"Minimising exposure to Capital Gains, Inheritance Tax and Forced Heirship"

Tax Considerations The Offshore Opportunity Related Services How to Proceed


Many people who own or intend to own property abroad do not fully understand or recognise the implications of Capital Gains Tax, Inheritance Tax and the peculiar rules relating to Forced Heirship.

Capital Gains Tax

Capital Gains Tax, which is essentially a profits tax, varies greatly between countries and ranges from zero % in countries like the Netherlands, to 40% in the United Kingdom, 27% in Spain and 19% in France. Countries which impose Capital Gains Tax also have different rules relating to relief so careful consideration has to be given to the nature of the investment, the term of the investment and the specific rules that apply for each country. It should also be noted that certain countries e.g. France may apply a withholding tax on the disposal of property unless a tax agent satisfies the notary that the Capital Gains taxes if any have been accounted for.

Inheritance Tax

Inheritance Tax and Succession Taxes are taxes that relate to the transfer, upon death, of assets from spouse to spouse and to children. These taxes are often complicated, onerous and particularly high in Continental Europe where they can exceed 60%. In addition, most Continental European countries have Forced Heirship rules where the laws prescribe that children cannot be disinherited from parents' estates and therefore are entitled by law to a share of the estate.

Wealth Taxes

Many European centres notably Spain, Portugal and France impose an annual wealth tax based on the Market value of the property. This type of tax may exceed 3%. There are certain structures available to mitigate this so therefore serious consideration has to be given to the method of ownership.

For more information on purchasing or owning property abroad, follow the links below to our Knowledge Base:

Buying a Property in Bulgaria

Buying a Property in Cyprus

Buying a Property in Italy

Buying a Property in Malta

Buying a Property in Portugal

Buying a Property in Spain

Buying a Property in the United Kingdom

Buying a Property in the USA

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For clients wishing to purchase real estate in the United Kingdom or elsewhere for investment purposes, or for those seeking to purchase a secondary property for leisure or retirement purposes, there are substantial benefits to be derived through the establishment of a corporate, trust or foundation structure to address these issues.

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With our regional knowledge of property ownership laws and regulations, along with our tax planning expertise, we can help you reduce your exposure.

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The offices listed here have particular expertise in structuring property ownership solutions, and will gladly assist you with a Free Initial Consultation without obligation on how to approach your particular challenge.

Alternatively, to select one of our multilingual offices, click here for a list of our office contact details or click on the button below and request that a consultant calls you back.


Languages spoken in this office: English

OCRA (London) Limited
3rd Floor
14 Hanover Street
London W1S 1YH
United Kingdom
+44 20 7317 0600
+44 20 7317 0610

Languages spoken in this office: English, French, Italian, German, Portuguese and Arabic

OCRA (Hong Kong) Limited
3908 Two Exchange Square
8 Connaught Place
Hong Kong
+852 2522 0172
+852 2522 4720

Languages spoken in this office: English, Dutch, Mandarin and Cantonese

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Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the details contained herein are correct and up-to-date, it does not constitute legal or other
professional advice. OCRA Worldwide does not accept any responsibility, legal or otherwise, for any errors or omission.