Travel tips for Spain

Over 56 million foreign visitors visit Spain every year (source: Instituto de Estudios Turísticos) making it one of the most-visited countries in the world. Entry requirements The documentation required to travel to Spain varies according to the country of origin. If you are a citizen of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein: you will need a valid passport or ID card. Additionally, in the case of a minor travelling with an ID document, this must be accompanied by written permission from the parents. If you come from another country: The maximum stay in Spain is 90 days. There are a number of countries whose citizens are required to have […]

EU court finds the Spanish Inheritance and Gift tax discriminatory

The European court has just issued a ruling on the 3rd September which finds that the Spanish Inheritance tax is discriminatory as it applies different regulations depending on whether the heirs or beneficiaries of gifts are residents or non residents. The above mentioned ruling is important as the Inheritance tax is one of the highest in Spain, since the rates go from the minimum of 7,65% up to the 34%, depending on the wealth you get out of the inheritance/gift. The point is that as this tax is partially regional competence, many regions had designed specific tax exemptions for the benefit of those who were resident in their corresponding region. […]

Spanish communal property laws

Most of the properties purchased by foreigners are within flats, urbanisations or complexes subject to the Spanish law on communal property of buildings (“Ley de Propiedad Horizontal”). Such law lays down the rights and obligations of the owners towards the community and also the control mechanisms which are usually available to owners and the community alike. However, it is surprising the wide range of misunderstandings which arise among foreigners who purchase a property and find themselves all of a sudden with “hidden debts” and community decisions which are detrimental to their interests. In many cases, most of these problems are due to lack of information or perhaps to lack of […]

Spanish Wills and inheritance

It is a normal practice in Spain to recommend foreign clients who invest in Spain that they execute a Will at the Notary in order to rule their inheritance in Spain. As this usually accelerates the acquisition of assets out of inheritance, it has become very popular that the solicitors arrange shortly after completion an appointment to do the Wills and sort out this important formality. Even though doing the Will at the Notary seems easy, there are two important points which in many cases are forgotten and that your legal adviser should take into account: on the one hand, the restrictions to inheritance that your national laws impose; on […]

Prevention of conflicts in joint ownership situations

One of the most common and most problematic situations which arise nowadays is the conflict among several joint owners of a property. The most typical case is the non married couple who purchases a house and due to subsequent disagreements starts living independently from each other. What happens if Bill (owner of 50% of the property according to the deeds) gets fed up of the property and wants to have it sold to get “his part” back, of course against Grace’s opinion? And what if Grace had paid the full investment on the property (price and costs!) and Bill had not put a cent? Is there any compensation to the […]

Tax obligations in Spain

Clarity is essential when advising foreign nationals who wish to comply with their tax obligations in Spain. As the person seeking advice is not currently used to deal with legal issues, it is essential to summarise the basic facts in order to avoid misunderstandings. The first key concept is the residency for tax purposes: an individual who lives in Spain less than 183 days a calendar year is considered as a non resident for tax purposes and consequently he is obliged to pay Non Resident Income tax and also the wealth tax. However, if such individual lives in Spain more than 183 days a calendar, or if his wife and […]