QUESTION: We sold our house in September of last year and had to pay €3,500 tax even though we had sold at a loss of more than €50,000. We were told that we were due a full tax refund on this amount. Our solicitor told us we should have the refund by Christmas but it did not come. We contacted him in February and he told us the delay was the fault of the Spanish tax agency. We are still waiting after 14 months. Is this right?
J.C.W. (Costa Blanca)
ANSWER: It appears that you sold your Spanish property as non-resident owners. This requires the buyer to withhold three per cent of the purchase price, which is paid to Spain’s tax agency on Form 211 as a guaranty against your liability to capital gains tax on your profit. Since you made no profit, you have no capital gains tax, and this deposit will be refunded to you. The Tax Agency has promised to make these returns in 90 days. Hah! Many non-resident sellers share your problem. About all you can do is to take your Form 211 to the tax office and complain.