Selling property in Spain? In this taxation article we explain how our law firm can assist you bring down your seller’s taxes significantly, even negating them.
Marbella-based Larrain Nesbitt Lawyers has over 16 year’s taxation & conveyancing experience at your service. Our team of native English-speaking lawyers and economists have a long track record successfully assisting expats all over Spain. You can review here our client’s testimonials.
The following article has been summarised to avoid unnecessary tax technicalities. The quoted tax rates are subject to change from one year to the next. Seek professional legal advice on your matter – see disclaimer below.
Article copyrighted © 2019. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.
By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Director of Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers
8th of May 2019
Congratulations, you have found a buyer for your Spanish property!
On selling property in Spain, you are liable for two taxes: plusvalia and capital gains tax (CGT, for short). For a more detailed take on both, please read our in-depth tax article: Taxes on Selling Spanish Property.
In this short article, we will focus on four strategies to mitigate a seller’s exposure to CGT; which range from completely negating it, to reducing it significantly.
Four strategies to mitigate a seller’s CGT liability
- Absolute relief
All tax residents over 65-years-old are exempt from paying CGT on selling their main abode (vivienda habitual, in Spanish legal jargon).
- Rollover relief
Any resident seller under 65-years-old is exempt from paying CGT on selling their main home providing the following conditions are met:
- Seller is under sixty-five year-old.
- Seller is (tax) resident in Spain.
- Dwelling must be his main home (main abode and must have dwelled in it permanently for the 3 previous years). It may be less than three years under exceptional circumstances i.e. job change, marriage or separation.
- Sales proceeds are reinvested in a new main home (in Spain or else in the EEA/EU, including the United Kingdom in a pre‐Brexit world). Any sales proceeds not reinvested will be taxed pro rata.
- 2‐year deadline to reinvest the sales proceeds (on a new main home).
- Pension annuities
This third tax relief is in addition to the above two main home tax reliefs. Applies to residents.
Any capital gains made by resident taxpayers over 65-years-old will go untaxed provided the following are met:
- Sales proceeds reinvested in pension annuities.
- Capped at €240,000.
- Six-month deadline as from sale.
- Traditional method
Your lawyer can offset from your CGT liability on selling, all expenses that went towards buying the property plus any refurbishment costs, provided you have VAT invoices to back them up. Applies to both residents and non-residents.
- Lawyer’s fees (on buying).
- Notary fees (on buying).
- Land Registry fees (on buying).
- Taxes (on buying).
- All property-related improvements (not maintenance costs) i.e. glass curtains, refitted kitchen, roof retiling, wood flooring, A/C installation, house alarm etc.
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Article also published in Larraín Nesbitt Abogados: Capital gains tax mitigation on selling property in Spain
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- How to Buy Property in Spain Safely – 10th October 2014
- House Hunting in Spain – Interview with The New York Times. June 2015
- Buying Property in Spain – 10 reasons to hire a Lawyer – 8th November 2016
- Selling Property in Spain – 10 Reasons to Hire a Lawyer – 8th December 2016
- Buying Property in Spain from a Private Seller (Resale Property) – 21st of February 2017
- Buying Property in Spain from a Developer (Off-Plan Property) – 8th March 2017
- How to inspect an off-plan property overseas – Q&A with The Sunday Times. July 2017
- 8 Tips on Buying Off-Plan in Spain – The Address Magazine (pages 358 – 373). December 2018
- 7 reasons on why you need legal representation on selling in Spain – 7th March 2018
- Home Seller’s Checklist – 11th September 2018
- Save taxes on selling your Spanish home!– 1st March 2019
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.
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