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.

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How to file a 3% tax rebate on the sales proceeds of your Spanish property

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, April, 3. 2024

Raymundo Larrain explains how a non-resident seller is entitled to a tax rebate on his sales proceeds

Marbella-based Larraín Nesbitt Abogados (LNA) has over 21 years’ taxation & conveyancing experience at your service. We offer a wide range of 50 legal and corporate services. Our team of native English-speaking lawyers and economists have a long track record successfully assisting expats all over Spain.

You can review here our client’s testimonials.

Article copyrighted © 2024. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Director of Larraín Nesbitt Abogados
8th of April 2024


Non-residents selling property in Spain undergo a 3% retention which is practised on the sales proceeds. This money is withheld by the buyer (or his lawyer) which is then transferred to the tax office.

Unbeknownst to most people, sellers are legally entitled to apply for a tax rebate on the full 3% of the sales proceeds providing they have sold at a loss, or have broken even.

This procedure is technical, meaning it requires the input of a seasoned lawyer to file this tax rebate (a seller cannot do this on his own).

Additionally, a seller is also entitled to legal interest when the tax office takes longer than usual to repay the withheld sales proceeds. This can be rather substantial, and most certainly higher than what any high street bank is paying savers nowadays for their deposits!

Surprisingly, most sellers are oblivious to this rebate and never bother to ask for their money back, which is lost!

3% retention explained

The purpose of this retention is to act as guarantor of a seller’s Capital Gains Tax liability on selling property in Spain. If a seller makes a profit, he must pay CGT. The 3% ensures sellers will not be doing a ‘runner’.

However, not all sales make a profit. Moreover, you would be surprised to learn that after adding all the associated costs and expenses most sellers are breaking even! Which would mean they are all entitled to apply for this tax rebate.

When you add up the associated conveyance expenses (both on buying and selling the property), the associated taxes, professional fees due (estate agent, notary, land registry, lawyer), and improvements on the property over time it is often the case that sellers are breaking even, or even making a loss, however small.

When you sell at a loss, or break even, the 3% retention is no longer justified legally. Meaning, the seller has a legal right to claw it back from the Spanish Tax Office, plus interests on top!


As mentioned, on selling property in Spain, a 3% retention is practised on the non-residents’ sales proceeds at completion. For example, on selling a €500,000 house, €15,000 will be withheld by the buyer at the notary’s office.

Following completion, this retention is paid by the buyer to the tax office.

Depending on whether a profit or loss was made, the seller’s lawyer can apply for a tax rebate on the full, or part of the €15,000. Additionally, contingent on how long the tax office takes to pay the rebate, legal interests accrue, which can be quite substantial over time.

Law firm LNA helps you getting your money back

At LNA, we have assisted thousands of sellers getting their money back over the last two decades.

We offer the following competitive tax service: Calculating seller’s taxes

We offer a highly demanded tax service to calculate seller’s taxes (Capital Gains Tax and Plusvalia Tax) without having to instruct us on the conveyance. This includes filing a seller’s 3% tax rebate.

You can of course also hire us to handle your conveyance too, we act all over Spain.

Our team of pro-active lawyers will get your money back within months.

Our fee is tax-deductible from your seller’s taxes, meaning you pay even less taxes!


If you plan to sell your property in Spain, and you are a non-resident, you can contact us to recover your money in a timely manner.

Don’t let your money go to waste! It is your seller’s right to recover this money, your money.

Because every penny counts.

Contact us at LNA if you need us to calculate your seller’s taxes, and/or want us to file a tax rebate for the 3% on your behalf. Tax rebates are usually paid within months.

Related tax and legal services available from LNA:


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. Ní neart go cur le chéile. VOV.

2.024 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All Rights Reserved.


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Spain’s President: Golden Visas to be axed

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, April, 8. 2024

Marbella-based Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers has over 21 years' taxation & conveyancing experience at your service. We offer a wide range of over 50 legal and corporate services. Our team of native English-speaking lawyers and economists have a long track record successfully assisting expats all over Spain. You can review here our client’s testimonials.

Copyrighted © 2024. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.

8th of April 2024

By Raymundo Larrain


Pedro Sanchez announced today in Seville he would be scrapping the Golden Visa programme that was implemented in 2013 at the height of Spain’s Great Recession. The programme’s goal was to kickstart the dead real estate market attracting foreign wealthy individuals to buy property in Spain.

Over 10,000 individuals have applied for it (alongside their families) since its inception. Over 70% of visas have been granted to Russian and Chinese nationals. Lately, post-Brexit, there had been a great surge of British nationals applying for them.

Mr. Sanchez argues his reason for shutting down the Golden Visa programme is because “(golden visas) create inflation in property prices and makes it difficult for young Spaniards to access the property ladder.”

I totally disagree with his view.

Almost 70% of Spanish youngsters are unemployed, and those which happen to be employed, earn an average wage of under €25,000/year. You cannot seriously think this is the market segment at which €500,000 luxury properties are levelled at? Give me a break. Besides, golden visas granted last year only account for 0.1% of property sales. Hardly a drop in a wide ocean of property sales.

In other words, no young Spanish person is ever going to be able to afford a 500k property. Additionally, the small amount on sales they represent barely make a tiny dent on overall property prices. Let's get real, golden visas' impact on overall property prices is next to negligible because this is a (very) niche market geared exclusively to affluent foreign buyers which represent a very small fraction of overall property sales (0.1%). These type of properties are neither marketed, nor intended, for under 30 year olds, who barely make ends meet every month.

So, it is clear to me that he is scrapping the Golden Visa programme for other undisclosed reasons i.e. electoral.

This is yet another example of him demonizing rich people as scapegoats of rising property prices to hide his incompetence and pander to his electoral base at a time his popularity is hanging at an all-time low. For a man that blabbers so much on how important social housing is for his social-communist administration, the fact is that he's been six years in power and has built ZERO houses at affordable prices for young ones. By contrast, the Community of Madrid, has quietly built thousands of such specially subsidized properties specifically aimed at youngsters to alleviate the housing problem. So, to quote Elvis, a little less conversation and a little more action please, Mr. President.

Lately, Sanchez is besieged by major (understatement) corruption scandals affecting his hard left-wing coalition government. So much so, that even people within his most intimate circle are allegedly being pointed out to be involved in the gross mismanagement of EU Next Generation Funds. You know, the 120 billion euros our EU Overlords generously allocated to Spain post-Covid-19 which no one knows exactly how or where they are being spent on. Surpise, surprise; who could have guessed? Stimmt!

We could always ask the people who were tasked to oversee these EU funds in Spain; oh wait, both of them quit for 'personal reasons´, deary me.

The corruption wave that now engulfs the government has likely led to this ‘dramatic’ announcement today that, in my opinion, will help zero young Spanish people attain a new home "at affordable prices" and will most definitely have a negative impact in Spain’s economy. But hey, that’s 101 Politics for you.

The bottom line is that if you are a non-EU national, this is your last chance to hop on the Golden Visa train before it leaves, as has been the case already in Ireland, Portugal, and Greece.

LNA offers this blue ribbon visa service in under 3 weeks:

Golden Visa (investor visa)

LNA has a 100% track record attaining Spanish residency


At Larrain Nesbitt Abogados, we have assisted hundreds of non-EU nationals, and their families, to successfully attain a Spanish residency permit since 2013.

Immigration & visa services available from Larraín Nesbitt Abogados:


At Larrain Nesbitt Abogados (LNA) we have over 21 years’ experience assisting clients buying, selling, or renting properties. We can also offer you a competitively priced accounting service to file your landlord taxes every tax quarter nationwide. We are also specialized in immigration & residency visas. You can contact us by e-mail at, by telephone on our UK line (+44) 07543 838 218, Spanish line (+34) 952 19 22 88, or by completing our contact form to book an appointment.

Larraín Nesbitt Abogados, small on fees, BIG on service.
2024 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All Rights Reserved.


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Last Press Entry:

Foreign buyers in Spain – what taxes and fees for foreigners?

Foreign Buyer’s Watch, April, 21. 2024

Foreign Buyer’s Watch is a property blog that focuses on buying & selling property as an investment. Catering to a discerning crowd, it publishes market analysis and picks on emerging market trends from which savvy investors can benefit.

Foreign Buyer’s Watch kindly published our article on their website: Foreign buyers in Spain – what taxes and fees for foreigners?


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