Taxes on Buying Spanish Property

Raymundo LarraĆ­n Nesbitt, July, 8. 2015

This article, by regular legal-contributor Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, summarises the taxes and fees a buyer can expect to pay when buying property in Spain today.

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Lawyer – Abogado
8th of July 2015

 

 

 

Introduction

The idea behind this article is to keep it short and simple. If you want details on a particular matter, just follow the blue links to delve further. I advise reading it in tandem with How to Buy Property in Spain Safely.

As a rule of thumb purchase costs add 10 – 15% over and above the purchase price. In some regions of Spain this figure may in fact be higher. I collate below the taxes and associated fees on buying.

I will split my article distinguishing between three property types for tax purposes:

I.     New-build (or off-plan).
II.    Resale.
III.   Commercial property.

Land Registry and Notary Public fees follow a sliding scale in relation to the declared value of a property, the number of pages in a deed and other factors I won’t go into. Examples:

  • €100,000 property would attract Notary Public fees of €700 and Land Registry fees of €400.
  • €250,000 property would attract Notary Public fees of €800 and Land Registry fees of €500.
  • €1,000,000 property would attract Notary Public fees of €900 and Land Registry fees of €600.

 

Be aware there are minor discrepancies from one region to the next as Spain’s seventeen Autonomous Communities have competence, within limits, over some taxes i.e. Property Transfer Tax (ITP) and Stamp Duty (AJD).

Buyers should be aware of the Complementaria or ‘Bargain Hunter Tax’. It is a supplementary tax the seventeen regional Spanish Tax Offices levy on buying property as a result of today’s low real estate values.

Take tailored legal advice on the region where you intend to buy. Request a full breakdown of taxes, fees and associated expenses. The tables below are a simplified approximation.

I. New-Build or Off-Plan Property

You can read further in my article Buying Off-Plan Property in Spain.

Taxes & Fees Rate
VAT (IVA) 10 %
Stamp Duty (AJD) 0.5 – 1.5 %
Land Registry fees 0.1 – 2 %
Notary Public fees 0.1 – 2 %
Lawyer’s fees 1 – 2 %
Mortgage & Gestoría fees (if finance is required) 1 – 2 %

 

II.    Resale Property

You can read further in my articles Buying Resale Property in SpainBuying Distressed Property in Spain and How to Buy Rural Property in Spain.

Taxes & Fees Rate
Property Transfer Tax (ITP) 7 to 10 %
Land Registry fees 0.1 – 2 %
Notary Public fees 0.1 – 2 %
Lawyer’s fees 1 – 2 %
Mortgage & Gestoría fees (if finance is required) 1 – 2 %

 

III.    Commercial Property

This includes storage rooms (trastero) and car parks (plaza de garaje) sold individually and legally separate from a dwelling. You can read further in my article How to Buy Commercial Property in Spain.

Tax Buying from Private Individual Buying from Developer or Professional
Property Transfer Tax (ITP) 7 to 10 % N/A
VAT (IVA) N/A 21 %
Stamp Duty (AJD) N/A 0.5 – 1.5 %
Land Registry fees 0.1 – 2 % 0.1 – 2 %
Notary Public fees 0.1 – 2 % 0.1 – 2 %
Lawyer’s fees 1 – 2 % 1 – 2 %
Mortgage & Gestoría fees (if finance is required) 1 – 2 % 1 – 2 %

 

Taxes on Selling Spanish Property

 

I refer to my in-depth article Taxes on Selling Spanish Property for details.

A seller is liable for two taxes: Capital Gains Tax and Plusvalía Tax. Additionally, following new regulation, a seller may be required to produce an Energy Performance Certificate (couple of hundred euros).

I.    Capital Gains Tax

•    Non-EU residents: 24%
•    E.E.A. or EU-residents: 20% (in 2016 this drops to 19%)

II.    Plusvalía Tax

In most cases it is not significant, usually amounting to less than €1,000 but can be more in the case of villas with large plots of land.

 

Post-Completion Taxes and Maintenance Upkeep

 

I refer to my in-depth article Non-Resident Taxes in Spain.

Once you have purchased, you will face the associated running expenses. Make sure you have budgeted these expenses carefully so as to avoid unpleasant surprises! Some of the luxury gated communities with lush tropical gardens and beautiful infinity pools that dot the Spanish coastlines have pretty steep maintenance expenses (tallying several hundred euros a month!).

1. IBI tax: 0.4 – 1.1% of cadastral value per annum.
2. Rubbish collection tax.
3. Community fees (if you buy into a Community of Owners).
4. Imputed Income Tax: 0.22% – 0.48% of a property’s cadastral value per annum (for 2015).

Distinction is made between EU and non-EU/EEA-residents as well as revised/unrevised cadastral values on calculating Imputed Income Tax. Revised cadastral values are those for properties acquired post 1994. The cadastral value of a property appears in your annual IBI tax invoice.

a. EEA/EU-residents

• Revised = 0.22%
• Unrevised = 0.4%

a. Non-EEA/EU-residents (rest of the world)

• Revised = 0.26%
• Unrevised =0.48%

Conclusion

Take thorough legal advice to budget your purchase carefully before you commit. Initial reservation contracts, that strike the property off the market, are normally non-refundable. So if finance fails the real estate agency and/or seller are entitled to withhold the initial reservation deposit unless specific wording is added to the reservation contract to safeguard against this event.

Attaining finance from a lender should not be taken for granted. Spanish lenders are risk-averse these days and expect a non-resident buyer to come up with a 30 to 40% deposit. This will likely change in the near future, as credit begins to flow again, requiring smaller down payments from borrowers.

I reiterate that buyers, in today’s market, should be mindful of the Complementaria or ‘Bargain Hunter Tax’ so they do not get caught out by owing extra taxes post-completion.

To close, we are in a buyer’s market. There is plenty of property to choose from so do not rush in or be pressurised to sign on the dotted line. Take your time to consider matters carefully and budget accordingly.

And last my shameless plug; hire a good lawyer.

Lo bueno, si breve, dos veces bueno; y aun lo malo, si breve, no tan malo.” – Baltasar Gracián y Morales.

Loosely translated as: “The good, if short, twice as good; and even the bad, if short, not so bad.”

Baltasar Gracián y Morales, S.J., was a 17th century baroque prose writer and philosopher belonging to Spain’s Golden Age.

 

Legal services Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers can offer you

 

Related articles

 

Please note the information provided in this article 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.

2.015 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All rights reserved.