A CAMPAIGN group fighting to help expat property owners reclaim capital gains tax has lost its Supreme Court appeal.
The ruling is a major blow for hundreds of expats who have sold Spanish property in recent years, who could be left thousands of euros out of pocket.
The case was launched by the Capital Gains Tax Reclaim Project following a separate EU ruling in 2009 that found Spain guilty of discrimination against non-residents.
Until December 31 2006, non-residents were charged capital gains tax at a rate of 35 per cent, while residents were subject to a rate of 15 per cent.
The change in the rules allowed non-residents to reclaim the illegally charged tax, but only if the tax bill had been paid within the last four years.
For property owners illegally charged beyond the four-year threshold, the only way to reclaim their money was by filing for ‘material damages’.
But the Supreme Court has now rejected these reclaims – after first being thrown out by the Council of Ministers – on the grounds that the breach of EU law was not sufficiently serious to justify the claims.
“We deeply regret the outcome of the case,” said Emilio Alvarez, a lawyer representing the group.