Capital gains tax

Die Kapitalgewinnsteuer besteuert den erzielten Gewinn beim Verkauf einer Immobilie. Der Gewinn ist die Differenz zwischen dem beurkundeten Kaufpreis (zuzüglich Nebenkosten des Erwerbs wie bspw. Grunderwerbsteuer, Notar- und Grundbuchkosten) und dem in der notariellen Verkaufsurkunde festgelegten Verkaufspreis. Die Kapitalgewinnsteuer fällt unabhängig von der Haltedauer der Immobilie immer an.

Any building measures that increase the value or substance (e.g. building a pool, barbecue, heating system) can be taken into account if the corresponding invoices are presented.

The percentage of capital gains tax is different for residents and non-residents:


In 2019, the capital gains tax for residents up to a profit of EUR 6,000 is: 19%, 21% from EUR 6,000 - 50,000 and 23% from a profit over EUR 50,000.

There are two options for residents to be exempt from capital gains tax:

  • Residenten über 65 Jahre die ihren Hauptwohnsitz verkaufen in dem sie selbst mindestens die letzten 3 Jahre gewohnt haben, brauchen keine Kapitalgewinnsteuer bezahlen.
  • Residents who invest the entire sale price in the purchase of a new property can also be exempt from capital gains tax, provided they have had their primary residence in the property for at least 3 years. If only part of the money is invested in a new property, this will be proportionally taken into account when calculating the tax burden.


Non-residents from EU member states, Iceland and Norway have been burdened with 19% of the capital gain since 2016. Non-residents from other countries (including Switzerland) with 24%.

If the seller is not a Spanish resident, the buyer must withhold 3% of the total sales price and pay it to the tax office. This is offset against the capital gains tax as a down payment. The seller is obliged to prepare a tax return on the actual capital gain and, taking into account the 3% retention, this results in an additional tax payment or refund. It is advisable to seek advice from a tax advisor in this regard, as the Spanish tax authorities focus on checking the information on property sales by non-residents and also enforce any additional claims by way of administrative assistance in other countries (including Germany).

Capital gain

This tax (land appreciation tax) affects the increase in the value of the property (valor suelo) from purchase to sale. The calculation of the Plusvalía varies from municipality to municipality. The amount of the charge can be requested from the respective municipality (Ayuntamiento) or SUMA before the sale. The basis of the calculation of the Plusvalía are the cadastral values of the land (Referencia Catastral suelo) between the purchase and sale of the property. The “Referencia Catastral” of your property can be found on the IBI notification (property tax) or on the account statement of the last automatic IBI debit.

The additional costs when buying a property in the province of Valencia are around 12% of the purchase value. They consist of the following taxes and costs:

Sales tax (IVA)

When buying a new property directly from the builder or building company, sales tax is due in Spain. The value added tax (IVA) on a property is 10% of the notarized value in the notary deed (escritura publica).

Real estate transfer tax (ITP - Impuesto sobre Transmisiones Patrimoniales)

If you buy a property from a private person, there is no sales tax, but the real estate transfer tax (Impuesto Transmisiones patrimoniales, ITP abbreviated). The amount of this tax is regulated differently in the individual provinces and is, for example, 10% in the province of Valencia and the Balearic Islands.

The assessment basis is the notarized purchase price or - if this is higher - the so-called "Valor Real", which results from the cadastral value and a community-specific factor. At this point, it is advisable to seek advice on the actual amount of the real estate transfer tax before buying in order to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Document tax or Impuestos de Actos Jurídicos Documentados (AJD)

Document tax is due when purchasing a new property or setting up a mortgage to finance the property. The document tax is between 1.2 and 2% of the property value or the mortgage amount.

Notary fees

In Spain the contract of sale must be certified by a notary for registration in the Public Property Registry. Notary fees depend on the value of the property. Approximately 0.5 - 1% of the purchase price can serve as a guide.

Land registry fees

After the notary contract, the property must be re-registered in the land registry. This incurs fees of approx. 0.5% of the purchase price.

Legal and tax consultancy fees

We generally recommend that our customers seek advice from a tax advisor and / or lawyer. They will represent your interests and check all documents before the purchase, so that you can be sure that there will be no hidden surprises after buying the property. As a rule, the consultation amounts to approx. 0.5% - 1.5% of the purchase price. We are happy to help you find a reputable and competent advice center.

If you have found your dream property together with us and have agreed on the price with the seller, follow these steps

Private preliminary contract / reservation contract

In diesem privaten Vorvertrag werden alle Einzelheiten des Immobilienerwerbes festgelegt und der Käufer hat in der Regel die Verpflichtung,  eine Anzahlung von ca. 10% des Kaufpreises zu leisten. Im Gegenzug nimmt der Verkäufer die Immobilie vom Markt.

Beachten Sie bitte, dass nach spanischem Recht diesem Vertrag große Bedeutung zukommt. Anders als bspw. in Deutschland kann der Eigentumserwerb auch ohne notarielle Beurkundung und anschließende Grundbucheintragung erfolgen. Während in Deutschland das Eigentum erst bei Grundbucheintragung (sogenannte konstitutive Wirkung) übergeht, kann dieses nach spanischem Recht bereits bei Abschluss eines privatschriftlichen Vertrages erfolgen. Die Grundbucheintragung hat nur eine sogenannte deklaratorische Wirkung. Daher legen wir für unsere Kunden einen sehr großen Wert auf die Erstellung eines für den Verkäufer und den Käufer rechtssicheren (Vor-)vertrages.

Application for the tax number

Every property buyer needs a Spanish tax number - the NIE. This number is required to declare and pay the applicable taxes to the Spanish tax office. The NIE is applied for at the local police station with the Foreigners Department. We are happy to help our customers to apply for this tax number.

Opening a bank account

When purchasing a property, the purchase price is usually processed via a Spanish bank account. Therefore, a bank account in Spain should be opened soon. We are also happy to help.

Public contract

The so-called public contract (Escritura Publica de Compraventa) is certified by a notary and is used to register the acquisition in the property registry. When signing the notarial contract, the remaining amount of the purchase price is usually paid by certified check by the bank, and in return, the buyer receives the keys and therefore all the property legally.

Payment of all applicable taxes

Following the notarized purchase contract, the new owner is obliged to pay all necessary taxes. The deadline for this is usually one month after the conclusion of the notarial contract.

Entry in the land register

With the new Escritura, the buyer is now entered in the land register as the owner of the property.

With the acquisition of a property the buyer has to pay the following annual additional costs:

Property tax

The property tax (IBI- Impuesto de bienes inmuebles) is an annual municipal tax. It is levied on the cadastral value of the property and each municipality has the right to set its own rate. In most municipalities and cities, property tax is due for payment at the end of September / beginning of October.

Community / Urbanization

If the property belongs to a community of owners, the resulting community costs are passed on to the members. The amount of this contribution depends on the size of the community and the community items to be maintained.

Waste Disposal (Basura)

Each owner has to pay his share of the municipal waste disposal. As a rule, the debit takes place in the months of March or April of each year.

Electricity / water / gas / telephone

These costs depend on the individual consumption of the owner. We will be happy to assist you with the necessary registrations and contracts with the utility companies.

Income tax

Property owners in Spain may be required to file income tax returns for their property.

This generally applies to non-residents in Spain! The non-resident also has to pay taxes on a fictitious rental value for properties that are not rented. The tax return on this must be filed before December 31 of the following year and the calculated tax must be paid at this time. We will be happy to recommend a competent tax consulting company for the preparation of the tax return.

Since this information is only a summary that corresponds to the legal status as of January 2015, we urge you to seek professional assistance; We do not accept any responsibility for the content of this information. We would be happy to recommend an experienced tax advisor, speaking German, English and Spanish, who will work with you to determine your individual matters and resolve them in accordance with Spanish tax law.

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