Consultation: Dear Sir,

My mother, who lived in Javea (Alicante) passed away recently, and my sister and I, will inherit her Spanish house. The value of the property is high and as we are Non Tax Residents in Spain (we live in England), we have been informed that we will need to pay a huge Inheritance Tax bill. Could we do something to minimise it?

Dear reader, my condolences for your loss.

First of all, the minimum inheritance tax value, which is the minimum value for the property acceptable by the taxman, needs to be calculated. This is important as sometimes, the value for inheritance tax purposes to be declared as per the tax authority guidance, could be lower than expected, and therefore the Inheritance Tax ( IHT) less.

Also you need to know that at the moment, we are waiting for a decision from the High Court of Justices of the European Union regarding the Inheritance Tax in Spain, and if it is discriminatory against non residents, as on average the heirs who are European citizens non tax resident in Spain pay more than the residents. We honestly believe that the court will rule against Spain and we think that the Spanish IHT is clearly discriminatory. Under these bases some heirs, non tax residents in Spain are claiming to pay their taxes with the same benefits and reductions as the tax residents.

Anyway, you must also know that as per the article 20.c of the Inheritance and Gift Tax Law ( Ley 29/1987 del Impuesto sobre Sucesiones y Donaciones.), you and your sister could have a reduction of 95% of the value of the property with a maximum of 122.606,47 Euros, for each of you, as long as the property to be inherited was the habitual residence (home) of the deceased. This reduction applies for the deceased’s spouse, ascendants, descendants and also other relatives (collaterals) as long as they be over 65 years old and lived with the deceased for the last 2 years before the death in that home.

This reduction comes with the condition that the heirs keep the property for at least 10 years after the death.

If you need any assistance with an inheritance and succession in Spain or with the Spanish Inheritance Tax, our firm can assist you.

The information provided in this article is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys general information related to legal issues.