Spain Explained

Find out more about non-resident property taxes

Do you know what you’re getting for Christmas? Is it a present you’ve already asked for, some money, or will it be a surprise? People seem to fall into two groups when it comes to Christmas surprises. Those who seek out their presents, feel the package and take a peek and those whose worst nightmare is to accidentally discover what Santa’s bringing them.

I come into the second group. I knew exactly where my parents hid my presents. I knew they didn’t wrap them up. I never once took a look. Why spoil Christmas morning? I also know people, however, who simply cannot resist. It’s a challenge for them and if they know where to look (or even if they don’t) they will.

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In my opinion when it comes to Christmas, ignorance is bliss. However, it’s a principle that I don’t generally apply to most other areas of life. Knowledge is good, information is important. You need to understand the way things work and why things happen as they do to get the best benefits from them, and to avoid mistakes.

There are lots of examples of this when it comes to legal and fiscal matters. For example, if you know something about inheritance law in Spain, or at least take advice from a lawyer, then it can help you to bequeath your property in such a way that less inheritance tax has to be paid by your inheritors.

Having the right information is particularly important when it comes to taxes in Spain. There are two main reasons for this. The first is that you won’t necessarily be told about them. When you bought your Spanish property you might have been informed that you should pay two non-resident property taxes. Chances are that you weren’t though.

The second reason is that taxes here don’t go away, they have a nasty habit of popping up in the most unlikely of places. For example, when you are just about to sell your property, the spectre of unpaid Spanish property taxes can delay your quick sale.

We know that it’s not easy to get the correct information about non-resident property taxes if you do not have a fiscal representative. You cannot rely on the bar room chit chat and the local ‘expert’ is likely to be anything but. That’s why we’ve produced our handbook, ‘All you need to know about non-resident property taxes in Spain’.

It’s a free publication that includes information and advice in clear, concise language. It clarifies:

·      who is a resident and who is a non-resident

·      what property taxes you have to pay

·      how to pay them

·      what happens if you don’t pay

·      how the Spanish Tax Authority track tax evaders

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We’ve produced it now because it is a crucial time of year if you are a non-resident property owner. The 31st December is the deadline for the submission of your annual non-resident tax declaration. Don’t know what this is? In that case you are definitely in need of a free copy of our handbook. After all, when it comes taxes – ignorance is not bliss.

To download our free handbook, ‘All you need to know about non-resident property taxes in Spain’ click here.

To help navigate the bureaucracy of the Spanish tax system, our dedicated advisers are on hand to help at every step of the way. Contact us and we will offer you a free consultation without obligation.

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2 comments

michael davidson

6 June, 2018 4:31 pm

if i puchase in spain a
if i puchase in spain a property but live there less than 183 days of the year but do not rent it out what are the taxes i will have to pay was told it was the suma council tax and community fees if any and the tax would be approx 60 to 100 euros per annum is this about right as have not got the right answer yet hoping for your response michael

Suzanne O'Connell

13 June, 2018 12:38 pm

Hi Michael

Hi Michael

For non-residents, the property is not considered their principal residence but one they could let for income- whether they do or not is immaterial. This is therefore a 'notional' tax that is replaced by actual income tax where the property is actually rented out. 

Two per cent of the official rateable value revised before 2005 (valor catastral) or 1.1% of the revised rateable value (after January 2005) (as applicable) of the property is attributed as "income" and this figure is taxed at various percentages. Note that if the rateable value has never yet been assessed (e.g. in the case of a new property) the rateable value is deemed to be 50% of the value as declared on the Title Deeds and 1.1% of this is attributed as "income". Due to changes in the regulations this rate will be 19% in 2016 for Tax Residents within the EEC and European Economic Area and 24% for Tax Residents outside these areas. This Tax is completed on form 210 and is one form per owner and per property.