Dear Mr. X,
The Capital Gains Tax in Spain, for non residents, is 35% on the gain, to explain what is exactly the net gain in this forum would be rather long.
The 5% retention on the price, applied when you sell before the notary, is just a guarantee for the Spanish Government that the non resident is going to pay the Capital Gains Tax. This rule had to be implemented few years ago due to the fact that many british (and other europeans) people went away without paying their taxes to the Spanish Tax office after selling their property.
If the 35% tax is higher than the retention then you are obligued to pay the extra on top, now the tax offices in the European Union are more linked and in more cooperation. If you think that you can get away without paying the taxes in Spain you risk a nusty surprise back home….
Finally let me tell you: you can not pretend to come to Spain to live, even part of the year and not contribute for the maintenance of our roads, hospitals, airports, etc, etc.
Jose Maria Sánchez Alfonso
Abogado / Lawyer
Málaga / Costa del Sol
If you are a non resident and buy a house in Spain for 100,000 euros basic price you then have to pay tax at 7% making 107,000 euros plus lawyers fees and notaries etc which amount to another 3% making the total price you actually pay 110,000euros. If you sell your house for 150,000 euros is the capital gain the difference between 100,000euros and 150,000 euros ie 50,000 euros or is the differenc between total buying price 110,000 euros and the selling price of 150,000 euros ie 40,000 euros which would of course mean paying less capital gains. Are there any other things you can claim for when trying to lower the amount of capital gains tax to be paid like applying the cost of furniture if you sell fully furnished.