10 Minutes with Jill Ashton

1. How long have you lived in Tenerife for?tenerife-international-business-centre
I moved in Tenerife in 1982.

2. What made you want to start a business in Tenerife?
I was working in sales on Amarilla Golf and then we suffered the financial crash in the 1980’s. This happened while I was in the middle of having a child! I basically had to evaluate how I could make a living from the contacts & experience I had gained in my limited time on the island. So I started to retrained in non resident tax returns in Tenerife then everything that came with them i.e. conveyancing services, etc. There were a lot of businesses starting up run by British ex pats who did not have a clue about how to operate legally and pay their taxes. So I worked closely with the government who taught me the ins and outs so I could then help other businesses stay safe and legal in Tenerife. We moved in to our office in Las Galletas and started operating as Tenerife International Business Centre SL in 1992 and we now deal with insurance property sales and rentals, tax returns and accounting (among other things!).

3. What’s the best thing about Tenerife as a place to live in your opinion?
I’ve built up a great business and it’s a pleasure to serve our customers and make their lives easier while living in Tenerife.

4. Give us a brief description of what you get up to on your usual working day.
There’s ALWAYS a big project on the go. Whether it be a complicated conveyance, helping clients with a court case, sorting out a client’s paperwork or big insurance project. Right now, I have hundreds of tax returns for residents and non-residents in Tenerife, which I’m trying to do in between conveyances/transferring title deeds for clients in Fuerteventura.

5. How has business been for you in the past two years?
We have significantly grown our insurance policy sales in Tenerife – car insurance, home insurance, medical insurance and inheritance tax insurance in particular. More and more people are recommending us to friends of theirs who need help with paperwork so we have been doing a hell of a lot of Document Health Checks and getting people on the straight and narrow. It’s more important than ever to have your documents and taxes up to date due to tighter controls imposed by the Canarian Government.

7. If you could be in charge of any other business on the island for a day, which would it be and why?
I would love to be in charge of the Municipal Police so I can go round sticking fines on cars parked in the wrong place!

8. What’s your favourite food?
Canarian, cooked by a Canarian in the hills

9. Describe what your perfect home in Tenerife would be like and where it would be
I think I have it with my home in the hills of Tenerife! It’s got loads of character, in a safe environment, lots of space for the kids to run around, it’s quiet, has great views and has trees (I need greenery!). The only thing I would change is the village needs a bar. There used to be one, but it closed shortly after we moved in.

10. If you were to appear on “Come dine with me”, what theme would you choose?
Anything to do with Take That.

11. Who would be your perfect dinner guest?
Gary Barlow.

12. Do you think enough expat residents use their right to vote in national/local elections? (Asked by Carol Schleisman)
No, and I’m One Of The Guilty Party.

13. What would you like to ask the next “10 Minutes with…” guest?
What’s your opinion on all the illegal workers in Tenerife?

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