The judgement of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) dated 3 September 2014 declared that certain regulations of the Spanish Inheritance Tax were opposed to the law of the EU, because their application was detrimental to non-resident in Spain EU citizens, who were forced to pay a higher Inheritance Tax than Spanish nationals under the same circumstances.

All those non-resident EU citizens who had to bear higher Inheritance Tax in Spain prior to 3 September 2014 may seek the refund of the tax unduly paid by following any of the two following legal routes:

1. Filing an „application for the refund of undue payments“ („solicitud de devolución de ingresos indebidos“) with the Spanish tax authorities. However, this application is subjetct to a limitation of action of 4 years.

2. Should the limitation of action term have already elapsed, the affected taxpayer may resort to a „claim seeking the patrimonial responsibility of the State“ („reclamación de responsabilidad patrimonial del Estado“). This claim may be filed within the year following the official publication of the ECJ’s judgement and therefore the deadline shall end on 10 November 2015.

Despite the short time still available for studying and filing any claim, our lawyers and tax advisers remain at your disposal, should you be affected by this judgement or have any other query concerning Spanish Inheritance law or Inheritance Tax.