Capital gains tax victory

March 8th, 2009

A British couple who took the Spanish tax authorities to court, have won £10,000 after they had been illegally charged more than twice the amount of capital gains tax than was charged to Spanish residents when they sold a property in 2004. After a battle lasting more than a year, they have successfully reclaimed their overpayment and the case now paves the way for thousands of other foreigners to make similar claims from the Spanish government.

Until recently, foreign nationals had to pay 35pc of any gains made on Spanish properties as tax. This compared to just 15pc paid by Spanish nationals. The European Union challenged the rules, claiming they were discriminatory, and since the start of 2007 the Spanish tax authorities have levied the same 15pc tax rate on Spanish and overseas property owners.

The Spanish court ruled that the initial case put forward by solicitors Costa, Alvarez, Manglano & Associates on behalf of Mr and Mrs Roy from the UK was so convincing that there was no need for it to be passed on to the European Courts of Justice (ECJ), which is the usual procedure.

“Anyone else who believes they have been affected should come forward now with their cases,” said Emilio Alvarez, from the law firm. Six hundred other British couples are now putting cases forward, and all the cases will be decided separately by the Spanish court.

Taxpayers are also entitled to claim a refund for missing interest at a rate of 6pc from the date the reclaim is presented, making the total reclaim even higher. You are eligible if you sold a property in Spain between July 2004 and December 31 2006 and were not a fiscal resident in Spain when you sold it. You also have to have paid capital gains tax on the property to claim and need to have sold the property as an individual rather than a company.

From: Telegraph

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