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EC over speciale heffing op onroerend goed in Spanje

okt 22, 2019

Question for written answer E-002563/2019

to the Commission

Rule 138

Frances Fitzgerald (PPE)

Subject:       Spanish levy on property owned by non-residents

I have been informed that there is a Spanish levy that is imposed only on non-resident foreigners who own property in Spain, regardless of whether they are EU citizens or not.

Can the Commission state whether such a levy is legal in the context of the EU single market? Should EU citizens not all be treated equally when owning or renting a property anywhere in the EU, regardless of their nationality?

Is this type of levy commonplace in the EU?

EN

E-002563/2019

Answer given by Mr Moscovici

on behalf of the European Commission

(21.10.2019)

In Spain, unlisted entities, which are tax resident in a territory qualified as “tax haven”, are subject to a special tax (“Gravamen Especial sobre Bienes Inmuebles de Entidades No Residentes” – GEBI) of 3 % on the cadastral value of the immovable property they own in Spain. This special tax applies if they do not perform an economic activity different from the mere owning or letting immovable property. Spanish law considers as “tax haven” a jurisdiction with whom they do not have legal instruments to exchange information for tax purposes. Spanish law establishes the qualification as “tax haven” essentially on the basis of the inexistence of an effective bilateral clause on exchange of information between Spain and the respective country or territory. To date, within the EU, only entities established in Gibraltar remain subject to the GEBI. Besides this tax, Spain does not charge any other levy on EU citizens who are not residents in Spain different from those charged on its resident taxpayers.

The Court of Justice of the EU considered a similar special levy on immovable property in relation to non-resident taxpayers in France. The Court held that such a levy is a justified restriction to the free movement of capital only in the absence of instruments of administrative cooperation that allow tax authorities to have access to relevant tax information of the non-resident taxpayer.

[1]           Judgment of 28 October 2010, Rimbaud, C-72/09, EU:C:2010:645.

5 Reacties

  1. Mooi dat het nog eens zo expliciet aan de Commissie is gevraagd. Keurig ook het antwoord. En helemaal begrijpelijk en terecht, lijkt me. Gaat in ieder geval niet over “normale gepensioneerden die in een ander EU land wonen” – VBNGB doelgroep dus.

    Gaat over niet-residenten van buiten de EU. In Spanje zijn dat – vooral aan de zuidkust – Russen en Chinezen. Voor zover er met zulke landen daar geen fiscaal informatie-uitwisselingsverdrag bestaat, kan een ieder die “kan lezen en schrijven” (en nadenken) begrijpen dat zulke niet-residenten gemakkelijk elke fiscale heffing ontwijken.

    Maar dat maakt de vraag en het antwoord zeker niet minder informatief. Zij het – naar ik mag hopen .. – niet voor VBNGB leden.

    Antwoord
    • Zou van belang kunnen zijn voor VBNGB leden die buiten de EU wonen en onroerend goed in Spanje hebben.

      Antwoord
      • Ja – dat is helemaal waar natuurlijk.

        Maar …. zijn dat er1 of 2?

        En …. wil de VBNGB die op deze manier bedienen? En alle anderen ermee lastig vallen? Vanuit welk doel? Belastingontwijking? Zijn maar vragen hoor ….

      • Lastig vallen? Je hoeft het niet te lezen. De doelgroep van de VBNGB betreft alle gepensioneerden met een Nederlands pensioen wonend buiten Nederland. Daarvan wonen er enkele tienduizenden buiten de EU. Voor die doelgroep is het bericht interessant (hoeveel er lid zijn van de VBNGB weet ik niet: hopelijk veel). En de argumentatie, zeker omdat het EHvJ al uitspraak deed, geldt overigens ook voor wonenden binnen de EU.

  2. Acknowledgement of receipt and information about pre-closure of a multiple complaint on an alleged breach by Spain of EU rules on the free movement of capital Reference number: CHAP(2021)1080
    Daaruit:

    In 2021, the European Commission has received a large number of complaints concerning a Spanish tax regime applicable to income derived from the letting of property by non-resident taxpayers from third countries (i.e. persons tax resident in countries other than Member States of the European Union (EU)). The complaints received contend that this tax regime would breach the freedom of capital movements (Article 63 of the Treaty on Functioning of the European Union, TFEU), for the following reasons: – Non-resident taxpayers from third countries cannot deduct expenses linked to the income and incurred for letting their property in Spain whereas taxpayers resident in Spain or in other EU Member States have the right to deduct such costs. – They are subject to a tax rate of 24%, while non-resident taxpayers from EU Member States are subject to a tax rate of 19%. – Finally, they are obliged to declare this income every trimester and submit a tax form per property.
    (….)
    Conclusion In view of the above considerations, the Commission has concluded that EU law has not been infringed and therefore, the multiple complaint CHAP (2021)1080 may be closed. However, if any of the complainants in this case have new information suggesting that Spain has committed an infringement of Union law not covered by the above assessment, they are invited to send this new information to us within four weeks from the publication date of this notice. Such information can be sent to taxud-unit-d3@ec.europa.eu

    Antwoord

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