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Firmalex > Latest posts > Selling a house in Spain as a non-resident: Documents and Taxes

If you have come this far, it is probably because you are thinking of selling a house in Spain. Before looking for a real estate agent to help you find a buyer, we recommend that you prepare all the documentation and make sure you know what taxes you will have to pay.

It is also important that you know whether you are a non-resident or a resident in Spain. According to the Spanish Tax Agency, a person is considered to be habitually resident in Spain when any of the following circumstances apply:

  • You stay in Spain for more than 183 days of the calendar year.
  • The core or base of their economic activities is located in Spain.
  • Or when the non-legally separated spouse and dependent minor children are habitually resident in Spain.
Mandatory documents for selling a house in Spain

In order to sell your home in any Spanish Autonomous Community there are a series of obligatory documents common to any territory. They are divided in two directions: accrediting that you own the property and accrediting that you are up to date with the payments of the property.

Accreditation of ownership

  • Title Deed of the house or Title Deed: Document that you acquired when you bought the property. This is the main document that proves that you own the property. It is registered in the Land Registry.
  • Identity Document: This is the document that allows the personal and unequivocal identification of citizens. Example: NIE (Foreigner’s Identity Number).

Accreditation of being up to date with payments

  • Simple registration note: This is a basic official document obtained from the Land Registry. This document accredits the status of the property. It contains: details, ownership and encumbrances of the property.
  • Real Estate Tax (IBI): This is the tax that is levied on the ownership of the property. It is normally paid once a year at the corresponding town hall. The last paid receipt must be presented.
  • Certificate of being free of payments from the Community of Neighbours: If the property is located in a community of neighbours or a housing estate, the administrator’s certificate must be presented, certifying that the property is up to date with payments.
  • Certificate of outstanding debt and Cancellation of Registration: If the property has a mortgage, a certificate of outstanding debt must be requested at the time of sale.

Other documents that may be required

  • Energy efficiency certificate: This is the document that certifies the energy rating of the property. The energy label ranges from A to G, depending on the level of efficiency. A corresponds to higher efficiency with higher investment costs and G corresponds to homes built without thermal requirements.
  • Technical Building Inspection Certificate (ITE): For homes located in old buildings, it is necessary to certify that the building is in optimal conditions or if there are deficiencies or improvement works pending.
  • Certificate of habitability: This is the first or second occupancy licence. To obtain this, a technical report by a qualified professional is required.
Taxes when selling a house in Spain as a non-resident

When selling a property in Spain, even if the owner is a non-resident in Spain, he/she must declare the profits obtained to the Spanish tax authorities.

IRNR: Income tax for non-residents

In order to calculate the IRNR you have to take into account the difference between:

  • VALUE OF ACQUISITION OF THE PROPERTY: Value for which the property was acquired plus the notary fees, land registry fees, etc. derived from the purchase. The improvements and investments made in the property will also be added.
  • TRANSFER VALUE OF THE PROPERTY: Value for which the property is sold plus the expenses derived from the sale process: real estate agency, notary’s office, etc.

Once the amount of the difference has been calculated, the tax rate of 19% will be applied for citizens of the European Union, Iceland or Norway and 24% for the rest of the countries.

Capital Gains Tax or the Tax on the Increase in the Value of Urban Land (IIVTNU)

The capital gains tax or IIVTNU is the increase in value of the property during the years in which the seller has been the owner. The capital gain is a tax that depends on the increase in value of the land and the tax rate set by the local council to which the property belongs. From Firmalex, we recommend that you contact a local real estate and tax lawyer to review the whole process of selling a property in Spain and help you calculate the direct taxes of the sale, to avoid future surprises.

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