The principles of Spanish inheritance tax

When it comes to paying death duties upon the acquisition of assets in Spain, heirs will need to ascertain if the deceased person had a will from their home country (for example an English Will), a Spanish will, any other will or if they died without a will – known as intestate.

Different protocols are required when managing the assets upon inheritance in Spain, depending on the level of wills written by the deceased.

Our team consists of experienced, qualified English solicitors and Spanish speaking abogados so we are on hand to help you through the minefield of bureaucracy at this difficult time.

Below is an overview of the general principles applied when assessing and calculating Spanish inheritance tax:

  1. Whoever inherits the Spanish asset has an obligation to declare the inheritance and pay any tax, if applicable
  2. Blood and family relatives tend to have generous personal inheritance tax allowances
  3. All heirs will require an NIE, Spanish tax number
  4. The inheritance has to be declared within 6 months of the date of death
  5. There is no free transfer of assets between spouses whilst alive
  6. Debts such as community fees, mortgages, loans, as well as Spanish funeral expenses, are deductible costs
  7. In Spain depending on the relationship with the deceased, heirs are classified in 4 groups as set out below:
  • Group I. Children, grandchildren, minors all under the age of 21 can inherit
  • Group II. Children over the age of 21, parents, grandparents, spouses
  • Group III. Brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles
  • Group IV. Cousins, other family members and non family members.

In calculating Spanish inheritance tax, you assess the relationship the heir had with the deceased and which of the above groups they form part of, and then you calculate the inheritance tax. Each of the 17 autonomous regions of Spain sets their own inheritance tax.

Whatever the situation, we are on hand to help you through this difficult time.

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