eurossA GROUP of British holiday home owners has been refunded €3.3 million in taxes they should never have been charged, The Spanish hacienda (tax authority) has been forced to hand back millions of euros to Brits overcharged on inheritance tax following a European Court of Justice ruling that the charges were ‘discriminatory’.

The claimants have received an average of €30,000 each. Claims worth a further €7 million are still to go through the courts.

The Spanish authorities raised the tax on properties passed on to friends or family following the death of a non-resident owner.

The inheritance tax levied on non-resident homeowners usually amounted to a third of the property’s value and had to be paid within six months of inheriting.

Barcelona-based lawyer Luis Cuervo expects more people to now come forward and claim what they are owed.

“The repayment is not automatic, you have to come forward a file a claim,” he explained. “Anyone who paid inheritance tax during the past five years can claim back all the tax that they paid – but doing so is a complex and daunting task only for specialised lawyers, experts in EU tax claims, as there is no single form to fill in.”