TAX EXEMPTION WHEN SELLING YOUR PROPERTY IN SPAIN
The Spanish Constitution and the regulations (tax and social) developed thereof, regarding the protection of the elderly, guarantee that the elderly will receive a comprehensive system of care and protection that promotes and enhances the wellbeing of this section of the population, within which this article highlights the area of economic protection.
The purpose of this type of protection is to formulate a system of regulations that provide the elderly with the necessary economic resources, which will contribute towards their independence and improve their quality of life.
As principle provisions or benefits within this economic protection of the elderly, we can highlight, among other things: retirement pensions (contributory and non-contributory), supplementary economic provisions, various subsidies and aid, which is granted within the scope of Social Services, as well as certain tax benefits.
In relation to this matter, this article will focus on the exemption from capital gains tax, which, for those over 65, occurs at the time that their habitual residence is sold.
Gains derived from the transfer of immovable property are taxed, for non-residents, at a fixed rate of 19%. For residents, the first €6,000 is taxed at 19% and the rest is taxed at 21%.
Moreover, in the case of the transfer of property by a non-resident, the purchaser shall be obliged to withhold and pay 3% of the sale price as payment on account of taxes which should meet the requirements of capital gains for non-residents and that should be paid directly to the Tax Authorities. Said retention from the sale price is not incurred if the seller has the right to tax reduction for the transfer of property that is their habitual residence, for those over the age of 65.
Article 31.4 b) of Law 40/1998, which regulates personal income tax, establishes that those over the age of 65 shall be exempt from capital gains in the event that the property transferred is their habitual residence.
The only two requirements for eligibility for this tax exemption are the following:
- The taxpayer must be over 65 at the time that the transfer takes place.
- The transferred property must be their habitual residence. In order that the property be considered a place of habitual residence for the purpose of this tax, two temporal limits are established: 1) it must be effectively occupied by the taxpayer within a period of 12 months from the date of acquisition or from the termination of any building work; 2) it must constitute their place of habitual residence for an on-going period of at least three years prior to the date of sale.
Author: Francisco Delgado Montilla, C&D Solicitors (lawyers)
Torrox-Costa (Malaga/Costa del Sol/Andalucia)