Spanish Inheritance Tax Rules Changes – An Update

In September we published the article Spanish Inheritance Tax Set To Change which reported the decision of the European Court of Justice to rule against Spain in Commission v Spain Case C-127/12.

In this ruling the ECJ declared that the current Spanish Inheritance Tax System is discriminatory to non-residents as it provides for charging inheritance tax to non-residents which would not be charged to Spanish residents.

Under the old discriminatory system regional laws were applied where both the deceased and the beneficiaries were officially resident in Spain. If either the deceased or beneficiaries were non-resident in Spain, then the State inheritance tax rules apply. As most inheritance tax exemptions and allowances are regional, this meant that non-residents were paying far more inheritance tax when compared with a Spanish resident in the same situation.

Since this decision however, the Spanish tax offices have now changed their official documentation and procedure as the old system has been declared illegal.

This does not of course assist those who have preciously had to pay inheritance tax in accordance with the old system, however there is some good news! Many people who have paid Spanish Inheritance Tax within the last 4 years are able to make a clam for the refund of overpaid Spanish Inheritance Tax. For more information about how to claim you Spanish Inheritance Tax refund, contact Worldwide Lawyers on 01244 470 339 or at


For people who are currently dealing with a Spanish inheritance, the Spanish inheritance declaration should now be submitted using the regional allowances that are available to residents. It is however anticipated that this decision will eventually lead the Spanish authorities to “balance the books” by increasing the inheritance tax rates or reducing the tax allowances available across the board.

It is imperative that if you are dealing with inheritance in Spain that you seek advice from a lawyer with experience in Spanish inheritance law to ensure that you understand how much inheritance tax is actually due under the current rules and in your specific situation.

If you need assistance from a specialist lawyer in Spain with regard to inheritance and inheritance tax, contact Worldwide Lawyers who can put you in touch with a lawyer to help you.

Have you already paid Spanish Inheritance Tax? You may be eligible for a refund! To find out why and how to claim click on this link to our article Thousands of Brits Eligible for Spanish Inheritance Tax Refund – Are You? 

Contact Worldwide Lawyers on 01244 470339 or at and start your claim today!