The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has taken a bold step in ruling that Spain’s current inheritance tax rules for non-residents are void for being discriminatory. Prior to the ECJ’s decision, non-residents often found themselves liable to pay more in inheritance tax to the Spanish authorities than their resident counterparts. The ECJ ruling follows on from a formal request from the European Commission in 2010 for Spain to end its discriminatory Inheritance Tax practices, as they went against EU non-discriminatory provisions.
Anyone in the history of home ownership will tell you that investing in bricks and mortar is a stressful business. If you are looking to buy a property in Spain you may think that the romantic sheen of spending the rest of your days in the likes of the Costa del Sol will take the edge off making such a huge financial commitment, but don’t be fooled. The Spanish property market is a tricky maze to navigate unaided. Without independent specialist Spanish legal advice to guide you through its varying twists and turns you could see your dream purchase turning into a nightmare of epic proportions.
So you have decided to buy a property in Spain and you are trawling the internet and every other source of information you can lay your hands on to be certain that the decisions you are taking and the moves you are making are not going to get you into difficulty. You want a stress free purchase without any surprises, and you do not want to incur any unnecessary expenses. Jonathan Eshkeri, Director of E&G Solicitors in Spain, is an English solicitor and a Spanish lawyer. These are his ten top tips for buying property in Spain.
New laws introduced in Spain in 2013 make it possible for non-EU nationals to obtain a Spanish Residence Visa and subsequently a Residence Permit provided they make a significant investment in Spanish real estate and provide certain documentation. This is known as the Spanish Golden Visa. Here we guide you through the legal requirements.
Before you pack your bags to enjoy your retirement in sunny Spain, it's important that you have full information on the potential pitfalls and costs which you may encounter.
It is not always the fulfillment of a lifelong dream to live in a sunny climate by the sea that leads people to move to the Spanish coast when they retire. In many cases Spain is considered to be the most affordable option, in terms of property prices, heating bills, grocery shopping and things to do in the great outdoors.
Recovering assets in Spain can be a daunting prospect at the best of times. First of all you must navigate the complexities of working a different jurisdiction with a different legal system and a different working culture. Secondly you have the added difficulty of tracing and securing an asset that the debtor may not wish to be found.
As specialists in tracing and recovering assets in Spain there are very few scenarios we have not encountered at E&G Solicitors in Spain.
We recently assisted the Trustee in Bankruptcy in relation to the realisation of an asset in Spain. The case provides a good example of the work involved in asset recovery as it relates to bankruptcy and property owned by the bankrupt in Spain.
In late 2012, as we reported, the Spanish tax agency announced a tax amnesty allowing Spanish residents to declare any assets held in their name, and to pay tax at 10% of the amount declared. The end result was that less than half of the government estimate of 2.5 billion Euros was raised. On 31 October 2012 new legislation came into force in Spain with the specific aim of combatting tax fraud.
The new legislation facilitates communication between the Spanish tax agency and tax authorities throughout the world. It also requires all companies and individuals considered to be tax resident in Spain to declare all moveable and immoveable assets either owned by them, or within their control, situated either within or outside of Spain.
If you or your clients are subject to Spanish taxes, 30 November 2012 is the final date for declaring as yet undeclared rights, assets or income under the Spanish government tax amnesty.
As a direct result of the economic downturn many UK nationals who purchased property in Spain have been unable to keep up the mortgage repayments. In many cases there is no hope that the property owners will ever be able to repay the mortgage debt that they owe. In these cases, voluntary repossession may be an avenue to consider.
If you live in the UK and own property in Spain it is advisable that you have a Spanish Will as well as a Will dealing with your UK assets. Here we will guide you through the reasons why British nationals make Spanish Wills and the procedures you must follow in order to do so.
The best reason to make a Spanish Will is that it will make it much easier to administer your Spanish estate upon your death. In fact a well drafted English Will can have the same results, but if you have the option it is always better to deal with your Spanish assets in a Spanish Will.
Our concerns about buying a property in Spain were not being able to speak the language or understand Spanish law. E&G Solicitors in Spain were fantastic - highly professional and knowledgeable! They explained everything clearly and took control of the process, with very little intervention required by us. The teams in both Spain and the UK worked very well with each other.