Spanish Inheritance Tax

Spanish inheritance tax, Impuesto sobre Sucesiones y Donaciones, abbreviated to ‘ISD’ is payable by heirs and beneficiaries of an estate only if they are resident in Spain or when the inheritance is a fixed asset in Spain, such as a property.

Giambrone's well respected Spanish inheritance lawyers strongly advise that if you own fixed assets in Spain, you should be aware of how ISD works and the complex rules surrounding it, including the law on debts related to the inheritance and how the tax law varies from region to region in Spain.

The inheritance lawyers at Giambrone are highly regarded specialists in Spanish inheritance tax law having in-depth, knowledge of how the ISD system functions across all regions in Spain, drawing on their technical expertise and reliable judgment. 

Our lawyers regularly assist British citizens with assets in Spain, particularly in relation to how they can draft an efficient Spanish will that minimises the burden of probate for their heirs and beneficiaries.  Our multi-lingual lawyers can advise our clients in their own language when advising them in navigating Spanish inheritance tax, The following provides a brief overview of the principles of Spanish inheritance tax.

The basis for Spanish inheritance tax State Rules is the relationship between the deceased or donor of the gift, and the heirs and beneficiaries, as well as the value of the inheritance. There are various groups into which the heirs and beneficiaries fall which dictate the amount of tax and the allowances permitted.

The Spanish Constitution of 1978 divided Spain into seventeen autonomous communities, and there are also two autonomous cities. These autonomous entities can independently vary the State Rules on Spanish inheritance tax in their region.

There is a wide variation of the rules between autonomous communities which makes it extremely important to ensure that you are advised by well-regarded legal experts in Spanish inheritance who are thoroughly knowledgeable in the law in the particular region that applies to your inheritance. 

There is an option that permits the heirs and beneficiaries of EU citizens, whose estates contain assets in Spain, the right to choose the application of the ISD law of the autonomous community in which the assets are based. Beneficiaries of assets left by non-EU citizens residing in Spain also have the same right.

Additionally, in August 2015, new rules introduced by the European Commission allowed non-residents of EU member states to choose whether their foreign assets would be dealt with by the local law of succession, or that of their country of nationality.

An inheritance cannot be received by the heirs or beneficiaries until the Spanish inheritance tax that is due is paid. Spanish Inheritance tax is due within six months of the death.  Any debts accrued against the asset or assets must also be paid.  Accepting the inheritance means also accepting the debts. However, the heirs and beneficiaries can decide to reject the inheritance if they feel that the debts make the inheritance unfeasible, in which case the assets will be offered to the next in line of inheritance.  The highly experienced lawyers in Giambrone’s Spanish inheritance and probate team can help you with the decision.

If you require further information or advice from our team of specialist lawyers, please contact a member of our client services team by: