Expat Files – 07.05.15

-What’s the story on property taxes in Latin America? Maybe you’ve heard they’re ridiculously low- and they are. Note that by Latin standards, even when property taxes are considered quite high, you can bet they’d be 4 times as much up in the first world. Remember, nothing is standard down here. Things are infinitely flexible- including property valuations for tax purposes. So today we have a detailed guide to property taxes and how local Latins and expats use certain tricks to drive down land and home evaluations (and thus their property taxes) often to the point of embarrassment.
-Tips on property hunting. The proper use and abuse of Latin real estate agents
-Things you should know about the VAT sales taxes (called IVA) in Latin America and why they vary so much between Latin countries.
-Latin Americans and personal loans:
Latins think we all are rich gringos. Since most middle and lower class Latins can’t qualify for bank loans they often reach out to any friendly gringo they know for some cash. It’s happened to me dozens of times. If you are like me, you will test the wters by making a few small loans. Guaranteed you will be greatly disappointed as payments arrive late or never at all. THIS WILL HAPPEN TO YOU…guaranteed. So today we have some tips in dealing with that eventuality.    
JULY 2015 -LATIN AMERICAN SEMINAR NOTICE: Make your plans today for the next Latin American Expat Wisdom seminar. Just go to the main page and click on the Latin Seminar link for full details. The seminar will take place from Saturday, July 11th through Thursday July 16th, 2015.
-CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL: Follow the consult link on the main page at and Johnny will help you sort out your Latin American plans.

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