When buying a house in Gran Canaria it is important to estimate the taxes you will have to pay, not only when you actually purchase your property, but also local taxes and housing rates which are paid on a yearly basis by all home owners in Gran Canaria. Spanish housing yearly rates depend on the value of the house and the area it is in, but here is a rough guide to all the tax expenses you will need to take into account when deciding what house to buy.
TAXES PAYABLE AT THE TIME OF THE PURCHASE
Re-sale purchase tax: House buyers of re-sale property (as opposed to brand new) are required to pay the Impuesto de Transferencia de Propiedad - Transfer Tax - which is now 7% of the price paid for the property.
New Properties purchase tax: buyers of brand new houses in Spain are liable to paying 5% IGIC (VAT) if the house is finished or is being built at the time of the purchase, plus an extra 0.5% stamp duty.
Increased patrimony tax payable to Spanish Treasury: When a property sale in Spain takes place, a capital gains tax must be paid by the seller. According to Spanish fiscal law, the buyer withholds 5% of the total purchase price to make sure that the seller does not take the money and run.This amount represents a capital gains tax on the profit made by the seller at the time of the sale. That is the difference between the current (official) sale price and the price paid by seller when he/she originally purchased the property + the value of any reforms and improvements carried out since then.
The capital gains tax is payable to the Spanish Treasury (Tesoro Público) and is 5% the said difference for for non residents and 3% for residents - but this is only the advanced deposit. The estimated amount retained at the moment of the sale is payable once everthing has been presented to the local registry and the new deeds are available. This means that property sellers not living in Spain will have to arrange for their lawyer or gestoría to see to the necessary paperwork and to formalise the full tax payment a few months after the sale. The final amount could be as much as 30% the profit you make on your sale, so if there is a very big difference between the price you are selling for and the price you originally paid, it might be worth applying for residency before you sell (nationals of EU member states are automatically granted residency, although the paperwork can be a bit tedious) in order to be elegible for the reduced percentage for residentes. Please note also that you need a NIE to pay this tax. Any seller who is over 65 and has been a legal resident in Spain for the last three years does not have to pay this tax. Residents and non-residents who purchased the property they are now selling before December 1986 are also exempt from the capital gains tax.
Plusvalía Tax: The local authorities determine the amount of plusvalía to be paid for each purchase of property in Spain, depending on the area where the property is located
OVERALL COST OF PURCHASING PROPERTY IN SPAIN
You can estimate that taxes and fees will add up to about 10% of the overall value of the property you are purchasing.