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WILLS & PROBATE / INHERITANCE MATTERS / INHERITANCE TAX: IHT

At White Baos Abogados, we are experts in legal advice on Probate Wills and inheritance tax in Spain. Likewise, in challenge or claim against Wills and inheritances.

Spanish and international inheritances and Probate

As lawyers we have been able to help numerous clients in the processing of their inheritances in Spain. And also outside of Spain, through our collaborating offices abroad.

Knowledge of private international law, and Spanish law, makes us a benchmark law firm in the processing of inheritances with international or cross border elements. And on the implications regarding inheritance tax for expatriates. With specialisation in the execution of foreign Wills in Spain.

Wills signed in Spain and outside of Spain

As experts with knowledge of Spanish and European regulations (especially European Regulation 650/2012) and international law, we advise our clients (expatriates especially) in the execution of Wills in Spain.

It is essential to keep in mind:

First, the different laws that may be applicable to the inheritance.

Second, the tax implications. Inheritance tax laws.

Finally, the client’s wishes, and the execution of the Will.

Legal advice on inheritance tax in Spain

It is essential when making a Will or processing an inheritance, etc to know the inheritance tax in Spain. And its application to expatriates, or when there are assets out of Spain, etc.

As lawyers, we advise on the tax beforehand, carrying out tax planning, adapted to the client’s needs.

Likewise, we advise the heirs, etc on the different tax options, etc.

In addition, we have achieved numerous successes claiming against the tax authorities in Spain, in relation to inheritance tax reclaims.

Challenge and nullity of wills in Spain

One of our specialties is the challenge of Wills, probate and inheritances in Spain. Both for Spanish and expatriates: British, Irish, French, Belgian, German, etc.

So if you want to know if you can contest a Will, if they have left you nothing; Or if you can claim against an inheritance or the heirs, our firm can advise you.

Our Probate, Wills and inheritance tax in Spain

As specialist lawyers we can advise you on these matters. In relation to how to progress them in front of the Spanish courts, but also, in those cases, when there is no need to go to court.

For expert professional legal advice, contact us

Other articles or services related:

Spanish Wills (signed in Spain or in the UK)
Spanish Inheritance Deeds
Inheritance and Gift Tax Planning. Death Duties-Taxes. IHT/I.H.T.
Challenging and contesting a Will in Spain. Grounds for disputing a Will, How to contest, challenge and dispute a Will or Testament. Spanish Probate and Will Laws.

The Inheritance Tax in Spain (IT) is a tax that must be paid by each of the heirs individually though standard form 650. This system is different, for instance, from the UK; where Inheritance Tax is paid out of the assets that form the estate.

Yes, in comparison with the rest of the countries around us, the tax burden on inheritances in Spain is higher. The amount to be paid is influenced by many factors: the relationship between the deceased and the heir (the closer: parents and children, grandchildren and grandparents, etc., the less you will pay), the amount and value of the assets to be inherited, the regulations applicable to the inheritance (central government regulations, autonomous community, etc.).

In Spain, the Inheritance Tax is a “State Tax”, that the government transfers to the Autonomous Communities. Each region has its own regulations. Depending on the circumstances of the deceased and the heirs (whether they are residents or non-residents) the regulations and applicable jurisdiction is different. You can find an explanatory table from the Tax Agency below.

DECEASED

HEIR

AGENCY IN CHARGE

APPLICABLE

REGULATION

RESIDENT

RESIDENT

REGION of

residence of the

deceased

REGION of residence of the deceased

RESIDENT

NON

RESIDENT

CENTRAL

GOVERNAMENT

Option:

– CENTRAL

GOVERNAMENT

– REGION of residence of the deceased.

 

NON

RESIDENT

RESIDENT

CENTRAL

GOVERNAMENT

Option:

– CENTRAL

GOVERNAMENT

– REGION of Spain with the assets of most value, and if there are no assets, REGION of residence of the deceased.

 

NON

RESIDENT

NON

RESIDENT

CENTRAL

GOVERNAMENT

Option:

– CENTRAL

GOVERNAMENT

– REGION of Spain with the assets of most value.

 

The deadline for paying the Inheritance Tax in Spain is 6 months from the date of death. However, during the first 5 months, it is possible to request an extension of another 6 months (1 year total). In all cases (i.e. whether an extension has been requested or not) from the 6th month onwards, late payment interest will be payable.

If an inheritance ends up in Court, it is necessary to notify the competent Tax Authority depending on the Region. Once notified, the deadline for payment will be suspended until the end of the judicial process.

If payment is made after the deadline (after the 6th month, if no extension has been requested; after 1 year, if an extension has been requested), in addition to the interest for late payment, a series of surcharges established in the Tax Law will be due.

Yes. However, the conditions will vary depending on the Region. In the Valencian Region, under certain circumstances, you can request a 5-year payment plan.

Yes, from the assets to be inherited (a house, a bank account, a car, etc.) it is necessary to subtract any debts that the deceased may have had. For instance, a debt with the tax authorities. Burial and funeral expenses can also be deducted.

This happens because each Region of Spain (Autonomous Communities) can set its own deductions and allowances. For this reason, in much cheaper to inherit under the regulation of regions like Andalusia or Cantabria, rather than the Canary Islands or Asturias. 

The Region of Valencia applies a progressive rate, ranging from 7.65% to 34%. For instance, if you inherit assets worth 150.000€, the taxable amount will be approximately 22.000€. Although to this amount you could still apply allowances related to kindship, disability, etc. You can find a table of the applicable rate below.

Taxable base

(Up to, €)

Taxable amount (€)

Remaining taxable base (Up to, €)

Applicable rate (%)

0

0

7.993,46

7’65

7.993,46

611,5

7.668,91

8’50

15.662,38

1.263,36

7.831,19

9’35

23.493,56

1.995,58

7.831,19

10’20

31.324,75

2.794,36

7.831,19

11’05

39.155,94

3.659,70

7.831,19

11,9

46.987,13

4.591,61

7.831,19

12’75

54.818,31

5.590,09

7.831,19

13’60

62.649,50

6.655,13

7.831,19

14’45

70.480,69

7.786,74

7.831,19

15’30

78.311,88

8.984,91

39.095,84

16’15

117.407,71

15.298,89

39.095,84

18’70

156.503,55

22.609,81

78.191,67

21’25

234.695,23

39.225,54

156.263,15

25’50

390.958,37

79.072,64

390.958,37

29’75

781.916,75

195.382,76

Onwards

34’00

 

In the Valencian Region, among others, there is a 95% deduction for the main residence (with a limit of €150,000), the deduction for kinship (which allows that, for example, from parents to children, no deduction is paid for the first €100,000) and others that we have already analysed in detail previously.

In Spain we can differentiate between two types of inheritance. Testate succession (when the deceased granted a will before passing away) and intestate succession (when there is no will).

The initial document in all inheritance proceedings is the Death Certificate. Once obtained, it will be necessary to get the Last Will and Testament Certificate, Insurance Certificate, authorised copy of the will and the rest of the documentation related to the assets that form the inheritance (properties, bank accounts, etc). When all the documentation is ready, the deed of acceptance of inheritance can be signed.

Yes, it is necessary that each and every one of the heirs accepts the inheritance. If an heir cannot sign, it will be necessary for him/her to authorise another person, by means of a Power of Attorney, to accept and sign the inheritance on his/her behalf.

If you grant a Power of Attorney, it will not be necessary for you to travel to Spain. This POA can be granted either to your lawyer or the person you wish to represent you in all the formalities.

Yes, in order to accept an inheritance in Spain you will need an NIE (Foreigner’s Identity Number). Please note that the NIE must be registered with the competent tax authority.

In Spain, Inheritance Tax is paid by each of the heirs individually. This model is different from other countries in our surroundings, where IT is paid directly from the estate. You can find more information about the IT on our website.

Even if the only asset to be inherited is a bank account, in Spain the inheritance process is the same. Please note that, even though it is a joint account between the deceased and the heir, the change of ownership is not automatic. It will be necessary to collect all the documentation, prove payment of taxes, etc in order to have access to the account.

It will depend on the amount of assets to be inherited, the documentation to be compiled, the number of heirs, etc. However, if the deceased granted a will in Spain, the procedure is usually much quicker than if the testamentary/succession document has to be obtained in a foreign country. In this case, it must be translated, apostilled, etc. If everything goes well, the process can take between a month and a half and as long as necessary, depending on the complexity of the matter.

No. In Spain, European Regulation 650/2012, will be applied to Inheritances. That is to say, the law applicable to the inheritance will normally be: either the law of the habitual residence of the deceased at the time of death, or the law of his/her nationality (had the deceased opted for it). Therefore, even if the inheritance takes place in Spain, or if there are Spanish assets, Spanish law and the ‘forced heirs’ rights of the Spanish Civil Code will not necessarily apply. In other words, it will depend on the law that rules the inheritance. If Spanish law is applied, the children will be forced heirs. If the law of another country applies, it will depend on what that law says.

If the deceased did not make a will, the intestate succession would be opened. The law applicable to the inheritance (that will determine who the heirs are) will be the law of the last habitual residence of the deceased.

No. If Spanish law is applicable, the Civil Code establishes that will inherit descendants, ascendants, spouse, siblings and nieces/nephews, other collaterals up to the fourth degree. Only if none of the above exist, the government would inherit the assets.

In Spain, the Gift Tax is always paid by the donee. That is, the person who receives and benefits from the gift. In the Valencia Region, this tax must be declared through form 651, within 30 days following the gift. 

Although the Gift Tax is a “State Tax”, the government has transferred it to the different Regions or “Comunidad autónomas” and each one has its own regulation. Depending on the circumstances of each case, the agency in charge of this tax, and the applicable regulation will be one or another. You can find an explanatory chart, below:

DONEE

TYPE OF

ASSET

AGENCY IN CHARGE

APPLICABLE

REGULATION

RESIDENT

ASSET

LOCATED IN SPAIN

REGION where the asset is located. 

 

REGION where the asset is located

RESIDENT

OTHER

ASSETS OR RIGHTS

REGION of

residence

 

REGION of residence

RESIDENT

ASSET

LOCATED

OUTSIDE OF SPAIN

CENTRAL

GOVERNAMENT

Option:

– CENTRAL

GOVERNAMENT

– REGION of residence.

 

NON

RESIDENT

ASSET

LOCATED IN SPAIN

CENTRAL

GOVERNAMENT

Option:

– CENTRAL

GOVERNAMENT

– REGION where the

asset is located.

NON

RESIDENT

OTHER

ASSETS OR RIGHTS

LOCATED IN SPAIN

CENTRAL

GOVERNAMENT

Option:

– CENTRAL

GOVERNAMENT

– REGION where the

 assets or rights have been located during most of the time in the last 5 years.

 

If the donation is formalised before a notary, it will be necessary to provide the identity document or passport of both (donee and donor), the NIE (if either of them is a foreigner), proof of the transfer (if the gift consists of money), title deeds and cadastral reference (if it is a property), etc. Depending on the case (gifts from parents to children that are exempt from tax) it will also be necessary to provide a copy of the birth certificate, which must be duly apostilled and translated if it was not issued in Spain.

In the Valencian Community, gifts of less than 100,000€ between certain family members are exempt from taxes. For instance, if a father donates a house valued at 200,000€ to his two children, they won’t have to pay gift tax. Above this amount, tax is payable according to the following chart:

Taxable base

(Up to, €)

Taxable amount (€)

Remaining taxable base (Up to, €)

Applicable rate (%)

0

0

7.993,46

7’65

7.993,46

611,5

7.668,91

8’50

15.662,38

1.263,36

7.831,19

9’35

23.493,56

1.995,58

7.831,19

10’20

31.324,75

2.794,36

7.831,19

11’05

39.155,94

3.659,70

7.831,19

11,9

46.987,13

4.591,61

7.831,19

12’75

54.818,31

5.590,09

7.831,19

13’60

62.649,50

6.655,13

7.831,19

14’45

70.480,69

7.786,74

7.831,19

15’30

78.311,88

8.984,91

39.095,84

16’15

117.407,71

15.298,89

39.095,84

18’70

156.503,55

22.609,81

78.191,67

21’25

234.695,23

39.225,54

156.263,15

25’50

390.958,37

79.072,64

390.958,37

29’75

781.916,75

195.382,76

Onwards

34’00

 

The Reference Value is an indicator used by the Tax Administration for the payment of several taxes. Among them, the Gift Tax. If, when submitting the tax, the donee declares an amount lower than the Reference Value, the administration will most likely initiate a verification procedure and claim the payment of the difference.

No. If the gift is monetary, it could be formalised in a simple private document or made verbally. However, by law, if the donee wants to benefit from the reductions foreseen in the Valencian Regulations, he/she will be compelled to formalise the donation in a public deed. Therefore, although it is not compulsory, it is highly advisable.

When the gift consists of a real estate property, it will be necessary to pay the Municipal “Plusvalía” and the Capital Gains Tax. The Plusvalia is paid by the donee, within 30 days. The capital gains tax is payable by the donor. The deadline will depend on whether the donor is resident or non-resident. If he/she is resident in Spain, he/she must declare the possible gain in his/her annual tax return the following year. If, on the other hand, he/she is a non-resident, the deadline for declaring the gain is 4 months from the signing of the deed.

Although it is difficult to give a generic answer (because each case has its own particularities), it can be stated that inheriting is usually more fiscally beneficial than receiving a donation/gift. The number of deductions and allowances applicable in inheritances is higher. Also, the capital gain is not taxable in inheritances.

If the funds you wish to gift to your non-resident child are not located in Spain, the transaction would, in principle, be exempt from taxation in Spain.

Please click the link below to see the video: FAQ About Spanish Inheritance Tax.

Play Video about FAQ About Spanish Inheritance Tax.

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