Blog / News

Are you still overpaying income tax every quarter?

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, October, 16. 2018

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

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Director of Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers
16th of October 2018

The third tax quarter for 2018 is almost over.

If you are EU/EEA-resident, you qualify to benefit from mitigating your tax bill significantly every tax quarter following new EU Regulation. We will save you more in taxes than what you spend on hiring us.

The following are some random examples of tax savings you can expect from us on renting out your Spanish property every tax quarter. These tax savings are attained on applying for lenient landlord tax relief.

The variations in results are largely due to taxpayer’s safekeeping copies of VAT invoices on their property expenses. Providing you have property-related expenses, and have a VAT invoice to back it up, we can claim tax relief on all or part of it greatly reducing your tax bill in the process.

On average, we save our clients 70% of their quarterly tax bill.

What are you waiting for? Why are you still overpaying Spanish taxes?

Talk to our friendly staff, we can make it happen. We file taxes all over Spain.

 

                                                  3Q 2018

Client

3Q tax due

Tax paid (tax relief)

 

% tax saved

 

Mr M.S.

619

384

 

38%

Mr K.R.

199.50

75

 

62%

Mrs M.H.

4,230

1,816

 

57%

Mr J.G.

513

0

 

100%

Mrs K.D.

185.25

1

 

99%

 

 

We offer the most competitive fees in the market.

Holiday Rental Accounting Service (HRAS): €100/tax quarter

We are specialized in taxation

 

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) 952 19 22 88 or by completing our contact form.

Legal & tax services available from Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers:

 

Holiday rental 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 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All rights reserved.

 

 

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Holiday Rental Taxation in Spain

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, October, 1. 2018

The following blog post is an abridged version of our in-depth tax article: Holiday Rental Taxation in Spain

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

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Director of Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers
1st of October 2018

 

Often many distressed landlords moan on how the taxation on holiday lettings is convoluted and scares them off. Fortunately, that is where lawyers and economist step in, simplifying matters.

Non-resident landlords can now benefit from generous tax relief which used to be reserved exclusively for Spanish resident taxpayers. These new laws have had a huge impact in taxation, considerably reducing non-resident landlord's tax bills.

Few tax advisers are taking advantage of these new changes in non-resident taxation or else intentionally ignore them; this translates into their clients facing large tax bills which could have been legally avoided if some care and diligence had been put in.

Who qualifies for landlord tax relief?

  • You are EU/EEA-tax resident
  • You can attain a tax residency certificate from your home country

 

New changes to non-resident taxation

 

The Spanish taxman knows you are renting. Three important changes in taxation took place in 2018. Don't make the glaring mistake of underestimating the Spanish Tax Office (AEAT) thinking it is unaware of your rental income business. The Spanish Tax Office is actively cracking down on taxpayers, both resident and non-resident, who fail to file and report their rental income. Only last year they issued warnings to over 134.000 property owners advertising holiday lettings over unpaid rental income tax.

  1. Common Reporting Standard (CRS)

Over 100 countries signed an agreement to combat tax evasion. This agreement became effective in Spain in January 2018. It has as a hallmark the automatic exchange of fiscal information between countries on taxpayers.

Signatory countries don’t need to formally request information on taxpayers, they receive it automatically. Both the United Kingdom and Spain have both signed it. This tax on rental income should have been declared and paid in Spain, not in your home country. As a result of the CRS, you may have received earlier on this year letters from your Spanish bank asking you to reveal tax information or else threatening you to block your accounts in Spain.

Bottom line, your home country is busy informing the Spanish Tax Authorities and vice versa, on your tax matters.

  1. Full disclosure agreements signed in 2018 between the Spanish Tax Office and property portals (AirBnb)

The US giant AirBnb finally yielded and agreed on signing a full disclosure agreement with Spain's Tax Office.

These new terms apply to all properties located within Spanish territory. It's doesn't matter if you sign a holiday home agreement in the UK, it is the Spanish terms that are applied because the properties are located in Spain.

In summary, AirBnb will tell the tax office everything it needs to know. Going forward, the tax office will be able to calculate how much back tax you owe on undeclared rental income. This exchange of information begins early 2019 backdated to May 2018.

If you haven't been declaring and paying income tax on your rental income in Spain, you should pre-empt fines, delay interests and penalties by coming clean and filing taxes before the Spanish Tax Office is on to you.

  1. Tax form 179

In spring we saw the creation of the new quarterly tax form 179. This form creates the obligation for holiday letting intermediaries to report to the Spanish Tax Office on a quarterly basis. They will supply all relevant information to the tax office on property identification, guest details, landlord's rental income, number of days hired, method of payment, etc. Non-compliance by letting intermediaries has associated fines that range from €20 to €600.000.

Non-payment: Tax Office penalties

Fines for non-payment of tax on rental income range from 50 to 150% of the undeclared amounts plus delay interests.

The AEAT can collect taxes dating back 4 years. These fine are in addition to those levied by Regional Tourist Authorities on unlicensed holiday rentals (up to six-figures!).

Regional Tourist Authorities: attain a holiday rental licence

Several regions across Spain, have enacted holiday home laws over the last years. All these regions require you attain a tourist rental licence if you don't want to be fined for leasing illegally to tourists.

The regional fines for non-compliance are steep across the board, reaching 6 figures in most cases. Keep in mind that these huge fines imposed by Regional Tourist Authorities are totally unrelated and in addition to those imposed by the Spanish Tax Office on any undeclared rental income. If you plan to offer your property out as a holiday letting, you should first register it and attain a Tourist licence from your Regional Tourist Authority.

Non-Resident Landlord Tax Obligations

 

Non-resident landlords are liable for the following two sets of income tax, depending on whether you rent out or not your property in Spain.

  1. Your lease your property: Non-resident income tax (NRIT)

Quarterly tax

On owning property in Spain and renting it out, whether long or short-term, you need to file a quarterly tax on your rental income. One tax form needs to be filed for every joint owner.

--->We offer you this tax service: Holiday Rental Accounting Service (HRAS) from €100/tax quarter

  1. You do not rent out your property: Non-resident imputed income tax (NRIIT)

Paid once a year

Even if you don't rent out your property in Spain, regardless, non-residents still need to file once a year this tax. Also, on the days you don't rent out your property in Spain these are taxed as imputed income on a pro rata.

--->We offer you this tax service: Non-Resident Income Tax (Fiscal Representation) from €90/year

 

 

We offer the most competitive fees in the market.

Holiday Rental Accounting Service (HRAS) from only €100/tax quarter

We are specialized in taxation

 

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) 952 19 22 88 or by completing our contact form.

Legal & tax services available from Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers:

 

Holiday rental 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 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All rights reserved.

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Brexit and Spanish Residency

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, September, 21. 2018

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

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                   Image credit: CC / FlickrTheophilos Papadopoulos

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Director of Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers
21st of September 2018

 

I had already analysed the financial consequences of Brexit for expats, from a Spanish perspective, in a previous blog post from last February (Brexit and You).

In today´s post, I want to focus on the movement of people crossboarders, between Spain and the United Kingdom in a post-Brexit world.

Unless the European Union and the United Kingdom reach a last minute understanding, British nationals are going to see their movements restricted on coming over to Spain.

Concretely, on breaking away from the EU, British nationals may no longer stay in Spanish territory indefinitely unlike until now. They will be treated much like other nationals outwith the EU. Meaning British may only stay in Spain for a period not exceeding 90 days. If you are caught residing in Spain without permission, you will be detained and deported back to your country of origin.

In order to avoid you and your family unpleasant scenarios, I strongly advise the British community residing in Spain to pre-empt this by applying for Spanish residency now. Currently, Spanish are welcoming with open arms all British applications to reside within their territory. The requirements after the 29th of March may change, so it is advised you act now.

I write this because I know for a fact, after 16 years of practice serving the expat community, that very few British actually bother to register in Spain for a myriad of reasons (chiefly taxation issues). I had already written an article early on this year trying to dispel the false notion that becoming (tax) resident in Spain was all bad news from a fiscal point of view: Tax advantages on becoming resident in Spain. On the contrary, becoming tax resident in Spain offers multiple tax breaks and incentives as highlighted in my tax article. Seek tax advice from us on your own personal situation.

Bottom line, when you walk away from this blog post it must be clear to you that if you plan to be resident in Spain as from April 2019, or you already are, you must apply for Spanish residency before the Spanish Authorities. You will no longer be able to fly under the radar ducking your head in the hope of not getting caught – won’t happen. For your own sake, be practical and apply for Spanish residency now.

Our law firm can assist you attain a Spanish residency permit, ask our friendly staff.

Politics: the art of creating new problems where none existed.”

 

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

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers is a law firm specialized in inheritance, conveyancing, taxation 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) 952 19 22 88 or by completing our contact form.

 

Legal services Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers can offer you

 

Conveyancing-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. No delusional politician was harmed on writing this blog post. VOV.

2.018 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All rights reserved.

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Home Seller's Checklist

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, September, 10. 2018

Selling in Spain? This blog post is a gentle reminder on the documents you need to collate for a successful sale.

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

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Director of Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers
11th of September 2018

 

Congratulations, you have found a buyer for your Spanish property!

Your first port of call should be to hire a law firm specialized in conveyancing, such as Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers, with over 16 years' conveyancing experience.

Your buyer - or his lawyer - are going to request a series of documents from you to complete the sale. To pre-empt this stressful situation, this blog post serves as a gentle reminder on some of the basics you will need (this is not a closed list).

 

Our law firm can assist you collating some, or all the above points, required on selling.

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers can represent you on selling your property in Spain for a very competitive fee. Hiring a lawyer on selling adds security and helps you pay less taxes.

7 key reasons to hire legal representation in Spain on selling

 

 

You can read a more detailed breakdown of the above seven reasons here: 7 reasons on why you need legal representation on selling in Spain – 7th March 2018

Most of the points above can only be done on retaining a qualified lawyer.

Do you still think you do not need a lawyer on selling in Spain?

 

 

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

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers is a law firm specialized in conveyancing, inheritance, taxation 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) 952 19 22 88 or by completing our contact form.

 

Legal services Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers can offer you

 

Conveyancing related articles

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
Selling Property in Spain – 10 Reasons to Hire a Lawyer – 8th December 2016

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 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All rights reserved.

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Several hundred (foreign) off-plan buyers conned in Mallorca

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, September, 1. 2018

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

 

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Director of Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers
1st of September 2018

A new case has emerged in Mallorca affecting over two hundred off-plan buyers. The figure is likely to increase over the next months as more and more people report the scam. Most of those affected are foreigners who were buying property in Spain in good faith. Many foreign buyers are still unaware they have fallen for a scam.

The timing of this massive scam couldn't be worst, as it adds to Mallorca's property woes. Reported sales had already plummeted by 30% YOY as a result of the introduction of a local law by its hard left-wing coalition that greatly restricts the rights of landlords on holiday lettings with disproportionate six-figure fines on non-compliance. We wrote a detailed article on the significance of these changes and how they would likely adversely impact the market at a time Mallorca's property was booming: New Balearics Holiday Rental Law – 8th of September 2017.

An unscrupulous duo of developer & agent (Lujo Casa and Mallorca Investment) shared the same office space marketing 21 off-plan developments at very attractive prices (usually BMV). As the first police reports were filed by the few Spanish buyers that bought, the man behind the con fled to an undisclosed South American country with reportedly between 5 -7 million euros in ill-gotten gains. Just take a look at the company profile from Mallorca Investment's own website (you really couldn't make it up):

"Mallorca Investment Real Estate Property is a company of young people and fresh air provided by a long way in the real estate industry. Our team consists of several agents and professionals who provide a clean and efficient work to the perfect buyers and bring the best of real estate..."

As the buyers handed over their deposits without their being a Building Licence issued for these developments, they have lost all their life savings. A new perverse change in Spain’s Insurance Act was enacted in 2015 which made significant changes on how bank guarantees worked, in favour of lenders. We had highlighted and stressed these major changes at the time warning new-build buyers: Law 20/2015: Important new bank-guarantee legislation explained for offplan buyers – 21st September 2015. Also in our blog: Buying off-plan in Spain? You need a Building Licence – 20t March 2018.

The implication of these changes in the law is that the victims have no legal recourse against the lenders involved. It is very unlikely they will ever recover their money.    

A surprising comment made by one of the affected:

"We all trusted that by making a bank transfer to a real estate company account that our money was protected."

This statement shows a common falsehood. Any money paid into the bank account of an estate agency is unprotected (unlike lawyers, as we have mandatory professional insurance liability covering this). Only some regions in Spain, such as Catalonia, force estate agents to hire insurance policies securing any deposits made by their clients. Estate agents in Spain are unregulated and there are no requirements to become one (again, unlike lawyers who are regulated and subject to the discipline of the Law Society). Andalusia will soon be passing its own laws regulating agents.

In most of the cases, the buyers did not follow the basic advice we always give in our articles on buying off-plan property:

  1. They did not hire a Spanish lawyer to represent them buying the property and safeguard their legal rights.
  2. The plots of land were not under the developer’s name.
  3. No Building Licence had been attained from the town hall.
  4. No bank guarantees were issued to the buyers safeguarding their deposits.

Source: El Pais

 

Caveat Emptor

If you are buying property in Spain, whether offplan or resale, you should hire a Spanish law firm to defend your interests. Buying property in Spain without appointing a specialized conveyancing lawyer is a recipe for disaster.

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers has over 16 year’s conveyancing experience at your service. Our team of native English-speaking lawyers and economists have a long track record successfully assisting expats acquiring property all over Spain, including Madrid and Barcelona.

We offer the most competitive fees in the market.

Conveyancing – Buying from €995

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.

 

Legal services Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers can offer you

 

 Off-plan-related articles

Buying Off-Plan Property in Spain – 8th of June 2013
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 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
8 Tips on Buying Off-Plan in Spain – 8th June 2018

 

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 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All rights reserved.

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100% mortgages strike back!

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, August, 21. 2018

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers has over 16 year’s conveyancing experience at your service. Our team of native English-speaking lawyers and economists have a long track record successfully assisting expats acquiring property all over Spain, including Madrid and Barcelona.

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

 

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Director of Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers
21st of August 2018

If you have been following our articles and blogposts, you are probably already aware that Spain’s real estate sector is alive and kicking. 2018 has witnessed the return of new-build property (off-plan). Cranes can once more be spotted over the horizon dotting the landscape with construction lorries darting to and fro.

It is in this bustling context that lenders, only too eager to jump back into the action after a decade-long hiatus, have joined the fray offering their core business with enticing one-time offers: 100% mortgages.

 

Five 100% mortgage offers for you

 

  1. Bank Santander. Hipoteca Altamira-casaktua
  2. BBVA. Hipoteca 100%.
  3. Bankinter. Hipoteca 100%.
  4. Ibercaja. Superhipoteca.
  5. Ibercredit. Hipoteca 100%.

 

Legal disclaimer: mortgage loans are a complex financial product that require unbiassed professional assistance. You should seek advice from a lawyer or seasoned mortgage broker.

 

We offer the most competitive fees in the market.

Conveyancing – Buying from €995

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.

 

Legal services Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers can offer you

 

Buying property related articles

Buying Resale Property in Spain – 21st February 2013
Buying Off-Plan Property in Spain – 8th of June 2013
How to Buy Property in Spain Safely – 10th October 2014
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
8 Tips on Buying Off-Plan in Spain – 8th June 2018

Mortgages: fixed or variable rate? – 11th June 2018

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 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All rights reserved.

 

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We don’t need a lawyer since the bank will be doing a check on the Title as they will do the mortgage

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, August, 10. 2018

 

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers has over 16 year’s conveyancing experience at your service. Our team of native English-speaking lawyers and economists have a long track record successfully assisting expats acquiring property all over Spain, including Madrid and Barcelona.

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

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Director of Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers
10th of August 2018

 

If I were paid a pound every time I’ve heard this line from someone, I would be a multi-millionaire by now. Now that offplan property has kickstarted again, I am witnessing more and more repeat mistakes from last property’s boom that led whole families to lose their life’s savings.

Some buyers are duped into thinking that only because a lender is involved in their purchase, they are going to run a full due diligence on the Title to make sure it is clean and above board – crass mistake! This is one of the points I raised in my article: Buying Property in Spain – 10 Reasons to Hire a Lawyer.

This serious error of judgement, made by countless buyers who are purposely misled by parties not interested in there being a ‘pesky’ lawyer involved, may lead you to lose ALL your money/savings.

If this were true, we wouldn’t have dozens of thousands of offplan buyers from the previous property boom litigating at courts to claw back their life savings on buying off-plan property. Just read any expat newspaper to pick up on the glossy ads promising you to recover your offplan deposits. I can almost assure you that in 100% of these cases a bank was involved financing the conveyance.

If you think for one moment a Spanish bank (or a Notary Public) does the work of an independent lawyer, you need therapy. Banks are not going to check if there is a Building Licence issued, they are not going to bother to request Bank Guarantees securing all your stage payments (including the initial holding deposit), they are not going to ask for a Licence of First Occupation, they won’t do a snagging list, they are not going to disclose problems affecting the land, in some cases they don’t even check if the land is owned by the developer, they won’t bother to check if the house you are buying is the one you actually signed up for, they won’t check if the size of the property or its characteristics and materials are the actual ones you paid for etc.

Banks and Notaries each have their own role, and that does not include acting as your own personal attorney safeguarding your legal interests – that is not their role. Don't delude yourself into thinking these professionals replace a lawyer's job, because they don't.

If you think lawyers are expensive, just wait until you start dealing with lenders unrepresented – good luck with that.

Bottom line, if you are buying property in Spain, whether offplan or resale, you should retain the services of a competent law firm to help you safely wade through the minefield. My advice is that you must hire a lawyer on buying property, regardless if it is Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers, or any other lawyer of your choosing. You will thank me later.

 

We offer the most competitive fees in the market.

Conveyancing – Buying from €995

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.

 

Legal services Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers can offer you

 

Buying property related articles

Buying Resale Property in Spain – 21st February 2013
Buying Off-Plan Property in Spain – 8th of June 2013
How to Buy Property in Spain Safely – 10th October 2014
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
8 Tips on Buying Off-Plan in Spain – 8th June 2018

 

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 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All rights reserved.

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What is IBI Tax?

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, July, 30. 2018

Blog post explaining the importance of IBI tax and the consequences of non-payment.

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

 

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Director of Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers
30th of July 2018

Introduction

Unbeknownst to most non-resident property owners, on buying property in Spain, you become liable to pay IBI tax on the following year. No one will give you the heads up on it, so it is up to you to find out how much you owe and comply with the Tax Authorities. This is Spain’s equivalent of the UK’s Council Tax.

The idea of writing this blog post has come about on filing taxes for expats, specifically holiday letting income tax. We have realized there is a huge number of foreign owners who remain completely unaware of the existence of IBI tax and the grievous consequences of its non-payment.

IBI tax is of crucial importance because it has associated a valuation for tax purposes of your home known as 'cadastral value' (valor catastral, in Spanish) which is used as the benchmark to calculate all your property-related taxes.

Cadastral Value - Definition

Is the assessed value local Tax Authorities give to a property. It is usually well below the market value. This rateable value is used as the taxable base to calculate a series of taxes. You will find the cadastral value of your property in one of your local tax bills (i.e. IBI). Be aware that a store room or garage space may be regarded legally as a distinct separate entity from your main home and therefore subject to their own individual cadastral values. A cadastral value, in general terms, is 30 to 40% below the current market price of a property. So it does not equate to a property's true market value, it is actually well below it (which is good news).

IBI tax, it's relevance

In other words, if you don’t have IBI tax set up, you cannot pay Non-Resident Imputed Income Tax nor Non-Resident Income Tax on your quarterly holiday lettings. Although this may sound good on paper, it really isn’t.

Not paying IBI is a huge bummer from a taxation point of view. But far more importantly, it leaves the door ajar for your town hall to impound your property and sell it through a public auction. You will only be served notice of this procedure on your Spanish home address. So, chances are that if you live abroad, you will only find out when you come over to Spain - which will already be too late.

Bottom line, setting up IBI tax and paying it on time, is of paramount importance and it just cannot be stressed enough; unless of course you fancy losing your property to the local Authorities...

IBI Tax - Definition

The Impuesto sobre Bienes Inmuebles (IBI, for short) is a tax that applies to both residents and non-residents. In some parts of Spain, it is known as SUMA.

This is a local tax levied by the town hall where your property is located. It is paid once a year (normally due in August through to November). It is equivalent to the UK’s Council Tax. It varies from one town hall to the next. It is based on the rateable value of your property (0.4 – 1.1% of cadastral value per annum); for cheap properties it can be as low as a few euros (think rural land) whereas posh pads, in sought-after prime locations such as Marbella, may command several thousand euros/year.

Sample IBI tax invoice

Just follow the link supplied: sample IBI invoice

When is it due?

Town halls are empowered to rule on this, so it varies. Normally, it is payable once a year, typically from August through to September.

Whoever owns the property on the 1st of January is liable to pay this tax, by Law.

Importance

  • IBI tax is used as benchmark to calculate all property-related taxes.
  • On selling, a buyer’s lawyer will demand copies of the IBI invoices for the previous 4 years.

 

(Dire) consequences of not setting up IBI tax payment

  • It may lead to your property being seized and sold off in a public auction. Spanish town halls, beleaguered by dropping revenue, are becoming increasingly adept at pursuing aggressively this local tax post-credit-crunch; particularly for high-end property.
  • It is not possible to file and pay NRIT and NRIIT taxes, as it requires for its calculation IBI tax. This in turn will attract fines, delay interests and surcharges against your Spanish property.
  • On selling, a buyer’s lawyer will practice a huge retention to safeguard against any unpaid IBI tax. Moreover, it may even jeopardize the sale of your property as an administrative procedure may be under way to repossess your property.
  • If you are non-resident and selling, buyers must withhold 3% of the sales proceeds by law. As a seller, you will forfeit this 3% sales tax rebate (plus legal interests) to which you may be entitled to.

 

Conclusion

Non-payment of IBI tax is the stupidest fastest way to lose ownership of your Spanish property.

If you haven’t been paying this local tax, you should contact Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers ASAP to get it set up and start paying it. We strongly recommend you set it up as a direct debit against your Spanish bank account.

Non-payment of IBI tax may lead your town hall to impound your property and sell it off in a public auction. Do not expect to be refunded part of the auction proceeds: If you can’t sell it, you can always auction it.

For your own sake, double check and ensure you are paying IBI tax.

 

We offer the most competitive fees in the market.

Setting up IBI tax from €400

We are specialized in taxation

 

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

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers is a law firm specialized in taxation, conveyancing, inheritance, 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.

 

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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 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All rights reserved.

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If you can’t sell it, you can always auction it

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, July, 21. 2018

Admonitory blog post on the perils of Spanish public auctions.

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

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Director of Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers
21st of July 2018

 

Crass mistake. Indulging in the idea that if you can’t sell your home, you can always auction it off is a recipe for disaster. If you think for one moment a lender will pay you the locked equity buried in your home, you need therapy. I’ve already had two people making this grievous mistake over the last six months. I thought it was worthwhile writing a short blog post to warn other borrowers.

For illustration purposes, I am going to take a real-life example. Mrs Osiris has a second home, a Spanish property with a real market value of €400,000. She is resident in the United Kingdom. She has a loan for €130,000. Her tenants stopped paying the rent over the last three months which she used to offset her monthly repayments. As a result, she has fallen into arrears with her lender. Unable to sell her property, she decides it best for her lender to repossess and auction it off. She is under the (false) impresssion she will be paid off the balance of the equity post-auction (at least €200,000 in her mind).

 

The Trials of Osiris

 

Mrs Osiris is blissfully unaware of the intricacies on how Spanish law works and unbeknownst to her she is in for a rude awakening.

  1. The first mistake she makes is that she (wrongly) assumes that the starting value for the auction of her home equates to the market value (€400,000). I have already explained in previous articles and blog posts that lenders set an auction value in every Mortgage deed. They command their own bank valuations, which are already well-below the market value. The appraisal comes up as €320,000 (or 20% below the real market value). Lenders - ex Art. 682 LEC – can then set a value, strictly for auction purposes, in the Mortgage deed which can be up to 75% of the appraisal report. So, as a recap, this property that had a market value of €400,000 is valued 20% below the RMV and then suffers a further 25% reduction leaving it as a starting auction value of €240,000. More on this here: Bank valuations vs. market value

        The starting value for auction purposes set in Mrs Osiris’ Mortgage deed is: €240,000.

  1. The second mistake she makes is that she forgets to deduct all the associated costs, fees and legal interests of a repossession procedure, which easily are in the region of €50,000.
  2. Her third mistake is that she is unaware on the ‘perverse’ auction mechanics. More on this here: Bank Repossessions in Spain. On the first round usually no one bids. So, on the second round – by law – the value drops to 50% because this was her second overseas home (not her place of permanent abode).

Drop of the gavel

After the auction is over, the lender has adjudicated itself Mrs Osiris’ home for only 50% of the initial auction value, that is 50% * €240,000 = €120,000.

But as you recall, Mrs Osiris owed her lender €130,000 as principal of the loan plus a further €50,000 in associated repossession expenses. Total debt = €180,000.

As you can see, there is a shortfall of €60,000.

Meaning she shockingly STILL owes money post-repossession despite having a ‘buffer’ of 200k equity locked in her property!

Lenders don’t lose money, and if they do, taxpayers are always there to bail them out.

Reality check

Mrs Osiris was expecting a fat cheque of €200,000 in the post from her lender...

All she gets is a nasty letter reminding her that she still owes €60,000 post-repossession which interests are mounting up exponentially over time…

Image result for trials of osiris moon of osiris

Of cinders and regrets

Never make false assumptions on Spanish legal matters – you will regret it. Never allow a lender to have the last word, it's a blind perdition.

If you think a lawyer’s advice is expensive, just wait until you start dealing with a lender unrepresented…

Had Mrs Osiris spoken with a lawyer, she could have avoided summoning the above nightmare scenario altogether walking away scot free with at least €100,000 in her pocket. She should have sought legal council when the messenger first notified her that her tenants had started to fall into arrears.

She is now being chased for the ‘shortfall’ post-auction. She is being blacklisted in Experian, and other credit-rating agencies, which will seriously hamper her borrowing ability going forward in the UK or elsewhere. Her doctrine of passing is a harsh lesson in life and serves as a stark warning to other borrowers.

"Dura lex, sed lex."

Draconian Roman civil law scholar maxim meaning that, however regrettable the outcome of a legal matter, the law must be upheld.

 

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) 952 19 22 88 or by completing our contact form.

 

Legal & tax services Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers offers you:

 

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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. No diamond ELO players were harmed on writing this article. VOV.

2.018 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All rights reserved.

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Holiday lettings: Landlords must report to the Police all guests aged 16 or over

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, July, 12. 2018

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

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Director of Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers
16th of July 2018

 

As a general rule, all holiday lettings in Spain must report to the Police all guests aged 16 or over.

Following Spain’s unpopular ‘Gag’ Law, landlords must fill in a registration form on entry of their guests. This registration form must be then sent to the Police or Guardia Civil for every guest  aged 16 years old or older within the next 24 hours of the accommodation following Security Laws from 2003 (Orden INT/1922/2003, de 3 de julio, sobre libros-registro) and from 2015. Registration forms must be stored by landlords for a period of up to three years for the inspection of the Security Forces.

You can either do this yourself (good luck with that) or else hire a company to do it for you.

Landlord, have you checked out this mobile app to make your life easier? Check-in Scan.

You are welcome.

 

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers offers a 24-hour registration Tourist licence service exclusive to the region of Andalusia: Registration of Holiday Homes (Andalusia). We will set you up and make it very easy for you to start renting out legally in a jiffy.

 

Why choose us?

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers has over 16 years’ experience filing taxes for expatriates. 

We can reduce your landlord tax bill by a minimum of 40% - or money-back guarantee!

We will save you more money on taxes than what you spend on hiring us.

 

Holiday Rental Accounting Service (HRAS) from only €100/tax quarter

We are specialized in taxation

 

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) 952 19 22 88 or by completing our contact form.

 

Legal & tax services available from Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers:

 

Holiday letting-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 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All rights reserved.

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