The declaration of estate in Spain

A previous article provides information on the Declaration of estate with Spanish property for Flemish inheritance tax. In this contribution, we will discuss the declaration of inheritance in Spain.

Who has to file the estate declaration in Spain?

We distinguish between Hispanic residents and non-residents.

Spanish residents are required to file a tax return for any estate they receive. And this regardless of which country they inherit property (including real estate) in.

Non-residents have the obligation to file an estate declaration when they inherit property situated in Spanish territory.

Here you will find more information on the practical steps of settling an estate in Spain.

What should you declare in the estate declaration in Spain?

Spanish residents indicate all assets and liabilities, regardless of the country where these assets are located. Spain will then tax the worldwide estate.

Non-residents should only declare assets and liabilities located on Spanish territory. In practice, these usually include: real estate with contents, a bank account and possibly a vehicle.

An example. A Flemish resident dies leaving three heirs: the surviving partner, a son and a daughter. The estate comprises the family home in Antwerp, a flat on the Belgian coast and a house in Mallorca. The surviving partner and the son also live in Flanders. As they are non-residents, they only have to declare the house in Mallorca in Spain. The daughter is resident in Spain and will therefore declare both the house in Majorca and the property in Belgium to the Spanish tax authorities. In addition, all heirs are required to file the estate declaration for Flemish inheritance tax.

Property valuation depends on the tax reference value. Find more information on Spanish property valuation here.

By what deadline should you file the estate declaration?

In principle, the deadline is six months from death To file the declaration in Spain.

Note: the deadline for the Flemish estate declaration is four months.

Where should you file the declaration?

Spanish inheritance tax depends on the autonomous region. You will therefore declare the inheritance to the tax office of the relevant autonomous region.

For Spanish residents the competent region is determined on the basis of the testator's usual place of residence. The place where the testator spent the most number of days in the past five years determines the competent region. If this domicile is not clear, one looks at the region where the testator paid the most taxes.

What if you are a resident and you inherit from a person resident in Belgium or the Netherlands? In that case, you can choose between the national inheritance tax regulations at the Agencia Estatal de Administración Tributaria or the autonomous region of where the assets are located. If the estate contains no assets in Spain, you can choose between the national rules or the rules of the autonomous region of your residence.

An example. You live in Tenerife and you inherit a property in Murcia from a Belgian resident. You can then choose between Spanish national inheritance tax or Murcia inheritance tax. On the other hand, if you do not inherit property in Spain, but only a property in Ghent, for example, you have the choice between the national rules or the Canarias' rules.

For non-residents the competent region is determined based on the main location of the Spanish assets. For example, if you inherit property in Alicante, the competent autonomous region is the Comunidad Valenciana. You can also opt for the national rules.

Be careful when donating if the beneficiary lives in Spain.

How much inheritance tax do you pay?

The applicable autonomous region determines the inheritance tax. This tax varies greatly from region to region. For instance, there are regions where you pay practically no inheritance tax.

Here is a brief overview of inheritance tax by region.

What documents do I need for estate declaration in Spain?

The following documents, among others, are necessary:

  • NIE number of testator
  • NIE numbers of heirs/legatees
  • Certificate of death of testator
  • Deed of succession
  • Spanish estate deed
  • Property title real estate
  • Recent IBI transcript
  • Bank certificate Spanish bank accounts
  • Extract from the Spanish Central Register of Wills
  • Spanish will (if applicable)
  • Certificate of conformity Spanish vehicle (if applicable)

Do you still have questions about estate declarations? Confianz can assist you with both the declaration of estate for Flemish inheritance tax as with Spanish inheritance tax. Feel free to take contact on.

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