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Have you or someone you know had to pay Spanish non-resident inheritance tax since 2010?

By John Hayward
This article is published on: 11th November 2014

Further to the judgment made by the European Union Court of Justice (ECJ) on 3rd September 2014, that Inheritance and Gift tax rules in Spain were discriminatory between residents and non-residents, several key firms of accountants and lawyers have implied that anyone who has been subject to the higher non-resident rates in the last 4 years could make a claim.

There has not been any formal approval by Spain but proposals are to treat those non-Spanish tax residents living in the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA) as if they lived in one of the autonomous regions of Spain where tax rates tend to be heavily discounted. The region will be determined by where you have spent most time in the last two and a half years or by where the majority of your Spanish assets are situated if you live outside Spain.

Gifts outside the EU or EEA to a Spanish resident could be subject to the rules of the autonomous region where the recipient has his/her residency.

Although the changes have not yet been formally approved, lawyers are submitting tax returns on the basis that the qualifying non-resident will receive the tax advantages of the relevant autonomous region.

This will mean that, for example, children living outside Spain, inheriting from parents in Spain, will no longer have the much higher (generally) “National” Spanish taxes to pay. Parents will be able to gift property to their children without necessarily needing to make expensive tax avoidable arrangements.

However, not all autonomous regions are so generous with their discounts. Whereas Valencia offers very large discounts to all direct family members, Murcia, next door, only offers significant discounts to those under 21. Also, there are limits on discounts in most, if not all, regions and so they may not cover all of the assets. Therefore it is extremely important to have assets positioned in the most tax efficient manner. This needs to be legal as well.

How can we help?

1/ If you or someone you know has paid inheritance tax on money from an EU or EEA resident who has died in the last 4 years, you may be able to make a reclaim. We have lawyers who can help with this on a no win, no fee, basis. (We are not tax advisers)

2/ We are experienced in helping you arrange your finances in a Spanish tax compliant manner, helping you and your loved ones to reduce the impact of Spanish taxation.

Article by John Hayward

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