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Inheritance in Spain

The inheritance process in Spain is complex and involves certain tax obligations on the part of the heirs. In addition to the unpleasant situation caused by the loss of a loved one, there are a series of tax implications that are worth knowing.

At MAM Solicitors we specialise in these processes and procedures.

In this respect, it is possible that whether you are a resident or non-resident foreigner in Spain, you will receive an inheritance here in Spain. The law sets out a series of taxes, applied within the European Regulation 650/2012, on inheritance and the creation of the European Certificate of Inheritance, which must be applied to the inheritance of persons who died on or after 17 August 2015. In such cases, the applicable law is that of the residence of the deceased, unless he or she has made a will, and in that will expressed the wish to be governed by his or her nationality.

Once this point has been clarified, two situations may arise, depending on whether you are resident in Spain or do not have your residence card:

Non-resident foreigner who receives an inheritance in Spain

If you are a non-resident foreigner who receives an inheritance in Spain, you should know that the law indicates the obligation to pay inheritance tax in Spain.

In other words, in order to inherit the assets described in the will, that a person has in Spain, the heir, even if not resident in our country, they must pay the corresponding inheritance tax in Spain, as well as the municipal capital gains tax, in the case of inheriting real estate.

In this case only the assets that the deceased had in Spain are taxed, not the foreign assets.

Foreign resident who receives an inheritance in Spain

On the other hand, if you are a foreigner resident in Spain, when you receive an inheritance, whether it be from property in Spain or abroad, you must pay tax on all of it in Spain, as established by the law for inheritance tax.

It is important to note that, for residents within the European Union, the applicable regulations will be those of the Autonomous Community where the deceased had the most assets, in other words, although it depends on the Spanish Tax Agency, the regulations of the different Autonomous Communities apply.

However, for residents in other countries NOT belonging to the European Union, the applicable regulations will be those of the State, with much lower allowances for kinship and other existing allowances than those applied by the Autonomous Communities, and therefore the tax will be considerably higher.

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