Last changes in the spanish inheritance tax

Following the judgment of the European Court of Justice of 3 September 2014, the Spanish Government was obliged to adapt its domestic legislation to the requirements of that new judgment.

On September 25, 2014, three weeks after the publication of the ruling, it was the Popular Group that presented to Congress a series of amendments to the bill, modifying various tax regulations.

These included an amendment to the Second Additional Provision of Law 29/1987 on Inheritance and Gift Tax, which was finally approved without changes and came into force on January 1, 2015.

What regulations apply from 1 January 2015?

Inheritance mortis causa 

  • The testator resides in Spain: the testators (heirs) are then subject to the regulations in force in the Autonomous Community where the testator resided.
  • The testator does not reside in Spain: the values of the assets located within each Autonomous Community are added up, applying the regulations of the Autonomous Community where the assets with the highest overall value are located. In the event that there are no assets in Spain, only the assignees resident in Spain, in the Autonomous Community where they reside, and also the assets received abroad, would be subject to personal liability.

Inter vivos successions or donations

Depending on the location of the goods and the residence of the taxable persons, there will be differences:

  1. a) Donations of goods located in Spain.
  • The taxpayer resides in Spain: he will be taxed in the Autonomous Community where the property is located, with the regulations applicable there. For property other than real estate, the taxable person will be taxed according to the regulations of the region where he is resident.
  • The taxpayer does not reside in Spain: he is subject to the jurisdiction of the state, although the regulations of the community where the property is located will apply. For other types of property, other than real estate, the regulations of the community where the property has been located for the most days in the previous five years will be applied.
  1. b) Donations of property located outside Spain
  • The taxpayer resides in Spain: the tax is a state responsibility, but it is settled in accordance with the regulations of the autonomous community where the recipient of the property resides.
  • The taxable person does not reside in Spain (EU or non-EU): logically, he will not be subject to paying the tax in Spain.
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