My partner (we are a same sex couple) is very sick. We went to see an advisor who informed us that since we are not married, although we are civil partners, I shall be considered in Spain for Inheritance Tax purposes as non relative or stranger, (Group IV), and therefore I will need to pay double IHT, compared to if I was his husband. This is absolutely unfair, what I can do?
First, thank you for your enquiry.
It is true that in Spain if you are not married or the deceased’s relative, for the purposes of inheritance tax, normally you should be included in the IV group of “strangers”, which results in a higher Inheritance Tax to be paid.
Spain recognises same sex marriages. However, there is not a similar institution to the Civil Partnership in Spanish Law.
In any case, I must say, with all the respect, that I disagree with the advice given to you.
The reason is that I understand that the British Civil Partnership granted under the Civil Partnership Act 2004, must be equated in Spain to same sex marriages, regarding Inheritance Tax, providing that the Civil Partnership is legally and formally formed and registered.
This is because British Law equates civil partners with spouses, giving the same rights and responsibilities and also recognizing the same bonuses, reductions and rights regarding inheritance and the inheritance tax. I understand, therefore, that the Civil Partnership must be interpreted for Spanish Inheritance Tax purposes, according to the British law. Therefore you should pay inheritance tax with the reductions and bonuses as if you were considered his spouse.
Therefore, we believe that this needs to be seriously considered by you, and when the time comes, you should claim to be taxed as spouse and not as a stranger; which should result in the final tax bill being reduced dramatically. If you require our services, we would be pleased to assist you.
The information provided in this article is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys general information related to legal issues.
Carlos Baos (Lawyer)
White & Baos
Tel: +34 966 426 185
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