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2. Central government taxes

2.4 Wealth tax

Spanish resident individuals are subject to Wealth Tax on their total assets (located worldwide) at December 31 of each year, valued according to tax provisions. Nonresidents are taxed only on the assets located or the rights exercisable in Spain. However, some tax treaties can affect the application of this provision.

The law establishes an exemption from Wealth Tax for some assets, for example, those forming part of Spanish Historical Heritage; household furnishings, works of art and antiques, provided that their value does not exceed certain limits established by the legislation; vested rights of participants in pension plans and rights with economic content relating to similar social welfare systems; the work of an artist while it forms part of the artist’s assets; assets or rights necessary for the direct, personal and habitual performance of a business or professional activity which constitutes the taxpayer’s main source of income; and some holdings in the capital of certain entities (mainly family businesses). The taxpayer’s principal residence is also exempt, up to a maximum amount of €300,000.

The law establishes different methods for valuing each type of asset.

With regard to the scale of rates established for this tax, in the absence of regulation by the autonomous community in question, the following tax rates will apply:

Net taxable income (up to euros)Tax payable (euros)Rest of net taxable income (up to euros)Tax rate applicable (%)
0.00 0.00 167,129.450.2
167,129.45334.26167,123.430.3
334,252.88835.63334,246.870.5
668,499.752,506.86668,499.760.9
1,336,999.518,523.361,336,999.501.3
2,673,999.0125,904.352,673,999.021.7
5,347,998.0371,362.335,347,998.032.1
10,695,996.06183,670.29onwards
2.5

These rates apply to residents on their worldwide assets, and to nonresidents on their assets or rights located or exercisable in Spain.

Moreover, in the absence of autonomous community regulations, the maximum exemption is €700,000.

The gross wealth tax payable, together with the PIT payable on the general component and the savings component of income, may not exceed, for resident taxpayers, 60% of their total taxable income subject to PIT. For this purpose, the following will not be taken into account: (i) the portion of savings income derived from capital gains and losses relating to the positive balance of gains obtained on transfers of assets acquired more than one year before transfer date, or the portion of gross personal income tax payable on that part of savings income, and (ii) the portion of wealth tax relating to assets which, because of their nature or use, are not capable of producing income taxed under the PIT Law.

If the sum of both taxes payable were to exceed the aforementioned limit, the wealth tax payable would be reduced to that limit, without that reduction exceeding 80%.

It is important to bear in mind that some autonomous communities have modified the exempt amounts while in others the tax is not payable (as in the Madrid autonomous community) because a 100% reduction applies.

However, there will be an obligation to file a tax return even if the tax payable is not positive, where the value of the assets or rights exceeds €2,000,000.

Due to the adaptation of the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”), of 3 September 2014 (case C-127/12), the provision has been amended to establish that nonresident taxpayers, that are resident in a Member State of the EU or of the EEA, shall be entitled to apply the legislation approved by the autonomous community where the greatest value of their assets and rights are located and for which the tax is claimed, because they are located, can be exercised or must be fulfilled in Spain.