Consultation about The cheapest way to transfer properties between spouses.
My husband and I have an apartment in Spain, Costa Blanca. We are not tax residents, and we want to put it my name only. I have been told that with the change in the inheritance and gift tax laws, the Valencian Tax Law will apply to us, and therefore the cheapest way would be as a donation or gift in my favor. Is this true ?
Dear reader, thank you for your enquiry.
The rules to determine the applicable tax law for donations, gifts and successions in Spain have indeed changed. So, even though you are not resident in Spain, if the property is in Costa Blanca (Valencia), the Valencian tax Law will apply to you. This is good, as it is generally much more advantageous than national or state tax rules.
Law 13/1997 of the Valencian Government’s rules, in its Article 10 Bis, concerning reductions in donations and gifts, foresaw some tax reductions: a reduction of € 100,000 in donations in favor of descendants (children and grandchildren). Also in favor of ascendants (parents and grandparents).
But unfortunately the Valencian law does not foresee any relevant tax benefit on the tax payable when the donation is made between spouses, (there are important benefits in inheritance between spouses). Therefore, whilst it is true that the Valencian law will apply to you, despite not being resident tax, in your case as spouses, the gift tax would still be high.
Division of the common property
In your case, if the Spanish property is registered at the land registry in yours and your husband’s names, your husband could sell it to you, or even better, you could agree a division of the common property (or proindiviso), where you could be awarded the whole property, compensating your husband for his half.
The advantage of this transaction (which legally has no consideration as a sale), is that it is fiscally very advantageous, only incurring tax stamp duty. Which in Valencia region is 1.5% of the total value of the property.
It is very important before making any transfer of a property, to get the correct legal and tax advice, about the different ways to do it, because there may be a very significant tax savings. If you have any questions regarding this matter, please, contact us.
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)
Spanish Law firm solicitor attorney barrister.
Alicante, Denia, Costa Blanca Marina Alta
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