 22, it has been held every year since 1812, and the winning numbers are sung out by school children.

  El Gordo
 
Dia de los Santos Inocentes
December 28, a few days after Christmas, is known as the Dia de los Santos Inocentes and is the Spanish version of April Fool’s Day. This is the day for playing pranks, or dressing up in funny wigs and hats.
 
The Three Kings
It’s the Three Kings, or Reyes Magos (Melchior, Gaspar and Baltazar), who bring children their gifts in Spain, not Santa Claus (although he is becoming more popular now, too), and on January 6, not Christmas Day.

On the night of January 5, the Kings parade through towns across the country with their entourage of helpers, animals and elaborate floats, throwing sweets out for the children. When the kids return home, they leave out their shoes for the Kings to fill with presents overnight.

The Basque Father Christmas
The Basques have their own version of Father Christmas or Santa Claus, in the form of Olentzero, a mythical giant, dressed in peasant’s clothing and smoking a pipe. In Bilbao, on the night of December 23, Olentzero travels all the way down Gran Via towards the Arriaga Theatre, ready to bring gifts for children for Christmas Eve.

  Olentzero
Roscón de Reyes
Instead of Christmas cake or Christmas pudding, the Spaniards enjoy the Roscón de Reyes, usually on the Day of the Epiphany, on January 6. A sweet bread ring, it is topped with crushed almonds and candied fruits, and is sometimes stuffed with whipped cream. Sometimes a small figurine is hidden inside the bread, and the person who finds it has the honour of buying next year’s roscón.
Have a merry Christmas or Feliz Navidad as the Spanish would say! and a Prosperous New Year, all the very best to everyone!

Craig

Adam's Technical  -  The Spanish way...
 
In honour of the Morfitt & Turnbull Christmas celebrations taking place in a Spanish tapas restaurant (in England!), I decided to take a look at how the tax system operates there.
Below are the main points:
     
  If you live in Spain for 183 days or more in the calendar year then you are classed as being
resident in Spain for tax purposes. This means that Spanish income tax has to be paid on worldwide income. Double tax treaties are in place with many countries so that Spanish residents with income sourced from other countries are not taxed twice.
Agencia Tributaria
  If you live in Spain for less than 183 days you are classed as being non-resident and will only be taxed on income sourced from Spain. Tax on earned income is at a flat rate.
  An income tax return has to be filed in Spain if you are self-employed, earn more than €22,000 a year, receive rental income of €1,000 plus p.a., have savings income of more than €1,600 p.a. or it is the first year of being resident in Spain. The tax period in Spain is the calendar year.
  Tax rates in Spain differ between the 17 regions because they still decide upon their own tax rates and liabilities. Whilst efforts are being made to simplify the position it has not happened right across Spain yet.   Euros
  The tax rates that are generally applied to employment income are as follows (above any
allowances - see below):

- 19% on income up to €12,450
- 24% on income between €12,451 and €20,200
- 30% on income between €20,201 and €35,200
- 37% on income between €35,201 and €60,000
- 45% on income over €60,000
 
  Individuals resident in Spain receive a personal allowance upon which no tax is payable. For those under 65 it is €5,550. At age 65 this increases to €6,700 and from age 75 it is €8,100. They also provide additional allowances for children under 25 living with parent(s (this increases by number of children), a married couples allowance, an allowance for when parents and/or grandparents live with individuals and a disability allowance.
  Spanish residents who are married can actually choose whether they want to be taxed separately or jointly depending on which route results in the lowest amount of tax.
  The tax paid on profits from selling investments or property is 19% on profits up to €6,000, 21% on profits between €6,000 & €50,000 and 23% on profits above €50,000. Piggy bank
  A tax is levied on wealth in Spain based on the value of assets on the 31 December each year. This is worldwide assets for residents and Spanish assets only for non-residents. If assets total more than €700,000 the tax is between 0.2% and around 3% (depends on region live in) on the amount above this figure.
  Resident homeowners receive an additional amount based on the value of their own property up to an additional €300,000 (€600,000 if jointly owned home). Non-residents do not benefit from this additional allowance.
  If you live in a property in Spain on the 1 January in any year a local property tax has to be
paid. This tax is the open market rental value that could be achieved multiplied by a tax rate which is set by each local authority.
          
 

Gareth Says... 



   
My favourite thing about Christmas is, 'Simply having a wonderful Christmas time........’
   
Interestingly everyone else’s take on this is as follows:

Craig Attending World Championship darts at the Alexandra Palace London.
Adam Pigs in blankets!
   
  Brexit
 
Stuart Watching others open their presents, and cooking Christmas lunch.
Pauline All the lovely memories it evokes.
Lisa Carte Blanche to eat, drink and be merry with my nearest and dearest.
Zara Snuggling up with my children watching Christmas films.
Annie Eat, sleep, drink, repeat!
Martin Cooking Christmas dinner with a glass of wine or 3!!!
 
 
 

 
Staff Matters

Our office Christmas party was held on December 14th at El Gato Negro, in Manchester. Below are a few pictures of the occasion.
  Christmas Party Christmas Party Christmas Party
 
The M&T offices will be closed as follows:
Close 12.30 pm on Thursday 20th December.
Reopen 8.30 am on Wednesday 2nd January.

See you all in 2019. Our valuation dates are scheduled as follows
Friday 22 February, Friday 28 June and Friday 18 October
   

 

No. 1 Booths Park, Chelford Road, Knutsford, WA16 8GS
Tel: 01565 624 370   Email: enquiries@morfittandturnbull.com 

Morfitt and Turnbull (Management Services) Limited 
Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Registered Number 740613 England

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