Spanish residents required to declare foreign assets

For some time now, residents in Spain have been required by law to declare the assets they hold abroad to the Spanish Treasury. This includes everything from real estate and bank accounts to shares and insurance held or managed outside of Spain.

This declaration must be made online with an electronic signature. You have from 1 January to 31 March to make a declaration for the previous year. In the case of bank accounts, this declaration must include:

  • Full name of the bank or credit entity
  • Full details of your accounts
  • Dates accounts opened or closed, or, if applicable, dates the authorisation that gives rise to your obligation to declare was granted or revoked
  • Account balances as of 31 December and the average balance for the last quarter of the year

You do not have to make a declaration when the total of the account balances does not exceed €50,000 on 31 December. And you only need to make a declaration in following years when the total balance of all your accounts (as of 31 December and the average for the last quarter) goes up by over €20,000 compared to the balance reported in a previous declaration.
Similar rules apply for securities, stock-market shares, investment fund shares, life and disability insurance, and life and term annuities.

What is the purpose of this declaration? It allows the Spanish Treasury to check if the annual income and property tax declarations that you must file as a resident before 30 June take into account foreign assets and income. Because, as a resident in Spain, you must declare your income worldwide.

This obligation to declare foreign assets came about when the tax authorities of EU countries started working more closely together and assisting each other, as we have mentioned in other blog articles.

Carlos Prieto Cid – Your legal adviser in Spain

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