When a non-resident sells their property in Spain, they are required by Spanish law to pay 3% of the sale price to the Tax Agency (Model 211).
This retention is to cover the tax levy on any profit made by the seller from the time of the purchase of the property to the subsequent sale. 3% of the sale price will be retained by the buyer and will be paid to the Tax Office, as required by law. The buyer has a period of one month from the date of the signing of the deeds in which to make the payment to the Tax Office.
In cases where a loss, or when no profit has been made in the transaction, the 3% retention may be returned. i.e., when the seller does not make a profit from the price at which the property was bought and the one that it sold at, it would then be possible to claim the reimbursement of this retention, as the tax would not apply. Although, if the tax office discovers that there are any personal tax debts in the name of the vendor, then the retention would not be returned until these debts were settled.
In order to receive the reimbursement of this retention, it would be necessary to provide all the documentation that proves that no profit was made, e.g. the purchase and sale deed, as well as any possible bills or taxes that substantiate any loss.
As these procedures can be very complicated, especially when the vendor does not speak Spanish nor have any knowledge of Spanish Legislation, we would strongly recommend putting yourself in the hands of a lawyer to ensure that everything is handled correctly. Do not hesitate to contact us for a free.