Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers is a Marbella-based independent law firm specialized in property conveyancing, taxation, litigation, probate and succession. Expert native English-speaking lawyers and economists blend legal and practical advice providing tailored assistance on your matter. Our range of services cover the greater Marbella area, Sotogrande and Costa del Sol.


The firm focuses advising foreign investors on acquiring residential property in Spain both from a legal and fiscal point of view. Our no-nonsense approach to business coupled with our commitment to clients ensures easy-going transactions. We pride ourselves in putting our clients’ interests at the forefront of everything we do.


Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers, your legal partner in Spain.

Last Article:

Do’s and don’ts on buying a house in Spain

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, March, 25. 2019

Marbella-based lawyer Raymundo Larraín gives us a few light-hearted tips on buying a home in Spain.

Article copyrighted © 2019. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Director of Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers
8th of April 2019

 

 

Introduction

Springtime is upon us. It is again that bright season of the year where flowers bloom, bees dart around doing whatever it is they do, and real estate agents are busy dusting off glossy house brochures with a big smile on their face. Scores of buyers will now be booking flights to Spain with a view to acquire their perfect dream house next to the sea.

With this in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to write this short amusing article to clue up buyers, so they do not trip themselves over in pursuit of their bolthole under the sun.

 

3 Do’s

 

  1. Hire a qualified registered lawyer (abogado)

I know, I know. I just had to add this shameless plug in the first place.

No, a Spanish Notary is not your personal lawyer and will not look after your interests. He’s there to ensure taxes are paid, period.

No, a lender does not susbstitute a lawyer and much less defends your legal interests on taking on a mortgage loan. No, they do not do a due diligence on the property title. A lender is there to give you a loan, period.

Beware of intruders who claim to be lawyers or law firms but are not registered to practice. Within the last year alone, I’ve come across three such interlopers. Unlike lawyers, they don’t have professional indemnity insurance and lack the legal qualifications to practice. I see plenty of such outfits advertising themselves regularly on popular expat magazines with glossy ads peddling their conveyance ‘services’. They will label themselves with all sort of fancy titles such as: consulting firm, legal consultant, iuris consultant, jurist, legal executive, legal advisor, legal assistant, paralegal etc.

In Spain it is very simple, you are either a lawyer (abogado) or you are not; there is no in-between. Always ask the person you are dealing with for their Law Society’s practising number and verify they are indeed registered to practice. Wrong assumptions lead to expensive mistakes.

  1. When in Rome, do as the Romans do

I know, we have all been there. You come to Spain and you think some things are stupid and you could do them much better in your own way. Perhaps, perhaps not. The point is that there are rules in place you ought to follow; if you skip them nonchalantly, you are only setting yourself up for a nasty fall.

  1. Follow the 3 L’s: Look, listen and liken

This is not your turf, it is a new world you’re braving. Take your time to look around where you picture yourself living. Visit the property during the week and over the weekend, by day and by night. Listen to what neighbours and natives have to say about the place. Compare the pad you fancy with other similar properties and areas. If all adds up, go for it. You only live once.

3 Don’ts

  1. Don’t pay any money in cash

Would you seriously pay in cash a home in your home country? So, why do it in Spain? This only benefits the person asking to be paid in cash, it does not benefit the buyer in any way. When you come to sell the property later on, you will be hit by a massive capital gains tax bill. Under-declaring is illegal, it is stupid; don’t be a muppet.

  1. Don’t be pressurized to sign

The never-ending sun, the sweltering heat, the cool sea breeze, the enticing beach sunset with a mojito and a saxo playing, all them nice piña coladas you drank late into the night, the soft-spoken agent gently cooing into your ear promises of wealth and capital appreciation; all these things play tricks on our minds and make us lose the plot when we get off a plane in Spain. Unlike timeshare, there is no cool-off period when you buy property in Spain. Holding deposits are normally non-refundable (unless your lawyer words it). If you wouldn’t rush ahead and sign on the dotted line in your home country, don’t do it in Spain. Focus, breath and take you time to commit before you sign any binding document giving away your life’s savings. Don’t let the big lights dazzle you, you will be spoilt for choice. It's a buyer's market.

  1. Don’t cut corners

“Jack knows how to cut through all this red tape.” Maybe he does, maybe he doesn’t. Don’t try to outsmart local procedures by cutting corners; it is a one-way ticket into a world of pain. If you would follow set procedures in your home country, why on earth are you trying to skip them in Spain?

 

We offer the most competitive fees in the market.

 

Conveyancing – Buying fees on application

We are specialized in conveyancing

 

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers, small on fees, big on service.

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers is a law firm specialized in conveyancing, inheritance, taxation and litigation. You can contact us by e-mail at info@larrainnesbitt.com, by telephone on (+34) 952 19 22 88 or by completing our contact form to book an appointment.

 

"Me ha bastado pensar que la naturaleza pertenece a los niños para reanudar mi batalla encaminada a la conservación de la fauna.” — Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente

“I need only remind myself that Nature belongs to our children’s morrow, to give me strength in the battles to come in defence of wildlife conservation.”

 

Félix Samuel Rodríguez de la Fuente (1928 – 1980). Was a Spanish precursor of what is now branded as ‘ecologist.’ The son of a reputed Notary, he was expected to dutifully fall in line and follow on the wake of his father’s footsteps. But following social conventionalisms were not really his kind of thing. He would heed his calling and would go on to become a naturalist and a broadcaster defending what he thought mattered most - Nature and the endangered wildlife. He would become world-renowned for his much-acclaimed tv series El Hombre y la Tierra (1975 – 1980). His unique and masterful voice, coupled with images of an unleashed Nature the likes we had never seen before, bewitched Spaniards, and other nationalities, for decades to come. His everlasting legacy would be to nurture and imbue in generations of young viewers a love and passion for the defence of Mother Nature. He had a particular fondness for wolves, which at the time had been driven by Authorities to the point of total annihilation. Decades on after his death, young generations of ecologists, who grew up watching his show, are now steadily bringing back again wolf packs into a land which was once their rightful domain. He would tragically meet an untimely death aged only 52 in a plane crash. He is credited as the father of Spanish environmentalism and there isn’t a single town in Spain who does not pride itself in having a street or plaza named after him. So much for social conventionalisms, eh?

Article also published in Spanish Property Insight: Do’s and don’ts on buying a house in Spain

Legal services available from Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers

 

Property-related articles

House Hunting in Spain – Interview with The New York Times. June 2015
Resurgent Spain: Málaga Sees Strong Sales – Interview with Mansion Global (The Wall Street Journal). December 2015
Buying Property in Spain from a Private Seller (Resale Property) – 21st of February 2017
Buying Property in Spain from a Developer (Off-Plan Property) – 8th March 2017
How to inspect an off-plan property overseas – Q&A with The Sunday Times. July 2017
Buying Property in Spain – 10 Reasons to Hire a Lawyer – 8th November 2016
Non-Resident Taxes in Spain – 8th December 2015
Non-Resident Income Tax – 8th December 2017

 

Please note the information provided in this blog post is of general interest only and is not to be construed or intended as substitute for professional legal advice. This article may be posted freely in websites or other social media so long as the author is duly credited. Plagiarizing, whether in whole or in part, this article without crediting the author may result in criminal prosecution. Voluntas omnia vincit.

2.019 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All rights reserved.

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Last Blog Entry:

Tax form 720

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, March, 21. 2019

Lawyer Raymond Nesbitt gives all Spanish tax residents a gentle reminder to submit tax form 720 over the next weeks. Last day to submit it is the 1st of April 2019.

The following blog post has been summarised to avoid unnecessary tax technicalities. The quoted tax rates are subject to change from one year to the next. Seek professional legal advice on your matter – see disclaimer below. Image courtesy of Blog Self Bank.

Blog post copyrighted © 2018, 2019. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Lawyer - Abogado
21st of March 2019

This tax form is for reporting purposes only, you do NOT pay any tax on submitting it.

I have structured this blog post as a FAQ for ease of comprehension.

Who needs to declare?

All Spanish tax residents who own assets overseas over €50,000.

E.g. Mr. and Mrs. Smith live all year round in Mijas Costa, Spain. They own two houses in Berwickshire, England, have open bank accounts in the UK and receive UK-based pensions.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith are in fact tax resident in Spain and they both need to submit tax form 720.

Again, and for the avoidance of doubt, if you are non-resident in Spain you do NOT need to file this tax form; it’s only for residents.

Who is considered tax resident in Spain?

The Spanish Tax Office applies - amongst others - the following broad criteria:

  • You spend more than 183 days in a calendar year in Spanish territory.
  • Your centre of financial interests is located in Spain.
  • Your spouse and/or underage children live in Spain.

 

Obligation to report?

You must report all assets in a particular category if the value of your total assets in it exceeds €50,000.

2019 submission period

From the 1st of January until the 1st of April 2019.

Can I file it after the submission period?

Yes, but penalties apply. Ask us.

If you have already filed tax form 720 in the past

You only need to file it again if:

  • The value of an existing asset grew by more than €20,000, or
  • You sold an asset, or
  • You obtained a new asset.

 

Penalties for non-compliance

The disproportionate fines levied are (very) stiff.

  • Failing to file 720 or filing it incorrectly: €5,000 per infraction.
  • Minimum fine of €10,000 for each group of assets.
  • Penalty of 150% on unpaid income tax.

 

The Common Reporting Standard and you

Please take good note that with the advent of the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), signed by over 100 countries to combat tax evasion, as from the 1st of January 2018, the Spanish Tax Office is being spoon-fed fiscal information by your home tax office.

For example, both HM Revenue & Customs and Ireland’s Revenue Commissioners are busy supplying the Spanish Tax Office with detailed information (and vice versa) on all your overseas assets and reported income derived abroad as from the 1st of January 2018.

We strongly advise you to submit tax form 720 if you are resident in Spain to avoid steep penalties.

 

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers offers this tax service: Tax form 720

 

 

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers, small on fees, big on service.

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers is a law firm specialized in taxation, conveyancing, inheritance, and litigation. We will be very pleased to discuss your matter with you. You can contact us by e-mail at info@larrainnesbitt.com, by telephone on (+34) 951 894 675 or by completing our contact form to book an appointment.

"¿Qué es poesía?, dices, mientras clavas
en mi pupila tu pupila azul,
¡Qué es poesía! ¿Y tú me lo preguntas?
Poesía... eres tú."

Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer

Gustavo Adolfo Claudio Domínguez Bastida (1836 - 1870). Was a brilliant young Spanish poet belonging to the Romanticist bewegung. He was also a playwright, literary columnist and talented writer. Clearly, he had a penchant for blue-eyed girls. Posthumously he would be acknowledged as one of the most notorious and gifted figures in Spanish literature, displaying a truly rare artistic sensibility. He would die aged only 34 from tuberculosis, known as the "the romantic illness," as befits any true romantic poet. His crowning achievement would become his Rimas y Leyendas (Rhymes and Legends), an assorted collection of bewitching tales and poems that draws from popular Spanish folklore.

 

Tax services available from Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers

 

Non-resident taxation-related articles

 


Please note the information provided in this blog post is of general interest only and is not to be construed or intended as substitute for professional legal advice. This article may be posted freely in websites or other social media so long as the author is duly credited. Plagiarizing, whether in whole or in part, this article without crediting the author may result in criminal prosecution. VOV.

2.018 and 2019 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All rights reserved.

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Last Press Entry:

NIE Number explained

Idealista, March, 21. 2019

Idealista is Spain's leading online property portal, ranking number one.

It was founded in 2000 by three partners, brothers Mr. Jesús and Fernando Encinar and by Mr. César Oteiza. It offers millions of properties for rental and sale in Portugal, Italy and Spain.

Following Nielsen audited ratings, it has over 144 million pages visited every month, 5 million unique users, 300 employees and an annual turnover of €40 mn.

Idealista kindly published our article on NIE Number explained in eight languages!

 

English

French

German

Italian

Polish

Portuguese

Romanian

Russian

 

Original article can be found published in our humble website in one language only (sorry, folks): NIE Number explained

Legal service available from Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers: NIE Number (Tax Identification Number)

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