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Recovering 3% Retention Tax for Non Resident Vendors

Did you know that you can request a 3% tax refund if you have suffered a loss of funds after the selling of your spanish property? This  3% retention is requested by the Spanish Authorities in order to cover a possible income that you may have with the sale of your property. To get started, all you need is to hand your legal representation the dates and prices of the purchase and of the sale. They will have to study if in your case have or have nor a profit in your favor. If you have no profit in your favor, you can request to the Tax Authorities the refund of this amount.

In order to request the refund, the Tax Authorities oblige you to be up to date with the presentation of the Non Resident Tax (a yearly Tax  calculated on the Catastral Value). If you haven’t paid this Tax during your period of ownership, your legal representatives can assist you with all the relevant forms for the Tax Authorities for the last 4 years. Please be informed that you will not be required to pay any Taxes outstanding, as the Tax Authorities off set this amount against the 3% retained, in which case you recover the 3% less the amount of the outstanding taxes.

We reached out to the established and well respected law firm Martinez Echevarria to find out how much this should cost, they told us:

Our Law firm offer you the possibility to assists you in this process and our fees in this case are divided in two parts:

  1. For the preparation and presentation of the Non Resident Tax forms, in order to update your situation in front of the Tax Authorities, our fees depends on how many years we should prepare, but the maximum will amount to 500 euros plus VAT if we should prepare all the years necessaries ( last 4 years).
  2. For the assistance in the preparation and presentation of the 3% retention claim, our fees amount to 500 euros plus VAT.

In order to make the process easier, it will be better if we can open on your behalf a Bank account in Spain in all your names, if you don´t have one already. Thus, you will receive all the money in your new bank account. Also, your Bank should issue you with a certificate of ownership of your Spanish Bank Account, as requested by the Tax Authorities. Please also be informed that the refund will take about 8-10 months since presentation of the request.

If you can provide us with the information about your situation as regards the Tax Authorities, we can prepare a brief summary with the figures of the Non Resident Tax necessary to compensate in order that you can analyse the situation and the convenience of make that claim for the refund.

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10 Steps to selling your property

Step 1 – Selecting an estate agent to represent you

When choosing your Estate Agent, it is important to consider their opening hours, when they will be available to conduct viewings, and what kind of marketing your property will receive. In such a competitive market, these are critical to obtaining the maximum exposure and price for your property.

Step 2 – Accurate valuation

Our aim is to sell your property at the best possible price in the shortest possible time.

Our expert team are carrying out valuations on all types of property along the Costa del Sol, giving us intimate and unparalleled knowledge of property values in your area.

This is why we consistently achieve the best market value for all of our clients’ properties.

Always feel free to Contact Us to arrange a valuation today.

Step 3 – Instructing a solicitor

The successful sale of your property can be reliant on the instruction of an efficient and experienced solicitor. It is a good idea to do some research and make a decision before you put your property on the market as this will help to avoid delays.

Martinez Echevarria are one of the Costa del Sols leading conveyancing specialists, and Universal Estates are more than happy to recommend them based on the experiences of ourselves and our vendors.

Step 4 – Presenting your property

First impressions count, making the presentation of your property critical to a successful sale.

Consider addressing any DIY jobs you have been meaning to get done, add a fresh coat of paint where necessary and try to declutter to make rooms appear larger.

Universal Estates will then take photographs, create 360° tours, produce floorplans and write comprehensive property descriptions, all in just one visit.


Step 5 – Marketing your property

First of all, it is worth understanding how the system works on the Costa del Sol. Currently the largest network of collaborating agencies stands at 860-member agents who are able to search through over 25,000 shared properties. It is possible for all agents to show, and sell their buyer any of these properties.

Accurate, detailed information and professional photography are essential to be able to promote your property within this network of agencies. This shared system also allows us to promote your property on all websites owned by these members.

Step 6 – Accompanied viewings

We consider ourselves as being available to show any property at any time that suits the potential buyer. Our commitment to this is essential to maximise viewing opportunities for your property – in fact 38% of our viewings are carried out after work and at weekends. Viewings are always done with a member of Universal Estates being present, it is our local knowledge and intimate understanding of your property that help to achieve the best results.

We are contactable and available seven days a week.

Step 7 – Receiving an offer

As soon as an offer is received we will notify you both verbally and in writing.

Any special conditions of the offer will also be stated in writing and we will check the buyer’s ability to proceed before you decide whether to accept the offer.

Step 8 – Offer agreed

Once you accept an offer we will do the following:

o             Prepare an initial reservation document.

o             Write to all parties to confirm the agreed price

o             Ask you to confirm your solicitor’s details

Your solicitor will send out a draft contract to the buyer’s solicitor who will then carry out preliminary enquiries. At this stage, you will also be able to agree on dates for the private purchase contract, inventory if required and proposed date for completion.

We will advise you and negotiate on your behalf throughout this process, keeping you informed every step of the way.

There are no legal obligations until the initial reservation contract has been signed by all parties (or legal representative of.)

Step 9 – Private Purchase Contract

Private Purchase Contract is a second stage commitment and occurs when the following have been confirmed and agreed:

o             Preliminary enquiries following receipt of draft contract and reservation deposit.

o             Evidence of a good title

o             Local search queries

o             Fixtures and fittings to be included in the sale

o             Also, if required, confirmation of bank valuation and approval in principle of mortgage application.

At the point of signing Private Purchase Contract the buyer is required to take their initial reservation Deposit from 6000€ to 10% of the agreed purchase price.

The completion / notary date is then set by mutual agreement.

Step 10 – Completion

Completion is when the balance of funds is paid and all paperwork is signed. In Spain, this is always done at a Notary, usually between legal representatives of both the buying and selling parties.

Congratulations, your property is now sold!