Wealth tax in the Balearics is reduced

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10.01.24
Wealth tax in the Balearics

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Spanish wealth tax has effectively been eliminated for most residents and property owners in the Balearics.  From this year onwards, only those with assets above €3 million will be liable for wealth tax.

In welcome news, the government of the Balearic autonomous region announced significant changes to the wealth tax allowances in December.

Changes to wealth tax in the Balearics

As part of the agreement reached by the leading PP and Vox parties on the regional budget for 2024, the general wealth tax deduction has increased from the standard €700,000 to €3,000,000.

This applies from the 2024 wealth tax returns, which are submitted in 2025.

This change does not affect the application of Spain’s temporary Solidarity Tax, which applies to taxable assets exceeding €3,000,000.

A reminder of Spain’s wealth tax rules

In Spain, wealth tax is calculated based on the value of your assets as at 31 December each year. If you are a resident of Spain, it applies to your worldwide assets. For non-residents, it affects Spanish assets only.

The tax is payable on the net value of most of your capital assets, such as real estate, savings and investments, shareholdings, jewellery, art, antiques, cars, boats, etc.

Each individual, resident or otherwise, receives a personal tax-free allowance of €700,000 under state rules.  Spanish residents can get an additional allowance of up to €300,000 against the value of their main home (excluding properties owned through corporate structures).  Couples owning assets in joint names can effectively double the allowances (although they submit separate returns).

Importantly, the autonomous regions can vary wealth tax rates and allowances, which is how the Balearics has increased its personal allowance to €3 million.  If you are a resident of the islands, you also have the €300,000 main home allowance.

Individuals with wealth exceeding the allowances will pay tax at 2.35% for the excess up to €5,454,958, then 2.9%, then 3.45% for anything above € 10,909,915.

This reform helps the Balearics compete with Andalucía and Madrid which both provide a 100% tax-free relief.

A second wealth tax, Spain’s ‘solidarity tax on large fortunes’ was introduced in 2022 as a temporary levy.  The rules, rates, and allowances are the same as the standard wealth tax but only apply to wealth above €3 million, and you then get the two deductions mentioned above. The major difference is that it is applied at the state level and the autonomous governments cannot change it.

If you pay Spain’s regular wealth tax, you deduct the amount paid from your solidarity tax liability, so you do not pay tax twice.

Wealth tax in the Balearics – case studies

These two examples (for illustrative purposes only) show what a difference this Balearic reform will make.

Example 1

John lives in Mallorca and owns a property worth €1,000,000 and other assets worth €500,000. Before the changes, he would have had to pay the higher of the wealth tax liability of approximately €2,300 or solidarity tax of nil. For 2024, he will not have any wealth tax to pay due to the increased allowance or any solidarity as the liability is nil.

Example 2

Julia lives in Menorca and owns a property worth €3,500,000 and has investments worth €800,000. Before the changes, she would have had a wealth tax liability of approximately €50,000 and a solidarity tax liability of €5,100. Therefore, she would have paid just the Balearics’ liability since the wealth tax is higher than the solidarity tax. Under the new rules, her wealth tax liability would be reduced to approximately €7,500. Again, the solidarity tax liability is lower than the wealth tax liability so only the liability in the Balearics is payable.

Tax planning in the Balearics

This Balearic tax reform is certainly welcome news, offering substantial tax savings.   But it emphasises the need for specialist advice from experienced advisers, to not only take advantage of these changes but also other aspects of the regional Spanish tax system.

Blevins Franks has almost 50 years of experience helping our clients make the most of their retirement in the Balearic Islands, mainland Spain, and other parts of Europe. Our advisers live locally, and have a deep understanding of the issues expatriates face.

Contact us today to see how we can help you.

Tax rates, scope and reliefs may change. Any statements concerning taxation are based upon our understanding of current taxation laws and practices which are subject to change. Tax information has been summarised; individuals should seek personalised advice.

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