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Articles & expert opinion

Property and rights abroad: Obligation to make a statement

Between 1 January and 31 March 2015, residents in Spain for tax purposes are required to submit a statement of property and rights owned abroad.

The informative statement on property and rights abroad, hereinafter DBE, for 2014 should be submitted between 1 January and 31 March 2015. You should recall that this statement is used to comply with three information obligations, with the value to be declared varying in each case:


a. Accounts: The balance as at 31 December and the average balance for the last quarter.

b. Securities, rights, insurance and other income: market value as at 31 December.

c. Real estate or rights thereto: purchase value including expenses and taxes. 

The preparation of this statement will depend on whether the taxpayer submitted the DBE in previous years or whether the one for 2014 will be the first DBE. If it is the first DBE, it is mandatory to declare assets with a value exceeding 50,000 euros for each type of asset (accounts, securities and real estate). It is necessary to bear in mind the full value of assets without them being divided on a pro rata basis among their holders. 

If the taxpayer submitted the DBE in previous years he should submit the DBE for 2014 when the overall value of one of the three groups of assets –accounts, securities and real estate– undergoes an increase of more than 20,000 euros compared to the value submitted in the last statement. Nonetheless, it will be mandatory to submit a statement with respect to accounts, securities or real estate in relation to those for which ownership expired by 31 December 2014. 

It is necessary to recall that an incomplete statement or one with imprecise or false data shall be penalised with penalties of 5000 euros for each item or host of data with a minimum of 10,000 euros. Moreover, undeclared property shall be considered unjustified increases in equity, and they may be subject to the marginal rate –a maximum of 56%– and to a fine of 150% of the amount unpaid. 

Lastly, we wish to mention that the Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union of the European Commission brought proceedings against Spain for a breach owing to the likelihood that aspects of the statement on property abroad may run counter to EC regulations. Nonetheless, at present it is mandatory to submit the statement on property abroad given that the regulations are still in place.

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