Taxes on Selling Spanish Property

Tax

Editor’s note: Regular legal-contributor Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt explains the taxes a vendor faces on selling a Spanish property.

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt

Lawyer – Abogado
8th of December 2014

 

Introduction

A seller can expect to pay, by law, two taxes:

I. Capital Gains Tax (or CGT for short) and

II. Plusvalía Tax.

However it can be agreed in practice, and frequently is, that a buyer pays for Plusvalía tax. Confusingly you may find that some articles refer to both taxes as if they were one and the same; they muddle plusvalía municipal (town hall tax) with plusvalía fiscal (which is Capital Gains Tax in English). Needless to say this is a glaring mistake as they are two distinct taxes; the former is paid to the town hall where the property being sold is located and the latter to the state (whether as Personal Income Tax or Non-Resident Income Tax dependent on the taxpayer’s residency status).

Following new regulation, a seller may be required to produce an Energy Performance Certificate (couple of hundred euros) in addition to CGT and Plusvalía Tax.

The Spanish Government published in the Official Law Gazette (BOE) last Friday 28th of November a set of new tax laws which will impact on a seller’s taxation. Law 26/2014 amends both Personal Income Tax (IRPF) and Non-Resident Income Tax (IRNR). These changes will come into force as from the 1st of January 2015.

If you own property purchased before the 31st of December 1994, and plan to sell soon, you may want to take tax advice before the new rules kick in as from the 1st of January 2015. You stand to pay a much larger capital gains tax bill as a result of these changes. It may be in your best (fiscal) interests to sell ahead in 2014 in lieu of 2015. You can read further on these fiscal changes on following this link: New Fiscal Laws Will Hammer Some Property Vendors.

I had already covered in detail the taxes to be paid by a buyer in my articles Taxes on Buying Spanish Property and How to Buy Property in Spain Safely (which includes in-depth coverage on buying off-plan and resale among many other property types).

 

I. Capital Gains Tax

Capital gains is paid by residents of Spain on their worldwide assets and by non-residents on property that they own in Spain. Special attention has to be made on whether one holds resident or non-resident status as reliefs and allowances differ depending on the case. I highlight in each section below which applies.

1.- Definition

CGT can be defined as the tax applicable on the profit you make on selling an asset (art.33 IRPF).

I stress it is the profit that is taxed (the gains), not the amount of money you receive.

2.- Capital Gains Tax Rates (for Non-Residents in Spain)

In general, 24% for non EEA/EU-residents.

For E.E.A. and EU-residents the newly enacted tax laws progressively reduce CGT’s burden as follows:

• Up to 31st December 2014: 21%.

• As from 1st of January 2015 till end of 2015: 20%.

• As from 1st January 2016 onwards: 19%.

This amendment, from last week, is welcome news as only a few years ago CGT was a whopping flat rate of 35% for non-residents. The Spanish government, nudged by the ECJ’s landmark ruling of 3rd of September 2014, has decreased CGT to bring it on par with residents.

3.- CGT Mitigation

A seller can mitigate, within legality, the profit figure on selling to reduce his capital gains tax liability. This can be achieved threefold:

a) Abatement Coefficients: Reductions Relating to when the Property was Purchased

Depending on when the property was purchased abatement coefficients kick in reducing the taxable base by a given percentage on an annual basis. Unfortunately, after the new set of laws was passed last week, this has been partially scrapped as from the 1st of January 2015. You can read further following this link.

Notwithstanding it still applies to properties bought before the 31st December of 1994 with a capped limit of €400,000. This is a one-time credit, meaning it may be used only once. You can however use it across multiple sales providing the total sales value is below the €400,000 threshold (i.e. two property sales of 200k each). Any amount over and above will not benefit from it.

b) Indexation Allowances: Reduction on Inflationary Movements (Inflation Relief)

This allowance used to give relief for the effects of inflation in computing gains over time. This correction factor brought property values in line with today’s inflation. This has now been scrapped as from the 1st of January 2015.

c) Expenses to be Offset

Art 35.3 IRPF. These can be divided into two subgroups (purchase and refurbishment expenses):

I.- Purchase Expenses

For further details please read my article Taxes on Buying Spanish Property. All expenses incurred on buying a property can be offset, such as:

• Lawyer’s fees.

• Notary’s fees.

• Land Registry’s fees.

• VAT or Property Transfer Tax (depending on whether you purchased off-plan or resale property).

• Plusvalía Tax (only if it was agreed the buyer paid it)

• Estate Agent’s commission (the norm is that a seller pays it but can be agreed otherwise in which case a seller could offset it).

On average, purchase costs add 10 – 15% over and above the purchase price. As we can see a great amount can be offset against the CGT bill on selling if done correctly. Original invoices (hard copies) must be kept for all the above as prove for the Tax Office. Your appointed lawyer will of course pre-empt this by submitting them beforehand to streamline the procedure and save time.

II.- Refurbishment Expenses

Remember that expensive parquet you brought all the way from Bali at your wife’s behest? Well you can now offset all major refurbishments costs against your CGT liability so as to reduce as much as possible the profit. Any extensions or improvements done to a property can be deducted. Do not confuse these with ongoing annual maintenance costs which are not tax deductible. In practice it may prove tricky to distinguish one from the other. Remember to keep hard copies of all the licences and invoices for justification purposes.

• Examples of deductible costs: glass curtains, double-glazed windows, parquet, marble floor, extension to property (outbuilding), tennis court, swimming pool, private lift.

• Examples of non-deductible costs: repainting over flaky paint, plumbing, debugging, tennis court green mold cleaning, swimming pool pump replacement, annual lift maintenance.

Word of Advice.

Needless to say, it can be surmised from both subgroups above that all invoices from professionals must have VAT on them. Do NOT supply to the Tax Office ‘invoices’ which lack VAT. You don’t want new problems. So when you are asked in Spanish by a builder or professional: “Con o sin factura?” (With or without invoice?) you always kindly reply: “con factura, por favor” (with VAT, please).

You only shoot yourself in the foot by trying to play ‘smart’ and avoid paying VAT (not to mention it is illegal) as these purchase and/or refurbishment invoices can be deducted in full on selling your property in the future. Planning ahead is key for success.

4.- Under-Declaring on Buying Property – Unadvisable Besides Illegal

Besides being illegal it is on selling your property when you lose big time.

The money you failed to declare on buying so as to save yourself one-digit in VAT or Property Transfer Tax, depending on whether you purchased Off-Plan or Resale property, comes back to bite you on selling.

Why? Because now the tax man believes you have made a larger profit (defined as the difference between the price you buy and sell) than what you actually did. And this ‘greater’ profit is now taxed at two-digits!

We can see it with a simplified example.

An off-plan property is acquired in 2005 for €250,000. The buyer (illegally) under-declares it by €50,000; ‘officially’, in Deeds or ‘escritura’, it shows as €200,000. The buyer saved himself 7% VAT on €50,000 which amounts to €3,500.

The buyer then decides to sell it in 2014 for €260,000 (figure in sales Deeds).

From a tax man’s perspective, the seller made a ‘profit’ of €60,000 (260 thousand less 200 thousand declared) when in reality he only made €10,000 (260,000 less the real 250,000). The seller is taxed 21% on the difference, which is €12,600 (21% of €60,000).

So basically the seller tried to save himself €3,500 on VAT in 2005 and nine years later, in 2014, he ends up over-paying €12,600 in taxes which practically negates his meagre profit of €10,000.

Following on the above, the seller has effectively over-paid €7,000 in tax. This is the difference between what he paid as CGT in 2014 (€12,600) and what he should have paid legally for both VAT in 2005 (€3,500) and CGT in 2014 (€2,100) had he come clean and declared the real purchase and sales price. The seller has wiped out in the process his profit margin. Not to mention you can get caught under-declaring leading to new problems. Not a smart move any way you look at it.

Bottom line, do not under-declare on buying property as you stand to lose money (on over-paying taxes when you come to sell later on). Besides, under-declaring is illegal.

5.- Non-Residents: 3% Withholding Retention on Selling

As a security measure, and to ensure taxes are complied with, a retention of 3% is practiced at completion on account of a non-resident vendor’s CGT liability. The obvious risk a non-resident poses is that they are bound to leave the country soon after the sale raising a question mark on their tax compliance. To avoid such a scenario unfolding, a buyer’s lawyer is forced – under law – to withhold 3% of the agreed sales price and pay it into the Spanish Tax Office (AEAT). The Notary public witnessing the sale will ensure this is carried out. You can read further on this retention on following this link.

Two scenarios unfold dependent on the profit made:

1. If a vendor has made a profit smaller than said retention then he is entitled to claim back the difference for which there is a deadline (three months). A vendor will require a lawyer’s service to claim back this money as it is not a straightforward procedure. A refund is taking on average several months (twelve to eighteen), a number of pre-booked visits to the Tax Office and compliance with tax models (211 from the buyer and 210 for the seller) which need to be meticulously completed so as to avoid the Tax Office giving any excuse to hand back the retention or part of.

During this time the Tax Office will be actively liaising with the appointed fiscal representative at the registered Spanish address set for communication purposes (i.e. they may require further documents are supplied). Which is yet another reason why non-residents should appoint a Spanish-based law firm to handle this refund as only a Spanish address will be accepted for communication purposes.

2. If the profit exceeds the 3% retention, a non-resident will be expected to pay the remainder within three months of the sale.

Additionally, on selling, if a seller owes property-related taxes (see my article Non-Resident Taxes in Spain) the 3% retention withheld by a buyer by law (on account of a non-resident seller’s Capital Gains Tax liability) will be used to offset any owed tax by a non-resident seller (tax models 211 and 210). Do NOT expect the Tax Office to refund you the difference on the 3%; if you owe property taxes the tax authorities will pocket the full 3%. To avoid this you must first pay in advance the owed property tax (up to the last 4 years, as the statute of limitation time-bars any tax exceeding the four-year limit) plus any penalties or surcharges for late payment. Only once the outstanding property tax is settled, will they refund you the 3% withheld in full.

6.- Selling at a Loss (No Profit)

Today’s market is exceptionally tough for sellers. Vendor’s frequently sell at a loss so as to secure the quick sale of a property. It may come as a surprise when the Spanish Tax Office then tries to tax CGT when in reality there has been no profit.

The AEAT calculates the value of a property following rateable values. It is their understanding there is always some profit to be made on selling and any attempt to ‘conceal’ it may be taken as under-declaring; which of course is not the case for most sellers nowadays. Regardless you will be expected to pay CGT on selling (at a loss).

7. Fiscal Novelty Law 26/2014: Over 65-Year-Old Residents

Any capital gains made by resident taxpayers over 65-years-old will go untaxed (art. 24 Law 26/2014) when the sales proceeds are:

1. Reinvested in pension annuities.

2. Maximum of €240,000.

3. Six-month deadline.

This is in addition to the below main home tax relief.

8. Residents: Main Home Tax Relief if Over 65 (Absolute Relief)

Over 65-years-old residents are CGT exempt on selling their main abode (‘vivienda habitual’). Art 33.4b IRPF and 41 RIRPF.

9. Residents: Main Home Tax Relief if Under 65 (Rollover Relief)

Just a quick reminder that art 38.1 IRPF allows a resident seller to be CGT exempt on selling their main home providing the following conditions are met:

1. The seller must be resident in Spain.

2. The dwelling must be his main home (must have dwelled in it permanently for the three previous years art. 41 bis RIRPF). It may be less than three years in certain personal circumstances when the taxpayer was forced to change home as a result of job change, marriage or separation.

3. The sales proceeds are reinvested in acquiring a new main home (in Spain or else in the EEA/EU). Any part of the sales proceeds not reinvested will be taxed pro rata.

4. Deadline of two years to reinvest the sales proceeds (in a new main home).

5. This rule applies to under sixty-five year-olds.

 

II. Plusvalía Tax

Is a local tax levied by the town hall where the property is located. Please read the Plusvalía municipal tax in Spain for more details.

1.- Definition

Plusvalía is a tax levied on the increase of value of the land from the date the owner acquired the property to the time of the present sale.

In Spanish, ‘Impuesto Municipal sobre el Incremento del Valor de los Terrenos de Naturaleza Urbana‘ (or simply ‘plusvalía municipal‘).

2.- Local Tax

This tax is a devolved (tax) competency to local authorities. Every town hall has competence to determine its own applicable rates within a scale. I cannot supply a chart with on-going rates as it varies significantly from one town hall to the next and is case-dependent. Lawyers need to liaise with the town hall where the property to be sold is located to obtain a final figure for the day of completion.

The tax is calculated on following both the rateable values of property and the number of years it has been in the possession of an owner (until the time of sale).

In most cases it is not significant, usually amounting to less than €1,000 but can be more in the case of villas with large plots of land.

Taxation on Selling Spanish Property – Conclusion

In my experience the Spanish Tax Office (AEAT) would seem to struggle understanding sellers’ plight on selling at a loss in today’s market. Don’t be surprised if, despite making a loss, you are still found liable to pay CGT by the ‘Agencia Tributaria’. And by the same token buyers are requested extra tax on buying under valued property as I explain in my article La Complementaria or Bargain Hunter Tax; they are two sides of the same coin.

Planning ahead is key to mitigate tax exposure on selling Spanish property. I strongly advise a seller hires a lawyer; with even more reason if non-resident. This ensures a seller complies in full with Spain’s tax laws and, given the case, may even opt for a refund on the retention (or part thereof) practiced at completion before a Notary Public. I remind the three per cent withholding retention only applies to non-residents on selling.

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” – Benjamin Franklin.

Founding Father of the United States. Exceptionally gifted scientist, inventor, diplomat, writer, printer, postmaster and political theorist. Even politician in his spare time; nobody’s perfect.

 

Related articles

Capital Gains TaxAdvice by the Spanish Tax Office (Agencia Tributaria or AEAT)

How to Buy Property in SpainAdvice by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Please note the information provided in this article is of general interest only and is not to be construed or intended as substitute for professional legal advice. This article may be posted freely in websites or other social media so long as the author is duly credited. Plagiarizing, whether in whole or in part, this article without crediting the author may result in criminal prosecution. VOV.

2014 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All rights reserved.

Comments

comments

41 thoughts on “Taxes on Selling Spanish Property”

  1. Profile photo of Raymundo Larraín NesbittRaymundo Larraín Nesbitt Post Author

    Hi Mark,

    Thank you for your kind comment.

    Regarding your query, I would ideally need more information to give a concrete reply.

    Supposing they each own it in joint names in equal parts then a 3% retention is practiced on the 50% appertaining to the non-resident on selling. So in reality only a 1.5% retention is being practiced on the overall selling price.

    E.g. Property owned in joint names, 50% each. One is resident, other is non-resident. Selling price is €300k.

    3% retention on the non-resident seller’s share would tally €4,500.

    Depending on the gains made, he may (or may not be) entitled to a refund on the amount withheld.

    The resident owner on the other hand would have no retention practiced on his 50% on account of him holding resident status.

    Hope that clarifies Mark.

    Regards
    Raymond

  2. David Shelley

    A really good & concise article (8/12) which I’ve printed off for future reference but there’s still some confusion in my mind.
    I (think I) understand the removal of the Abatement Coefficient – with special arrangements for properties purchased before 1994; then you say in your article that ‘Inflation adjustment still holds …(Inflation Relief). Everything else I have found says that both types of inflation protection have been scrapped. Is there any element of inflation protection for a property purchased in 2001? I appreciate that, in practice, there may not actually be any gain, it’s just the principle I’d like to be clear on.
    Thanks

    1. Profile photo of Raymundo Larraín NesbittRaymundo Larraín Nesbitt Post Author

      Hi David,

      I deeply apologize for the confusion I have induced in you. You are correct; the government scrapped completely inflation relief and only partially abatement coefficients as from the 1st of January 2015 as a result of Law 26/2014.

      The abatement coefficient has only been partially scrapped for properties acquired prior to the 31st December 1994 with a capped amount of €400,000 (not your case). For more details I refer to:
      http://www.spanishpropertyinsight.com/2014/11/25/new-fiscal-laws-will-hammer-property-vendors/

      In your particular case, for a property acquired in 2001, if you were to sell it after the 1st of January 2015 the reply is negative; I’m afraid you no longer qualify for inflation relief (of either kind). Had you acquired it prior to the 31st December 1994 a partial relief still holds in 2015 for values up to €400,000 (abatement coefficient).

      These changes were precisely what prompted me to publish the above article hot on the heels of the approval of Law 26/2014 from the 28th of November as time was running out for sellers (less than a month at the time) wishing to still take advantage of said inflation reliefs. The capital gains tax for some vendors (dependent on when the property was acquired) would increase sharply as from 2015. Hence my rush.

      In my haste to publish the warning I regretfully made the mistake you point out. I will now amend the article accordingly. Thank you for pointing it out David.

      Regards

  3. David Shelley

    Hello again Raymundo,
    A bit of further clarification please that might aid your readers.
    Does the ‘Residents: Main Home Tax Relief’ (under 65s) apply to capital reinvested in another main home, outside Spain but an EU country. In reality this might be the likely scenario; one time ex-pat residents selling up to return to (in our case) the UK and looking to buy a home there.
    Thanks & Regards
    David

  4. Profile photo of Raymundo Larraín NesbittRaymundo Larraín Nesbitt Post Author

    Hi David,

    The Personal Income Tax (IRPF), thought for residents, doesn’t expressly contemplate this scenario (as it is entirely logical).

    However there’s an ECJ ruling of 2006 on an almost identical case regarding Portuguese law which allows this tax relief so long as it is reinvested within a EU Member State.

    Given also the ECJ’s landmark ruling of last 3rd of September, which stressed the EU’s core values of Free Movement of Capital and People (within the scope of the EU), it can be surmised this relief extends to sales proceeds reinvested in main properties within the EU, yes.

    However, any part of the proceeds which is not reinvested within the two-year time frame will be taxed accordingly.

    Hope that answers your query.

    Regards

  5. David Shelley

    Raymundo,
    Apologies if this is the wrong forum but here goes.
    What happens to the ITP purchase tax on a second hand property if it is transferred to a family member at no cost? In our case we are considering gifting our second property to our son who is a working tax resident in Spain.
    And if there is tax relief on such a gift, how is capital gains tax calculated when the property is subsequently sold on a normal commercial basis?
    Thanks & Regards
    David

  6. Profile photo of Raymundo Larraín NesbittRaymundo Larraín Nesbitt Post Author

    Morning David,

    There is no Property Transfer Tax applicable on you gifting a property to your son. You cannot transfer property to a family member “at no cost” in Spain.

    You would be liable for both Capital Gains Tax and Plusvalia tax on gifting the property.

    Your son would be liable for Gift tax as the giftee. Depending on which autonomous region in Spain he is resident he can qualify for tax allowances on Gift tax (in some regions it’s up to 99%).

    When he sells this property at some point in the future, as per this article, he will be liable for both CGT and Plusvalia tax.

    Regards

    1. Gareth

      Bon dia Raymundo,

      Thank you for a very informative article.

      On the subject of gifting, is it possible to gift a share in a property to a spouse without incurring taxes on the gift? We have a house that is owned 50:50 between my brother-in-law and myself.

      We both consider that our shares in the house are held with our spouses (they did not come to sign documents as they were looking after the children). To remedy this In the UK I believe we could consider a ‘Declaration of Trust’ – this would acknowledge the ownership being held by both husband and wives.

      Is anything similar possible in Spain or would we have to pay Capital Gains Tax, Plusvalia and Gift taxes? We have a high amount of base costs (expenditure) for capital gains tax calculation purposes, are these taken into account for Plusvalia or gift taxes?

      Regards

      Gareth

      1. Profile photo of Raymundo Larraín NesbittRaymundo Larraín Nesbitt Post Author

        Morning Gareth,

        You are welcome.

        You have three options:

        1. DISSOLUTION OF JOINT PROPERTY OWNERSHIP. In your particular case you could follow what is known as a Dissolution of Joint Property Ownership if you wanted to re-arrange the shares but it necessarily implies terminating the situation of being joint owners. There would only be ONE owner with 100% of the holdings. The advantage it has is that the taxes to be paid are more than 80% lower than a standard sale. Buyer pays 1.5% Stamp Duty on the 50% he buys out. Seller pays, as per my above article on selling, both CGT and Plusvalia tax on his 50%. The tax advantage is for the buyer (your wife/s). More on this procedure in my article Dissolution of Joint Property Ownership:

        http://www.spanishpropertyinsight.com/legal/dissolution-of-joint-property-ownership-in-spain/

        2. STANDARD SALE. If what you want is to simply keep the existing joint owner situation but change your 50% over to your wife and your brother doing likewise with his partner then you can follow a standard sale (taxes are explained in my above article).

        3. GIFTING THE SHARES. Regarding gifting the 50%, the giftor is liable for both CGT and Plusvalia tax (like a standard sale of property as described above) and the giftee (your spouses) are liable for Gift tax. Depending on which autonomous region the Spanish property is located in there are exemptions of up to 99% on paying Gift tax (in other words, the giftee may pay nothing). So the tax advantage would be for the giftee, your wifes.

        As you can see it falls down to doing the Maths and see which one is more advantageous depending on your personal circumstances and preferences .

        Regards

  7. Mary

    Hi Raymundo,
    Could you please tell me if VAT is payable on the estate agents fees,by the seller. Fees to be charged 5% plus VAT, is this correct?
    Regards,
    Mary

  8. Alan Frazer

    Hi Raymundo,
    Firstly, Great Reading
    Maybe you can help!
    My property in Mallorca will be sold in September, ( deposits already paid)
    I wish to purchase another property ( more expensive) in Mallorca within the next few months.
    Will i still pay the tax on the new purchase, or by leaving my monies in Mallorca
    is the Tax wavered.

    Alan

    1. Profile photo of Raymundo Larraín NesbittRaymundo Larraín Nesbitt Post Author

      Hi Alan,

      Thank you for your kind words.

      If you are referring to taxes on buying a new property, yes, you will still need to pay them. More on what taxes to pay on buying Spanish property:

      http://www.spanishpropertyinsight.com/2015/07/08/taxes-on-buying-spanish-property/

      If you are referring to Capital Gains Tax on the property you will sell in September, you have 100% allowance on it (rollover relief) as long as you meet ALL the following:

      1. The seller must be resident in Spain.

      2. The dwelling must be his main home (must have dwelled in it permanently for the three previous years art. 41 bis RIRPF). It may be less than three years in certain personal circumstances when the taxpayer was forced to change home as a result of job change, marriage or separation.

      3. The sales proceeds are reinvested in acquiring a new main home (whether in Spain or else in the EEA/EU). Any part of the sales proceeds not reinvested will be taxed pro rata.

      4. Deadline of two years to reinvest the sales proceeds (in a new main home).

      5. This rule applies to under sixty-five year-olds.

      Should you be over sixty five years old you are exempt from paying CGT (absolute relief).

      Hope that helps Alan.

      Regards

      1. Ray

        Hi Raymundo

        Your web site is very informative – thank you.

        I have a question regarding CGT and Spanish residents who sell their property and reinvest elsewhere. We are in that situation (living in Tenerife) and want to sell up here and re-invest back in the UK.

        I see that you say CGT roll-over relief is available for reinvestment in any EU nation state (UK included): 3. The sales proceeds are reinvested in acquiring a new main home (whether in Spain or else in the EEA/EU).

        It was my understanding that this is not the case and that the allowance only applied if the reinvestment took place within Spain. It was also my understanding that this was/is to be legally challenged because it contravenes the basic EU principles regarding freedom of movement and capital.

        Could you please clarify this key issue for me please.

        Many Thanks
        Ray

        1. Profile photo of Raymundo Larraín NesbittRaymundo Larraín Nesbitt Post Author

          Hi Ray,

          That would be tantamount to a discrimination between residents and non-residents on tax allowances. Something which the ECJ already ruled on last September quashing any such distinction. Spain was forced to amend multiple laws to adapt this criteria which is rooted in the very principles the EU is grounded upon (free movement of capital, people etc). Within the EU/EEA it is accepted. There is already a ruling on Portugal on an almost identical matter regarding a rollover relief.

          Regards

  9. Carlota

    Hello Raymundo,

    I have a query regarding CGT payable on the donation of property located in the UK by a Spanish fiscal resident. My friend lives here (has done since 2009) and has her main residence here, and continues to own 2 properties in the UK. She would like to donate one of these properties to her daughter (UK resident) and I understand that this means that she will by subject to CGT here in Spain on the “gain” from the date of purchase (NOV 1993) to the date of the donation (NOV 2015). Can you confirm that this is indeed true and, if so, if there are any allowances that she will be given before tax is payable?

    Many thanks for any assistance you can give.

    Regards,

    Carlota

    1. Profile photo of Raymundo Larraín NesbittRaymundo Larraín Nesbitt Post Author

      Morning Carlota,

      A giftor (of real estate) is liable for both CGT and Plusvalia tax as explained in detail in the above article.

      A giftee, or beneficiary, is liable for Gift tax in Spain.

      Regarding allowances, the giftee, may benefit from them, yes. This is explained in detail in my article Changes to Inheritance and Gift Tax in Spain:

      http://www.spanishpropertyinsight.com/2015/02/08/changes-spains-inheritance-gift-tax-law/

      The gist is that a non-tax resident (i.e. UK tax resident daughter) may now benefit from the lenient tax allowances on donations set forth by the Autonomous Community/region where the property to be gifted lies

      Hope that helps.

      Regards

  10. Frances

    Hi Raymundo,

    Fascinating article, most informative found to date. Hopefully you can help answer some burning questions for me.
    My partner of 20+ years, we never married, and I jointly purchased our property in Spain in 2005. Sadly he died in 2014 and I purchased his 50% share of the property from his heirs in 2015 through a dissolution of joint property ownership.
    I have been a fiscal resident since moving to Spain, This property has been my only and main home for the past eight years. I am over the age of 65. I am considering selling the property as it is now too big for me on my own, and moving into something smaller here in Spain.
    As it is my only residence / main home what taxes am I subject to paying, and how can I work an approximate figure/cost out?
    If I decide to sell it can the costs of sale inclusive of tax, be paid from the proceeds, or do they have to be paid upfront?
    Kindest regards…..

    1. Profile photo of Raymundo Larraín NesbittRaymundo Larraín Nesbitt Post Author

      Hi Frances,

      Not quite sure I would label myself the article as “fascinating”, but thanks for your kind words anyway.

      Your case falls under section eight of CGT as explained above; a fiscal resident over the age of 65 y.o. You would be entitled to absolute relief; meaning you wouldn’t pay any CGT on selling.

      Regarding your second question, taxes and expenses are paid from the sales proceeds, yes. They are not paid upfront.

      Regards

      1. Frances

        Thank you so much Raymundo, this has put my mind at ease.

        I was informed that I would have to wait three years to be able to claim the 50% of the property I purchased from my partners heirs as my main home and would pay CGT on thie 50% should I sell it within a three year period of purchase! Can you confirm that no time scale applies in my case?

        Kindest regards…

        1. Profile photo of Raymundo Larraín NesbittRaymundo Larraín Nesbitt Post Author

          Hi Frances,

          I am not quite sure I’m following you on this one.

          I believe the key misunderstanding is the legal concept of “vivienda habitual” or main abode. I stress this is a legal concept; it is not simply the property in which you live in all-year-round; it must meet a series of stringent requirements so the Tax Office regards it as your ‘permanent’ home and therefore allows you to apply the tax reliefs.

          There are two reliefs, age dependent, albeit both require the property being sold is your main abode:

          1. Over sixty-five-year-old: absolute relief.
          2. Under sixty-five-year-old: roll-over relief.

          1. Residents: Main Home Tax Relief if Over 65 (Absolute Relief)

          Quoting my above article:

          “Over 65-years-old residents are CGT exempt on selling their main abode (‘vivienda habitual’). Art 33.4b IRPF and 41 RIRPF.”

          2. Residents: Main Home Tax Relief if Under 65 (Rollover Relief)

          If you are under sixty five years old and you sell the 50% or 100% you bought you have a two-year period to re-invest the sales proceeds in another main home. During this two-year period you pay no CGT on the proceeds re-invested. If the two-year period elapses and you still haven’t sold the property, you lose the tax benefit.

          However, to benefit from a roll-over relief the second provision below requires that you have lived in the property for the prior three years. It is one of five requirements you must meet. See below:

          Quoting my above article:

          “Just a quick reminder that art 38.1 IRPF allows a resident seller to be CGT exempt on selling their main home providing the following conditions are met:

          1. The seller must be resident in Spain.

          2. The dwelling must be his main home (must have dwelled in it permanently for the three previous years art. 41 bis RIRPF). It may be less than three years in certain personal circumstances when the taxpayer was forced to change home as a result of job change, marriage or separation.

          3. The sales proceeds are reinvested in acquiring a new main home (in Spain or else in the EEA/EU). Any part of the sales proceeds not reinvested will be taxed pro rata.

          4. Deadline of two years to reinvest the sales proceeds (in a new main home).

          5. This rule applies to under sixty-five year-olds.”

          —-

          The legal Spanish concept of a ‘main abode’ (“vivienda habitual”) requires you to have lived in the property for the previous three-year period and you must be able to prove it i.e. utility bills, local taxes etc.

          If you have just turned sixty five years old and attempt to sell a property in which you have lived in for less than a three-year period, under Spanish law, it would not be deemed as your main abode from a legal standpoint.

          As a recap, regardless if over OR under 65 y.o., the legal concept of “vivienda habitual” (main abode) demands you have dwelled in a property for a three-year period (prior to selling). If you still have not met the three years, it is not legally a main abode or “vivienda habitual” and you can therefore not take advantage of the tax relief (whether absolute or roll-over relief).

          I know laws can be at times a tad confusing but if it they were always clear and straightforward I would probably be jobless!

          Hope that clarifies Frances.

          Regards

      2. Frances

        Thank you so much Raymundo, this has put my mind at ease?
        I think the confusion lies in the fact the deeds where changed into my name as sole owner in April 2015, when I went through the dissolution of ownership and the purchase of my partners half value, and had the deeds changed to me being the sole owner of what was our home.
        I have never moved from this property, I have never had a mortgage but have previous deeds stating both our names as shared owners. I pay taxes on my pensions here in Spain but don’t believe I pay any tax due to owning my home, should I be paying tax on owning a home?
        Kindest regards…

  11. Profile photo of Raymundo Larraín NesbittRaymundo Larraín Nesbitt Post Author

    You are welcome Frances.

    On owning property in Spain you should pay taxes, yes.

    1. That tax return you mention is for non-residents only (Non-Resident Income Tax) and has to be filed and paid annually before the end of December each year. If you are resident this does not apply to you.

    However you will be expected to file and pay annually Wealth tax if your wealth exceeds €700,000. Your main home (main abode as the definition seen above in prior queries) adds a further €300,000 tax-free allowance. In other words, if you are resident in Spain and your assets (including main home) exceed €1,000,000 you will have to pay Wealth tax following a sliding scale on your worldwide assets.

    More details in my joint article with tax advisory service Blevins Franks: Spanish Wealth Tax.

    http://www.spanishpropertyinsight.com/tax-and-pensions/spanish-wealth-tax-patrimonio/

    2. As a resident you will be paying in August every year both garbage tax (sic) and IBI (akin to the UK’s Council tax).

    3. You should also file tax model 720 if you hold overseas assets (i.e. in UK) over and above €50,000. This must be filed annually by the end of April each year. Fines on non-compliance are fairly stiff. Take advice if the latter applies to you. This is not really a tax; it is done to monitor resident wealth variation from one year to the next (assets held abroad).

    Hope the above adds to the confusion. Just joking.

    Regards

  12. Frances

    I am still a little confused Raymundo, ….. Put it down to my age and the grey cells not functioning as well as they used to!!

    One think for certain Is I don’t fall into the bracket of wealth tax!!

    Can you point me in the direction of where I might be able to access an English translation of the Vivienda Habitual and the relevant articles you mentioned as below?

    Over 65-years-old residents are CGT exempt on selling their main abode (‘vivienda habitual’). Art 33.4b IRPF and 41 RIRPF.

    Kind regards Frances

  13. Profile photo of Raymundo Larraín NesbittRaymundo Larraín Nesbitt Post Author

    Hi Frances,

    There are no translations, the closet thing are my articles.

    Regarding the articles:

    Art. 33.4 b) IRPF:

    4. Estarán exentas del Impuesto las ganancias patrimoniales que se pongan de manifiesto:

    b) Con ocasión de la transmisión de su vivienda habitual por mayores de 65 años o por personas en situación de dependencia severa o de gran dependencia de conformidad con la Ley de promoción de la autonomía personal y atención a las personas en situación de dependencia.

    Art. 41 RIRPF


    Artículo 41 Exención por reinversión en vivienda habitual y en entidades de nueva o reciente creación

    1. Podrán gozar de exención las ganancias patrimoniales que se pongan de manifiesto en la transmisión de la vivienda habitual del contribuyente cuando el importe total obtenido se reinvierta en la adquisición de una nueva vivienda habitual, en las condiciones que se establecen en este artículo. Cuando para adquirir la vivienda transmitida el contribuyente hubiera utilizado financiación ajena, se considerará, exclusivamente a estos efectos, como importe total obtenido el resultante de minorar el valor de transmisión en el principal del préstamo que se encuentre pendiente de amortizar en el momento de la transmisión.

    A estos efectos, se asimila a la adquisición de vivienda su rehabilitación, teniendo tal consideración las obras en la misma que cumplan cualquiera de los siguientes requisitos:

    a) Que se trate de actuaciones subvencionadas en materia de rehabilitación de viviendas en los términos previstos en el Real Decreto 233/2013, de 5 de abril, por el que se regula el Plan Estatal de fomento del alquiler de viviendas, la rehabilitación edificatoria, y la regeneración y renovación urbanas, 2013-2016.
    b) Que tengan por objeto principal la reconstrucción de la vivienda mediante la consolidación y el tratamiento de las estructuras, fachadas o cubiertas y otras análogas siempre que el coste global de las operaciones de rehabilitación exceda del 25 por ciento del precio de adquisición si se hubiese efectuado ésta durante los dos años inmediatamente anteriores al inicio de las obras de rehabilitación o, en otro caso, del valor de mercado que tuviera la vivienda en el momento de dicho inicio. A estos efectos, se descontará del precio de adquisición o del valor de mercado de la vivienda la parte proporcional correspondiente al suelo.

    Para la calificación de la vivienda como habitual, se estará a lo dispuesto en el artículo 41 bis de este Reglamento.

    2. Podrán gozar de exención las ganancias patrimoniales que se pongan de manifiesto en la transmisión de acciones o participaciones por las que se hubiera practicado la deducción prevista en el artículo 68.1 de la Ley del Impuesto, siempre que el importe total obtenido por la transmisión se reinvierta en la adquisición de acciones o participaciones que cumplan los requisitos previstos en los números 2.º, 3.º y 5.º de dicho artículo, en las condiciones que se establecen en este artículo.

    3. La reinversión del importe obtenido en la enajenación deberá efectuarse, de una sola vez o sucesivamente, en un período no superior a dos años desde la fecha de transmisión de la vivienda habitual o en un año desde la fecha de transmisión de las acciones o participaciones.

    En particular, se entenderá que la reinversión se efectúa dentro de plazo cuando la venta de la vivienda habitual se hubiese efectuado a plazos o con precio aplazado, siempre que el importe de los plazos se destine a la finalidad indicada dentro del período impositivo en que se vayan percibiendo.

    Cuando, conforme a lo dispuesto en los párrafos anteriores, la reinversión no se realice en el mismo año de la enajenación, el contribuyente vendrá obligado a hacer constar en la declaración del Impuesto del ejercicio en el que se obtenga la ganancia de patrimonio su intención de reinvertir en las condiciones y plazos señalados.

    Igualmente darán derecho a la exención por reinversión las cantidades obtenidas en la enajenación que se destinen a satisfacer el precio de una nueva vivienda habitual que se hubiera adquirido en el plazo de los dos años anteriores a la transmisión de aquélla.

    4. En el caso de que el importe de la reinversión fuera inferior al total obtenido en la enajenación, solamente se excluirá de gravamen la parte proporcional de la ganancia patrimonial que corresponda a la cantidad efectivamente invertida en las condiciones de este artículo.

    5. El incumplimiento de cualquiera de las condiciones establecidas en este artículo determinará el sometimiento a gravamen de la parte de la ganancia patrimonial correspondiente.

    En tal caso, el contribuyente imputará la parte de la ganancia patrimonial no exenta al año de su obtención, practicando autoliquidación complementaria, con inclusión de los intereses de demora, y se presentará en el plazo que medie entre la fecha en que se produzca el incumplimiento y la finalización del plazo reglamentario de declaración correspondiente al período impositivo en que se produzca dicho incumplimiento.

    Artículo 41 redactado, con efectos desde 1 de enero de 2013, por el apartado primero.dos del artículo segundo del R.D. 960/2013, de 5 de diciembre, por el que se modifican el Reglamento del Impuesto sobre Sociedades, aprobado por el R.D. 1777/2004, de 30 de julio; el Reglamento del Impuesto sobre la Renta de las Personas Físicas, aprobado por el R.D. 439/2007, de 30 de marzo; el Reglamento del Impuesto sobre la Renta de no Residentes, aprobado por el R.D. 1776/2004, de 30 de julio; el Reglamento General de las actuaciones y los procedimientos de gestión e inspección tributaria y de desarrollo de las normas comunes de los procedimientos de aplicación de los tributos, aprobado por el R.D. 1065/2007, de 27 de julio, y el Reglamento General de Recaudación, aprobado por el R.D. 939/2005, de 29 de julio («B.O.E.» 6 diciembre).Vigencia: 7 diciembre 2013 Efectos / Aplicación: 1 enero 2013

    Artículo 41 bis Concepto de vivienda habitual a efectos de determinadas exenciones

    1. A los efectos previstos en los artículos 7.t), 33.4.b), y 38 de la Ley del Impuesto se considera vivienda habitual del contribuyente la edificación que constituya su residencia durante un plazo continuado de, al menos, tres años.

    No obstante, se entenderá que la vivienda tuvo el carácter de habitual cuando, a pesar de no haber transcurrido dicho plazo, se produzca el fallecimiento del contribuyente o concurran otras circunstancias que necesariamente exijan el cambio de domicilio, tales como celebración de matrimonio, separación matrimonial, traslado laboral, obtención del primer empleo, o cambio de empleo, u otras análogas justificadas.

    2. Para que la vivienda constituya la residencia habitual del contribuyente debe ser habitada de manera efectiva y con carácter permanente por el propio contribuyente, en un plazo de doce meses, contados a partir de la fecha de adquisición o terminación de las obras.

    No obstante, se entenderá que la vivienda no pierde el carácter de habitual cuando se produzcan las siguientes circunstancias:

    Cuando se produzca el fallecimiento del contribuyente o concurran otras circunstancias que necesariamente impidan la ocupación de la vivienda, en los términos previstos en el apartado 1 de este artículo.

    Cuando éste disfrute de vivienda habitual por razón de cargo o empleo y la vivienda adquirida no sea objeto de utilización, en cuyo caso el plazo antes indicado comenzará a contarse a partir de la fecha del cese.

    Cuando la vivienda hubiera sido habitada de manera efectiva y permanente por el contribuyente en el plazo de doce meses, contados a partir de la fecha de adquisición o terminación de las obras, el plazo de tres años previsto en el apartado anterior se computará desde esta última fecha.

    3. A los exclusivos efectos de la aplicación de las exenciones previstas en los artículos 33.4. b) y 38 de la Ley del Impuesto, se entenderá que el contribuyente está transmitiendo su vivienda habitual cuando, con arreglo a lo dispuesto en este artículo, dicha edificación constituya su vivienda habitual en ese momento o hubiera tenido tal consideración hasta cualquier día de los dos años anteriores a la fecha de transmisión.

    Artículo 41 bis introducido, con efectos a partir de 1 de enero de 2013, por el apartado primero.tre del artículo segundo del R.D. 960/2013, de 5 de diciembre, por el que se modifican el Reglamento del Impuesto sobre Sociedades, aprobado por el R.D. 1777/2004, de 30 de julio; el Reglamento del Impuesto sobre la Renta de las Personas Físicas, aprobado por el R.D. 439/2007, de 30 de marzo; el Reglamento del Impuesto sobre la Renta de no Residentes, aprobado por el R.D. 1776/2004, de 30 de julio; el Reglamento General de las actuaciones y los procedimientos de gestión e inspección tributaria y de desarrollo de las normas comunes de los procedimientos de aplicación de los tributos, aprobado por el R.D. 1065/2007, de 27 de julio, y el Reglamento General de Recaudación, aprobado por el R.D. 939/2005, de 29 de julio («B.O.E.» 6 diciembre).Vigencia: 7 diciembre 2013 Efectos / Aplicación: 1 enero 2013

    Regards

    1. Profile photo of Raymundo Larraín NesbittRaymundo Larraín Nesbitt Post Author

      Morning Carole,

      As per my article, you must be both resident and over 65 to qualify from an absolute relief (no CGT is paid). If you are not, then you simply don’t qualify and pay tax.

      This tax allowance is found only in the IRPF (Income Tax for Residents) not in the IRNR (Non-Resident Income Tax law). The law requires the property being sold is your main abode; if you are non-resident then it stands to logic it is not your main home. Long story short, non-residents over 65 y.o. are liable to pay CGT on selling;

      Over 65-years-old residents are CGT exempt on selling their main abode (‘vivienda habitual’). Art 33.4b IRPF and 41 RIRPF.

      Regarding your second point, I leave clear in the article’s conclusion, even on selling at a loss you are still expected to pay taxes. This is because local Tax Offices use rateable values which are not in line with today’s (real) values. More on why this happens, from a buyer’s perspective, but still equally relevant to a seller here:

      http://www.spanishpropertyinsight.com/2015/05/08/la-complementaria-or-bargain-hunter-tax/

      You are welcome.

      Regards

  14. Michelle

    Can I just ask about the six month deadline for selling a property. My husbands mother lived in Spain very happily but when she died her property was put in the hands of a trusted solicitor who took care of the sale as we were naive to Spanish law. He put the property for sale a very high price but now says we need to give him 10,000 euros within 6 days as a fine for not selling the property within six months. I can fine no reference to this fine anywhere and would appreciate your input.
    Many thanks indeed

    1. Profile photo of Raymundo Larraín NesbittRaymundo Larraín Nesbitt Post Author

      Hi Michelle,

      What six-month deadline is this? I’m sorry but I am not aware of this rule on selling.

      Are you referring to the six-month deadline as from the time someone passes away to file and pay Spanish Inheritance Tax? You can request a one-time additional six month extension. Totaling one year.

      If you do not file and pay Spanish Inheritance Tax on time (six months) you will incur in penalties which follow a sliding scale depending on how long the delay is to pay the tax.

      More on this matter in my article Making a Spanish Will:

      http://www.spanishpropertyinsight.com/legal/making-a-spanish-will/

      Regards

  15. Dan

    Hi Raymundo, great informative article.
    I am (40 yrs old) reseident in Spain with my own home which i own with my wife. I am in the process of buying a second property that is in need of extensive renovation with two family memebers (neither resident or living in Spain), which we will run as holiday rental business when the work is finished. We are not planning on sellling the property for at least 5 years or more.
    Would you advise buying the property as a private individual, self employed (autonimo) or an SL company?

    KR, Dan

  16. Profile photo of Raymundo Larraín NesbittRaymundo Larraín Nesbitt Post Author

    Hi Dan,

    I don’t know what you mean by buying a property as a self-employed? If you run your own business in Spain you must be registered as self-employed and pay a monthly contribution to the Social Security.

    The property will be bought and registered at the Land Registry either as a physical person or though a company (i.e. S.L.).

    There is no black or white answer which option is better, it depends of your needs.

    If you buy through an S.L. you will have to pay at least 600 – 800 euros a year for bookkeeping services. You will need to lodge the accounts annually at the Company Registrar. Is this extra expense really worth it for you? On selling the property the sales tax you will face is higher than if you sold as a private individual (making less profits).

    If you are looking at limiting your liability in case the business fails, have you read my article Limiting Liability in Spain?
    http://www.spanishpropertyinsight.com/2015/11/06/limiting-liability-in-spain/

    This article explains how someone can legally ‘shield’ their main home from business debts providing you meet the requirements explained in the article. There is no need to set up an S.L. to comply with this.

    Regards

  17. Denise

    Hi Raymundo,

    We sold our Spanish property in October 2014. We made a substantial loss on the sale to what we bought it for. Our solicitor told us we had to pay Spanish tax for capital gains (just short of 5000 euros), but would get it refunded within 6-9mnths because of having a loss. Yet 15mnths on and we are still waiting!

    I don’t worry the solicitor too much, but am now getting frustrated it’s taking so long.

    The Solicitor said the Spanish tax office is now taking over a year. Can you tell me if this is correct please? The property sold is in the region of Torrevieja, Costa Blanca.

    Many thanks,

    Denise

    1. Profile photo of Raymundo Larraín NesbittRaymundo Larraín Nesbitt Post Author

      Morning Denise,

      The deadline is correct. The Tax Office is taking between 15 to 18 months to refund the 3% retention applied to non-residents on account of their CGT liability on selling property in Spain.

      Having said this, you have sold at a loss and seem to be expecting a refund, correct? In my article above, I expressly mention in my conclusion that the Tax Office does not contemplate scenarios of selling “at a loss” and therefore does not refund on such grounds:

      Taxation on Selling Spanish Property – Conclusion

      In my experience the Spanish Tax Office (AEAT) would seem to struggle understanding sellers’ plight on selling at a loss in today’s market. Don’t be surprised if, despite making a loss, you are still found liable to pay CGT by the ‘Agencia Tributaria’. And by the same token buyers are requested extra tax on buying under valued property as I explain in my article La Complementaria or Bargain Hunter Tax; they are two sides of the same coin.

      Why are you so certain you will be refunded on having made a loss? Buyers are also suffering the same problem with la complementaria or bargain-hunter tax on buying BMV (below market value) properties. It is two sides of the same coin.

      Has your lawyer assured you, in writing, you will be refunded on your loss?

      Regards

  18. Marie

    Hello Raymundo

    I bought my house in July 1995 and sold it in May 2015. I am a resident in Spain. Am I right that your aritcle says I must pay 20%. Can you tell me how much I would pay in CG.

    and

    Is there anything I can deduct from the taxes eg mortgage.

    Thank you

    Marie

    1. Profile photo of Raymundo Larraín NesbittRaymundo Larraín Nesbitt Post Author

      Hi Marie,

      The 20% does not apply to you as you are resident in Spain; that’s only for EU/EEA residents as I specify (non-residents). Residents, such as yourself, follow a sliding scale in tranches dependent on the profit made which I do not care to describe above. I cannot really say how much you stand to pay as I would need to ask you a host of questions and calculate your tax liability. Approx:

      CGT liability for profits as resident in 2.015:

      less than €6.000 = 20%
      €6.000 – €50.000 = 22%
      more than €50.000 = 24%

      Yes you can deduct a whole lot of purchase expenses as per my article to mitigate the profit and thus reduce your taxable base or CGT exposure:

      "All expenses incurred on buying a property can be offset, such as:

      • Lawyer’s fees.

      • Notary’s fees.

      • Land Registry’s fees.

      • VAT or Property Transfer Tax (depending on whether you purchased off-plan or resale property).

      • Plusvalía Tax (only if it was agreed the buyer paid it)

      • Estate Agent’s commission (the norm is that a seller pays it but can be agreed otherwise in which case a seller could offset it)."

      You need invoices (with VAT) for all of the above to deduct them.

      Hope that helps and you are welcome.

      Regards

  19. Profile photo of GertrudeGertrude

    Thank you so much for this article! It does really help to understand all the ins and outs of Spanish property sale taxes.

    I have a quick question, though, about the real “Plusvalia Tax”, not the CGT, for non-residents. We bought a house a few years ago in Spain to use as a vacation home, however my husband and I have divorced and neither of us wants to keep the house. We have agreed to sell it below market value to get rid of it fast and split the profit.

    There is a potential buyer interested and we all initially agreed to pay costs and taxes per the law. We were going to proceed but a family member has told us that as non-residents we are not entitled to pay the plusvalía and the buyers and us now have a disagreement on who is responsible for paying the “Plusvalía Tax” (not the CGT). The source of the disagreement relies on the articulo 106.2 de la Ley de Haciendas locales which reads “tendrá la consideración de sujeto pasivo sustituto del contribuyente, la persona física o jurídica que adquiera el terreno, cuando el contribuyente sea una persona física no residente en España”

    We are now really confused as to who is supposed to pay the plusvalía. Could you offer some enlightenment on this matter as we do not understand Spanish or know anything about law. Below is the article.

    Thank you in advance for your help

    Articulo 106.2 de la Ley de Haciendas locales: dispone en los casos de transmisiones onerosas que,“en los supuestos a que se refiere el párrafo b) del apartado anterior (donde habla de las transmisiones onerosas), tendrá la consideración de sujeto pasivo sustituto del contribuyente, la persona física o jurídica, o la entidad a que se refiere el artículo 35.4 de la Ley 58/2003, de 17 de diciembre, General Tributaria, que adquiera el terreno o a cuyo favor se constituya o transmita el derecho real de que se trate, cuando el contribuyente sea una persona física no residente en España“.

    1. Profile photo of Raymundo Larraín NesbittRaymundo Larraín Nesbitt Post Author

      Afternoon Gertrude,

      I can see how it may be a tad confusing.

      Your query is answered on the first line of the above article where it says:

      “However it can be agreed in practice, and frequently is, that a buyer pays for Plusvalía tax.”

      Plusvalia tax is normally borne by a vendor, however in practice it can be agreed a buyer pays for it. That´s what I explain in my article.

      The reference you are making to the LRBRL rules on what is known as the ´sujeto pasivo sustituto´which is fancy name that means that if a non-resident vendor walks away after completion and does not pay for Plusvalia tax then the buyer will be legally forced to pay it (as the non-resident in a plane flying to God knows where).

      In practice, once agreed it is the vendor who is liable for it, the buyer to cover himself will practice a retention at completion before the Notary to ensure the Plusvalia tax obligation is duly met.

      Bottom line, you both need to agree who pays for it. If you don´t pay it, they are legally forced to pay it. But they can avoid this risk by practicing a rentention at completion. If you don´t agree the sale will fall through. In today´s market buyers are a precious commodity.

      Hope that clarifies Gertrude. You are welcome.

      Regards

Leave a Reply