Lawyers in 45 Offices Across Spain
Inheritance Law by Region
- Inheritance Law Alicante
- Inheritance Law Andalucia
- Inheritance Law Canaries
- Inheritance Law Cantabria
- Inheritance Law Cast.La Man.
- Inheritance Law CastillaLeon
- Inheritance Law Cataluña
- Inheritance Law Galicia
- Inheritance Law Cataluña
- Inheritance Law Madrid
- Inheritance Law Murcia
If you are reading this then you have probably received an
inheritance in Spain.
Or possibly you own assets in Spain and are concerned about
how much of your estate will be gobbled-up in taxes, charges
and legal costs.
The first piece of advice is:
Many scare stories are written about Spanish inheritance tax which are either untrue or simply don't apply to most of us.
Nevertheless, there are ways that you can reduce the costs associated with claiming an inheritance in Spain. Below you will discover 8 tips that will go a long way to ensuring you pay as little as possible.
Please note that you can arrange a full inheritance tax service
via our network of independent lawyers in Spain.
We also provide a very convenient and cost effective method
of incorporating the following tax-saving ideas by providing
service that allows you to maximise savings to
potential inheritance tax liability.
1. Do I need to be in Spain to handle an inheritance?
No. One possible way to reduce expense is to manage the inheritance remotely. By signing a power of attorney you can have your solicitor manage the documentation in Spain and facilitate transfer of the assets to the beneficiaries.
The power is created in both
English and Spanish and needs to be legalised in the country
where you are located before it can be used in Spain.
2. Are there any simple ways to reduce the tax?
If there is a mortgage on any
inherited property this can be deducted from it's total
value before reaching the taxable value. Any other
quantifiable legal debt likewise may be deducted
from the value of the estate.
While not appropriate for everyone, in general, bequeathing the estate to as many beneficiaries as possible is sensible as each one has an exemption (Approx. €15,000) that can be used to reduce the taxable value.
Leaving a life interest instead of the full
interest in the estate can reduce tax substantially also.
3. Is it possible to claim back inheritance?
Currently actions are being filed for the
return of taxes against Hacienda and the Spanish
government on behalf of those non-residents in Spain who
have paid inheritance taxes on the basis of discriminatory treatment.
To be added to the list is free on a
no-win-no-fee basis. Please contact usfor more
information on how to join the list.
4. Are there fines or surcharges for late payment?
Spanish law stipulates that any taxes due on an inheritance
must be paid within six
months of the date registered on the death
certificate. If this is not complied with then penalties are
charged and interest begins to accrue. The surcharges
applied are as follows:
• 3 months after the deadline: 5% surcharge
• 6 months after the deadline: 10% surcharge
• 12 months after the deadline: 15% surcharge
• Over 12
months since the deadline: 20% surcharge.
In the first three
scenarios, the surcharge is a percentage of the amount
payable alone. In the last scenario where 12 months have
elapsed since the deadline, interest also becomes payable,
currently at a rate of 4.75%.
You would obviously be well
advised to act quickly enough to avoid the surcharges and
fines becoming payable.
5. What if I am unable to pay the tax?
If you are unable to
pay the tax initially then one option to avoid surcharges
would be to defer the payment. The rules may be summarised
You may opt to delay payment of the tax or to pay in
instalments if a request has been submitted within the
correct time-frame (six months from date on death
• In general, approval of a request to delay or pay the tax in instalments will incur a levy for legal interest
• The deadline for making an application to delay or pay in instalments is six months from the date of death of the testator.
• For requests of a delay of a year or less in payment of the tax it is required that the request has been made within the allowed time period and that there are not sufficient liquid assets to pay the tax
• For requests to pay instalments over five years in addition to the rules regarding requests for a delay of one year, it is additionally required that a guarantee that covers 125% of the amount of the tax and interest payable.
6. Will I lose an inherited property if I cannot pay inheritance taxes due?
A major fear that beneficiaries
can have is that, should they be unable to pay the tax on
the inheritance of a property in Spain, that they may lose
the property. This is not the case though complications
For example, it is certainly not
possible to sell a property until any inheritance taxes
that are due have been paid.
Often the solution here can be to arrange for the lawyer to prepare the inheritance tax papers and wait until a suitable buyer appears. In such cases, the taxes and legal costs can often be dealt with by using the deposit transferred to purchase the property.
7. Do I still pay taxes if I
inherit the family home?
If the property was the habitual
home of the deceased then a special tax exemption exists
for close family members. The exemption is currently worth
approximately €122,000 or up to 95% of the value of
There are strict rules governing
what constitutes 'habitual' residence and the property may
not then be re-sold for a period of 10 years.
8. My partner and I are not married. Can we benefit from inheritance tax exemptions?
This problem can be avoided in a
number of regions by registering as a 'pareja de hecho'
(common law couple) in the relevant local registry and
which henceforth permits the partner to benefit from
typical spousal tax advantages.
Need Advice on A Spanish Inheritance?
Our lawyers are located
throughout Spain and are able to provide assistance from
simple legal advice through to a complete inheritance
service including payment of inheritance taxes and
vesting of asset titles in new owners.
You can find more information on the individual law firms by going to our: lawyer locator section.
How to contact myAdvocate
You can contact our English-speaking team for more information on this service as well as to obtain a lawyer fact sheet that provides information on the lawyers that provide the service by telephone, Skype , email or instant chat.
What Clients Are Saying About Us
"Very happy overall. Far cheaper than the other quotations I got to do the same work."
P. Higgins, Newcastle
"Happy with the service. Was good to see that the price included the power of attorney and the other documents we needed. "
S. James, Leicester
"As we don't live close to the lawyers offices we signed the deed at a notary close to Alicante airport which was convenient as well as the price being very reasonable."
N. & J Ainsley, Middlesborough
"We made joint wills and it is just a relief to know that we will lose very little to inheritance tax. That had been a big worry for us."
R Kinley, Surrey
"Getting a version of the will in English and Spanish was great and also the advice from our lawyer was very helpful."
M Brennan, Hull