Until recently residents and non-residents inheriting property in Spain were treated differently when it came to inheritance tax. However, following pressure from the European Commission a modified law was passed on the 28th November 2014. This meant that for all inheritance transactions and donations after January 1st 2015, non-residents could not be discriminated against when it came to inheritance or donation tax.
The result of this is that now most non-residents in Spain have much less, if any, inheritance tax to pay thanks to big allowances unless it is a very large estate that is being inherited.
It seems that next year we will continue having good news about this tax. An example of this is that there has been an improvement in Andalucia which consists in the increase of the allowances. Until 2017 the minimum amount free of tax for close relatives was 250.000€ but next year it will increase to 1.000.000€. Inheritors will not have to pay any inheritance tax if they receive assets worth under 1.000.000€ although the tax declaration still needs to be presented. This means than inheritance tax tends to disappear.
Anyone wanting to get an idea of how much inheritance tax there might now be, should take into account that different regions do have different rules. For example, there can be variations in the threshold above which you must start paying inheritance tax.
Variations also occur depending upon who the inheritor is in relation to the deceased. For example, those closest to the deceased such as spouses, children and parents will pay the least in inheritance tax, if anything at all.
Each case is different and it is important to take individual advice to help you calculate inheritance tax bearing in mind the region and relationships to the deceased.
Please do not hesitate to contact our legal department should you have any queries.