Likely Disappearance of the Spanish Capital Gains Tax in 2008

18 February 2008

The two presidential candidate forerunners for the elections to be held in March 2008 have announced their intention to work towards the elimination of the capital gains tax in Spain.

The PSOE candidate and current president, José Luís Rodríguez Zapatero, as well as the PP candidate, Mariano Rajoy, have announced their intention to eliminate the aforementioned tax once they take power. Therefore, it is highly likely that this tax, which is currently in force in very few EU countries, will disappear.

The capital gains tax is regulated in a 1991 law, and as indicated in Article 1 of same, it is a personal tax levied on the net assets of an individual, that is, on the assets and rights they own less the debts and taxes on those assets and rights.

In practice, income generated by the Capital Gains Tax has always been very limited and has generated additional problems as regards asset valuation. Depending on the nature of the assets and taxability, the amount due can vary widely with the inevitable accompanying problems of differentiating. It is also worth mentioning that the tax causes a double taxation and is difficult to regulate.

All of these elements have led to a political consensus between the main political parties (almost all of the other political parties support the decision) to abolish this tax. In this way, not only tax residents will benefit from the elimination (whose worldwide capital gains had been taxed) but also non-residents, who no longer have to worry about the capital gains tax in Spain (for example, foreigners with property in Spain).

For further information, please contact Javier Valls: