Capital gains obtained as a result of selling a property are subject to tax. This income shall be deemed to be accrued when the property is transferred.

In general, net gains shall be calculated based on the difference between the cost price and transmission value of the property.

The cost price consists of the real amount for which the asset being sold was acquired, plus the sum of the costs and taxes inherent in the acquisition, excluding interest, paid by the transferor. In case there have been investments and improvements in the acquired elements, its cost is added to the purchase price.

If the property being transferred had been rented, the value determined should be reduced by the amount of the depreciation corresponding to the rental period. This depreciation will also be updated in accordance with the year to which it corresponds.

The transfer value is the real amount for which the disposal was made, reduced by the amount of any costs or taxes related to the transfer paid by the seller.

As a result, the capital gain on which taxation will be paid consists of the difference between the transfer value and the cost price, determined as described above.

Capital gains resulting from the transmission of urban buildings (acquired for valuable consideration) from the 12-5-2012 and until 31-12-2012 are Exempt 50 per cent. The exemption does not apply when the property has been acquired or transmitted to the spouse, any person linked to the taxpayer by kinship, in straight or collateral line, by consanguinity or affinity up to the second degree inclusive, or an entity with respect to which the taxpayer or any of the above mentioned persons have specific links, set out in the Spanish Commerce Code art.42 regardless of the residence and the obligation to formulate annual accounts consolidated.

Nevertheless, if the property is transferred by an individual who purchased it prior to 31 December 1994, net gains will be subject to a transitory scheme and the previously calculated figure will be reduced.

If the transferor acquired the property on two separate dates or the property has been renovated, calculations must be made as if there were two net gains.

Tax rate (see table):

Income 2017-2016 2015
from 12-7 to 31-12
from 1-1 to 11-7
Tax rate 19 19,5 20 21

The person who acquires a non-resident’s property, whether resident or non-resident, is obliged to withhold and deposit with the Public Treasury 3% of the consideration agreed. For the seller this amount constitutes a payment on account for the tax on the income arising from the transfer. Therefore, the purchaser will give a copy of form 211 used to deposit the withholding, to the non-resident seller, so that the seller can deduct this withholding from the tax to be paid as a result of the tax return including the capital gain. Should the amount retained be greater than the tax liability, it is possible to obtain a refund of the difference.

In the event that the withholding is not deposited, the building will remain liable to payment of the lower of the amount of the withholding or payment on account and the corresponding tax.

If the property is under shared ownership by a married couple in which both spouses are non-resident, a single self-assessment may be provided.

When to file the tax return: three months from the end of the period that the person acquiring the building has to deposit the withholding (this time period, in turn, is one month from the date of the sale).

Refund of excess withholding. Should there be a capital gains loss, or if the tax withholding is greater than the whole payment due, you will have the right to have the excess amount withheld refunded. The refund procedure is initiated by filing the tax return form.

The Tax Agency shall, where appropriate, make a provisional payment within the six months following the end of the established period for filing of the form. If the provisional payment is not made within this time period, the Tax Agency shall voluntarily refund the excess owing over the self-assessed amount. Once six months have elapsed without payment having been ordered, for reasons not attributable to the taxpayer, the amount pending refund shall accrue late payment interest.

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