Spain Explained

Calculating capital gains tax in Spain when selling your property

Capital gains tax is applied in most countries and Spain is no exception. Essentially, capital gains tax is a levy imposed on the sale of a non-inventory asset, that is, a capital asset that’s not likely to be liquidated into cash within a year. The most common capital gains are profits earned from the sale of stocks, bonds, and property. Exactly when and what you have to pay varies from country to country, depending on your residential status. However, capital gains tax in Spain is paid on the profit you make from all property sales, whether you are a resident or not.

In this article, we discuss calculating capital gains tax in Spain, so you can get an idea of what you may owe. However, we would like to remind you that taxation in Spain can be complicated and you could be subject to fines or penalties if you miss a deadline or don’t do your taxes properly. Advisably, you should seek fiscal advice from an expert to avoid possible complications.

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Working out capital gains tax in Spain

Capital gains tax in Spain for non-residents

Unusually, capital gains tax in Spain is simpler for non-residents than residents. For non-residents, the Spanish capital gains tax is a flat rate of 19% on profits made on the sale of a home. However, calculating capital gains tax is a little more complex than merely working out 19% of the sale price. Instead, you need to calculate the following:

  1. The true purchase price:
    • This will be calculated from the purchase price (as written on the Title Deed) with plus some costs incurred during the purchase, including VAT, Land Registry fees, Notary fees, Transmission tax and legal fees.
  2. The final sale figure
    • This will be calculated from the current selling price, less the costs incurred during the sale. For instance, this would include your legal fees. Some costs of major structural alterations made to the property can also be deducted. However, you will need to be able to produce the official receipts for the materials and work involved. If you have made alterations to your property and you have not included these in your Title Deed, this needs to be rectified at the point of sale.

Finally, we can calculate:

  • Final sale figure – true purchase price = net profit

The amount of capital gains tax you owe will be deducted from the net profit. 

Capital gains tax in Spain for residents

In contrast, if you are resident in Spain, the amount of capital gains tax you pay is incremental. Remember, you are considered a tax resident in Spain if you reside in the country for more than 183 days per year. 

Therefore, as a resident, the Spanish capital gains tax you owe will be: 

  • 19% for the first €6,000 profit
  • From €6,000 to €50,000, the tax percentage is 21%
  • From €50,000 upwards, it’s 23%
ProfitUp to €6,000From €6,000 to €50,000More than €50,000
Tax19%21%23%

Remember, if you are unsure about your capital gains tax obligations, consult with an expert. It is not advisable to follow online routes involving a tax calculator – Spain has some complex bureaucratic systems. Furthermore, CGT is a further levy applied on regular income tax in Spain so an income tax calculator may be incorrect.

Residents selling their home in the UK

In Spain, as in many European countries, you are liable for tax on your global income. If you are a resident in Spain and sell your property in the UK, then you are also liable to pay capital gains tax in Spain. You must declare the income from the sale on your annual resident tax declaration. However, it is important to remember that this declaration covers the previous year. Therefore, if you sold your house in May 2019 you would declare it in June 2020 and not in that year’s declaration.

Furthermore, the Autumn 2018 budget introduced changes to capital gains tax in the UK. Currently, you don’t have to pay capital gains tax on your main home. However, now you need to pay capital gains tax on second homes and buy to let properties. In the UK, you pay a higher rate of capital gains tax on property than other assets. Basic-rate taxpayers pay 18%, while higher band taxpayers pay 28%. However, all taxpayers have an annual CGT allowance, which means they can earn a certain amount tax-free. In 2019-20, capital gains of up to £12,000 are tax-free. 

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Seek expert advice on your taxes

Taxation is complex, especially if you live in a foreign country or own a second home. Don’t be tempted to turn to an online Spanish property tax calculator – the system can be complicated. Instead, seek expert advice on your taxes from a qualified professional. At Ábaco Advisers, we have extensive experience helping foreign nationals navigate the tax system in Spain and how it interacts with their tax obligations at home. For more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’ll offer a first free consultation.

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40 comments

Sarah

17 August, 2015 7:59 pm

If I sell my property at less
If I sell my property at less than the value estimated by the valor catastral, am I required to pay tax on the actual selling amount or the amount estimated by the valor catastral?

For example, according to the valor catastral, I am expected to sell the property for 77,000 Euros but I am going to sell it for 50,000 Euros. Do I pay capital gains tax on 77,000 or 50,000??

Suzanne O'Connell

17 September, 2015 8:07 am

Dear Sarah

Dear Sarah

You must pay CGT on the difference between the purchase price (plus the purchase costs) and the selling price (minus the costs of selling). It has nothing to do with the Valor Catastral. However, if you sell for less value than the Valor Catastral, the buyer could be liable for a complementary tax as the authorities could make an inspection.  

ronald laing

18 September, 2017 6:52 pm

I am selling my Spanish
I am selling my Spanish holiday home for 132000 euros, my partner and I bought it in 2005 for 72000 euros my partner died in 2015 an I inherited his alf of the proerty and paid the requisite taxes how much would I pay in capital gains from the sale
kind regards
R

Suzanne O'Connell

20 September, 2017 9:13 am

Hi Ronald

Hi Ronald

Thank you for getting in touch. The answer to your question depends on the declared value of the property that is included in the inheritance deed.  

David .

10 February, 2019 9:21 pm

I purchased my holiday
I purchased my holiday apartment in Tenerife in 2004 for Euro 190,000 and sold it in December18 for Euro 140,000 . Will I be subject to payment of any Capital Gains Tax ? . I was a none resident during this time and only used my apartment during UK winter months .

Suzanne O'Connell

13 February, 2019 11:03 am

Hi David

Hi David

There would have been a retention of 3% . As the purchase price was higher than the sale you can reclaim the 3% paid to the tax office which should be done in 3 months of the sale without incurring a fine. 

Arthur Chamberlain

6 March, 2019 9:13 am

Hi,
Hi,
I have read somewhere that as Pensioners (Resident) for more than five years,we are not liable for CGT Fiscal.
Can you confirm that this is true and if so could you confirm in Spanish please.
Thank you
Arthur Chamberlain

Suzanne O'Connell

12 March, 2019 12:22 pm

Hi Arthur

Hi Arthur

If you are a resident over the age of 65 and the property to be sold is your residential home that you are living in and you have been a tax resident for 3 years then you are exempt. 

Roger Perks

26 October, 2019 11:52 am

Does the length of time you have owned the property in Spain effect the CGT.? My wife and I are both in our eighties, non resident, and have owned our apartment for 17 years.

Oscar Paoli

28 October, 2019 12:13 pm

Hi Roger,
It is directly affected if you purchased your property before December 31st 1994.
Indirectly if can be affected with the plusvalía tax which is charged by the townhall on the increase of value of the property is sold. This plusvalía tax ususally increases with each year and as you may deduct this tax from the Capital Gains Tax you can decrease the tax to pay as you have already paid this other tax.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Cristian

4 November, 2019 5:27 pm

What if you are resident in both Spain and another EU country and gift a property to a relative, resident where the property is in. i.e. not in Spain.

Is this still liable for any Spanish taxes considering that you would pay taxes in the country that the property is located?

Oscar Paoli

4 November, 2019 5:46 pm

Hello Cristian,
Thanks for contacting us. You will have to be tax resident in on of the EU countries and you will then have to pay taxes regarding the tax regulations of the country you are a tax resident.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Jankel

21 November, 2019 2:29 am

Miriam I havent understood this…..Hi Roger,
It is directly affected if you purchased your property before December 31st 1994.
Indirectly if can be affected with the plusvalía tax which is charged by the townhall on the increase of value of the property is sold. This plusvalía tax ususally increases with each year and as you may deduct this tax from the Capital Gains Tax you can decrease the tax to pay as you have already paid this other tax.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers
I bought in May 1983, and in 1985 built a house but all that was in convertible Ptas. Now in 2019 I sold for 223,000 Euros (the Land only as I demolished the subsidence ridden house before) and paid 3% about say 7,000, but the PlusValia Municipal is 36,000 Euros. Are you saying that there is a reduction somewhere? I am non resident. Do I pay more CGT than the 3%? How can it be worked out? The Catastral value was 300,000.

Oscar Paoli

21 November, 2019 12:36 pm

Hi,
Thank you for your message, to be able to give you an exact answer we would need to see the actual paperwork to be able to give you more and detailed information.
You are welcome to book an appointment by phone at +34 966 703 750 or via email at info@abacoadvisers.com
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Alex

29 December, 2019 1:13 pm

I have lived and worked in Tenerife for over 5 years and now face Divorce proceedings in the uk. My partner remained, in the maternal home and it is now to be sold and any monies from the sale is to be divided between us both.. Would my money due to me be liable for capital gains tax in Tenerife.

Oscar Paoli

31 December, 2019 12:43 pm

Hi Alex,

If there has been any Capital Gain on the sale of the share in the property yes there would be Tax to pay.

With kind regards,

Ábaco Advisers

Mark Jones

2 January, 2020 5:49 pm

I’m a UK resident, but plan to spend six months a year in Spain post Brexit. My son is resident in Spain,but only 23
years old, and at present a student. I understand that being resident in Spain ,one is liable for assets outside of Spain. If I give him £100000 in the UK to buy himself a small place in Andalusia ,will he have to pay Spanish taxes?
Many thanks!

Oscar Paoli

3 January, 2020 3:12 pm

Hi Mark,
If your son is resident in Spain he will have to pay taxes in Spain, specially if he works and if he owns a property in Spain. He will also have to declare that donation he receives from you in the UK.
Should you have further queries please contact us at info@abacoadvisers.com
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Jim S

20 January, 2020 3:28 pm

I’ve sold my appartment bought in 1993 and have made a profit- I’m a UK resident. and never took any rental income. There has been a 3% retention on the sale price and I’m now unsure of what to do next. Do I need to show the gain on my UK tax reurn?

Oscar Paoli

21 January, 2020 12:46 pm

Hi Jim,
With three months of the sale you should present the Capital Gains Tax Declaration 210H to declare the sale and either apply for a refund of the 3% deposit if there is no gain made or if the 3% does not cover the full amount of Tax to pay then pay the balance.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Paul Edwards

31 January, 2020 11:07 am

I sold my large house in fuengirola in 2006 for 220,000e

My gestor has been with us for years and she is strictly legal. She want to the notary with us. I’m sure that she made me pay the 3% retention and the notary fee.

I moved to start a teacher job in Thailand urgently within 3 days. I had no other house to sell in uk or Spain. I still had my nie and my residecia,

Now I wish to return to Spain to buy or rent.

Because of the hurry to get my job, I probably paid no CGT. Is this possible? Is there’re an expiry for CGT? Or a fine now? Or does it expire. I will be 65 in 4 months. What do u advise? Renting? I have not asked this until now.

Oscar Paoli

7 February, 2020 12:28 am

Hello there,

It is possible that the 210 / H was never presented, but you will have to confirm it with your earlier gestor.
If tis happened in 2006 this will have expired by now, it has been a long time since then.

You mention that you still had your residencia, if you also had a fiscal residency in Spain that 3 % should never had been retained. We recommend you check this as well with your legal gestor from the past.

With kind regards,

Ábaco Advisers

Ciprian

28 February, 2020 9:26 pm

Hi, I own property across countries in EU. I’m thinking of buying a house in Spain and live there a few month a year. I will not work there, etc. Will I be in danger to have to pay tax in Spain for any property I sell in other countries in the future?

Oscar Paoli

4 March, 2020 3:42 pm

Hello,
As long as you are not resident in Spain you will not have to declare anything that you sell in other countries. As non-resident in Spain and selling a home in a different country you will have to check directly taxes to be paid in that country and the country that you are a tax resident.
Kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Dino Discenza

9 April, 2020 11:34 am

I live in the UK my main residence, I own a home in Catalunya (since 2003 -with a mortgage) rented out since 2014 to date. I am 62 yrs (04/02/58) my plan is to sell my UK home when I hit 65, sell my Spanish property also at 65, my wife of 30 yrs and myself will then retire to South of France at 65/66 yrs old, in addition my wife (police officer 28/01/66) retires in 2/3 years, but would like to obtain a mortgage on our new French property before retirement, and pay the mortgage off once the UK & Spanish properties are SOLD. I agree a little complicated. My questions are. Can you represent us on all matters and potential costs + How do I reduce my CGT in Spain when I sell the property at 65 /66 yrs old, although I am non resident and it is not my habitual home, but I have been visiting since 2013 for approx. 3 months each year NOT 181 days?. I thank you very much indeed for your reply, one added bit of info, our beautiful detached property in 2016/17 after renting through an agency destroyed all the furniture & air conditioning value approx. 15k of furniture, my insurance did not cover rental damage ( it now does) we received a compensory figure of 2100 euros by my Insurance company BBVA, would the loss of our expenditure of 15k be able to be included in calculations? Best regards Dino Discenza

Oscar Paoli

21 April, 2020 4:12 pm

Hello there,
We could assist you with all Spanish matters of the sale of your Spanish property.
As non-residente there is not much we can do to reduce your CGT unfortunately and you will not be able to include the loss of your expenditure. Sorry for the inconvenience.
If you wish further assistance please contact us at info@abacoadvisers.com
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

gillian Hewitt

3 June, 2020 7:53 pm

In 1979 my Mother bought an apartment in Benalmadena. The cost to her was £16,500. In May, 2019, I sold the apartment for 153,000 Euros. After all deductions were taken, fees, plus valia, retention of 3% etc., I was left with 132,000 euros. The majority of the money was transferred to my UK bank accounts in June, 2019. I understand that, as I have brought the money into the UK, there will be some UK capital gains tax to pay on this, and that money is due to HMRC in the current tax year, April 2020 to April 2021. Can you advise me how this tax will be calculated, given that it has gone from euros to GBP? Will I need to find out what the rate of euro to GBP rate was on the date or dates of the money transfers?

Oscar Paoli

4 June, 2020 11:06 pm

Hi Gillian,
Sorry not being able to assist you on how the capital tax is calculated in the UK, we recommend checking this with a local advisor home in the UK.
Regarding how to find the exchange rate for a certain date you can do so on sites like the following:

https://www.xe.com/

https://fxtop.com/en/historical-currency-converter.php

With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Anne Foster

4 June, 2020 9:35 am

As a UK resident-
If I sell my UK property – fly to Spain and rent for 3 or 4 months – apply for residencia – then buy a villa in Spain. Will we be subject to Spanish CGT on the profits made from the house sale in the UK?
Thank you.

Oscar Paoli

5 June, 2020 7:29 am

Hi Anne,
If the property is sold in the same year and you are a Tax Resident here then yes you would have CGT, it is preferable to sell the proeprty the year before you come to Spain.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Nik

16 June, 2020 4:59 pm

Hello,
I purchased a home in Spain 9 years ago and my ex (resident) and I are both on the escritora. I just read that I should have declared the home as a non-resident and paid a tax. Can I go back and pay the years I missed? I am putting the house on the market and don’t want any surprises later after I sell the house.
Your guide had been very helpful, thank you.
Nik

Oscar Paoli

16 June, 2020 10:11 pm

Hi Nik,

If you did not pay any resident or non-resident income taxes in Spain for the past years, you can of course go ahead and get your tax affairs in order.

Should you need any assistance please do not hesitate to contact us at: info@abacoadvisers.com

Kind regards,

Ábaco Advisers

frederick

7 July, 2020 5:26 pm

I am selling an apartment which has been my main residence for 5 years,and moving to another property in spain which I own.Will I have to pay c.g.t. on the sale?.I am 76 years old and resident for 15 years. thank you for your kind attention.

Oscar Paoli

9 July, 2020 9:51 am

Hi Fredrick,
Unless the legislation changes If you have owned the property for over 3 years as a tax Resident and it is your main residence during all this period at the time of sale and over 65 no Capital Gains Tax to pay.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Michael Topham

20 July, 2020 9:39 am

Hi, myself my wife and daughter want to move to Spain before the December deadline.
We own and want to sell our only home in the uk.
Are we liable to capital gains tax in Spain if
We sell it this year and move to Spain becoming residents before December. Or
We achieve residency before December, then sell it or
We sell before or after December and file the paperwork for residency but don’t complete till 2021.
To complicate things more we might purchase a property or rent in Spain and this might have to be done before December to comply with the right to gain residency prior to the December withdrawal time scale.
Thanks Mike

Oscar Paoli

23 July, 2020 9:23 pm

Hi Michael,

Provided that the property is sold prior to the end of the year and you have not been in Spain for over 183 days you are not a Tax Resident for the year and the property would come under British regulations only, if you have been in the Country for over 183 days even if you did not apply for the Resident Document then this would come under possible Spanish legislation. However if you sell the property next year and have Resident Status here then it would be liable for Capital Gains Tax.

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any further queries.

With kind regards,

Ábaco Advisers

stephen

30 July, 2020 1:20 pm

I have just built a new house on the costa blanca. I have to put a value on the house for the escritura. The architects value if far lower than what i paid the Builder. Should i register the lower value and pay 1.5% or register a value more in line with the true value?
Also when i sell this house(not in the foreseeable future) if i use the money to but another house as our main residence, does this not exempt us from capital gains? We are Spanish residents.

Oscar Paoli

31 July, 2020 3:44 pm

Hi Stephen,

It is always convenient to put a value closer to the price paid to the builder specially if you would like to sell the property in a close period of time as you could be affected by a high capital gains tax should you sell with a big profit.

If you sell the property as a resident in Spain, you are over the age of 65, the property you are selling has been your permanent home for at least the past three years there will be no capital gains tax. Should you be under the age of 65 and invest all the profits in a new purchase then no capital gains will be paid either.

With kind regards,

Ábaco Advisers

Helen

4 August, 2020 1:28 pm

We purchased a property off plan in 2005 for 160,000 euro’s and are putting it on the market for 135,000. If we are successful with the sale and this amount, how much tax will we pay?

Oscar Paoli

4 August, 2020 9:24 pm

Hi Helen,
Thank you for contactins us, we would need some more information to calculate other taxes like the Plusvalía tax at the sale of your property, but regarding the Capital Gains Tax as you are selling with a loss, you will not pay any capital gains tax.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers