Spanish inheritance tax for non residents

The Inheritance Tax is the one that taxes the inheritances according to the residence of the interested parties or the situation of the goods to be inherited. As a result, the fiscal regulations of one or another autonomous community or the general tax regulations of the Spanish State will apply in the case of heirs who are not resident in Spain. This can cause the Spanish inheritance tax for non residents to vary greatly depending on the place of residence of the heirs.


Legally, a natural person is considered a non resident when he spends more than 183 days of the calendar year outside Spain and where his main economic core, business activities, professional or economic interests are not in Spain.

When the deceased or the heir is non resident, the application of the autonomous legislation does not affect them. In this case, the rules of the State are applied without the need for the successor to benefit from the fiscal advantages of the Autonomous Communities.

This created a problem and because the application of national legislation suspended the autonomy, the High Court of Justice of the European Union issued judgment in 2014, where it ended the discrimination of non residents within the Inheritance Tax.

In addition, in 2018 there was another judgment of the Supreme Court (February 19th) in which it was indicated that non residents from outside the community cannot be discriminated against either. For this reason, if the heir is resident in a non EU state, can take advantage of all the tax benefits established by the Autonomous Communities.

For this reason, you can claim all that has been paid improperly in application of state legislation and not autonomy, provided they are within the general limitation periods, which are 4 years since the improper payment occurred.

If it is your case and you are not a resident of Spain, we invite you to contact us. We will be happy to put at your disposal all the advice you need to defend what is legally theirs.

What you should know about the spanish inheritance tax for non residents

The situation is very favorable to the heir resident in a Community country given that the Judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union of September 3, 2014, determined that Spain has breached the community order by allowing differences in the tax treatment of successions between resident heirs and non-residents in Spain.

In order to comply with this Judgment and eliminate the described cases of discrimination, the second additional provision of Law 26/2017 of November 27 was approved, which adapts the tax regulations to the provisions of the Judgment of the Court of Justice of the EU of September 3, 2014 and applies the rules of the autonomous community where the principal assets are located or where the unemployed person lives.

In case of inheriting real estate: if the deceased had been resident in a State belonging to the EU other than Spain, the heirs will be entitled to the application of the regulations that the autonomous community has where the assets are located. In case there is no good in Spain, the rules of the autonomous community in which it resides will be applied to each heir.

In case of inheritance: if the deceased had been resident in an autonomous community, taxpayers who are residents in a member state of the EU, will have the right to apply the proper regulations approved by that autonomous community.

These issues may be somewhat complex for many people. For that reason, it is always good to have the help of professionals to receive the best advice on these issues.

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