Spanish Inheritance Tax Abolished? I’m Afraid Not!

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, September, 19. 2008

Some of you have probably recently read in the press that Spanish Inheritance Tax has been abolished, and have received the news with excitement! Well, I don’t believe that anyone is in a hurry to pass away to benefit from this supposed tax exemption, but it would indeed mean a relief for all of those concerned about the Inheritance Tax burden for our heirs when the time comes!

As our colleague Fernando Del Canto rightly points out in his excellent blog, the news is incorrect. Apparently, Spain’s Government has published in the English version of their site a press release in which they mistakenly claim that the abolishment of Inheritance Tax is to be approved.

The text, lost in translation, is as follows:

The Government approves the abolition of Inheritance Tax and 24 reforms aimed at economic recovery

Thursday, 14 August 2008

The president of the Government appeared after today’s extraordinary Cabinet Meeting to explain the economic reform programme that is focussed on six strategic sectors: finance for small and medium sized enterprises, housing, transport, energy, climatic change, telecommunications and the information society, and services. These reforms will take place during 2008 and 2009 with the aim of helping families and businesses, and preparing for economic recovery.

Adopted measures

The head of the Government announced that the Bill for abolishing inheritance tax, to come into effect from 1 January 2008, has been referred to Parliament. This represents a fiscal improvement of 1,800 million euros for approximately one million taxpayers.


We would like to confirm that, unfortunately, this is just an error due to a poor technical translation into English. What the Government meant to inform was that Property Wealth Tax, as already reported at large by the media, was to be abolished as from the 1st of January 2008.


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