Brussels ultimatum to Spain: Stop fiscal discrimination against expat residents

EU expat resident homeowners in Spain don’t get the same tax breaks as Spaniards when they change home, which is against EU laws.

Spanish residents who sell their principal home and reinvest the proceeds in another one pay no capital gains tax, but expat residents homeowners from the EU who do exactly the same don’t get the same tax break – a clear case of fiscal discrimination in contravention of EU laws.

Spain has been warned about fiscal discrimination before, but now Brussels has lost its patience and given Spain an ultimatum of two months to rectify the law or be taken to the European Court of Justice.

The EU says the current situation is “incompatible with the fundamental rights established by EU treaties.”

The Spanish Government has until December to change the law.

SPI Member Comments

Thoughts on “Brussels ultimatum to Spain: Stop fiscal discrimination against expat residents

  • Is this the same tax law that requires a 3% CGT retention which the Spanish Tax authorities will not refund for up to 6 years?

    Is there anything we can do to receive have this retention refunded?

  • Antoina and Amanda. according to EU law the rule is valid in the whole of EU + EEA if the reinvestment is made within 36 months. Spain is going to loose if it comes up i the EU court.

  • Lionel Westell says:

    Well, during my years running an agency and Gestoria we found no problem with Expats with Spanish residency permits. They were treated as Spanish national residents, paying no capital gains tax. If however they could not prove residency they were asked to pay tax ( 7%, it may be more now). This at time of sale in front of Notary. It may also be that most resident expats do not fill in any tax declarations at all so as the tax authorities are not aware of them no further tax is asked for. Others, as pensioners, often fall below the amount earned needed to declare income. An interesting case, the outcome will show all.

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