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Double taxation agreements signed by Spain

Agreement with Greece to prevent double taxation on inheritance tax

CONVENTION CONCLUDED ON 6 MARCH 1919, ESTABLISHING RULES TO BE APPLIED TO THE SUCCESSION OF SPANISH AND GREEK PERSONS WHO HAVE DIED IN GREECE AND IN SPAIN, RESPECTIVELY
ArticleInformation
Article 1.
  1. In the event of the death of a Spanish national in Greece or of a Greek national in Spain, the local authorities shall immediately notify the Consul General, Consul, Vice-Consul or Consular Agent of the State to which the deceased belonged and in whose district the death occurred.

    For its part, the consular authority shall proceed in the same way with the local authorities when it is informed of the death before the latter.

  2. Consuls-General, consuls, vice-consuls and consular agents shall be designated in the following Articles of this Convention by the collective term "consul" or "consular authority".

  3. The nationality of the deceased shall be determined by his passport or any other documents proving his nationality, and, in the absence of documents recognised as sufficient, by a declaration of the consular authority, which shall be authentic unless proved otherwise.

Article 2.
  1. Whatever the qualities and nationality of the heirs, whether they are adults or minors, present or absent, known or unknown, the seals shall be affixed to all the movable property and papers of the deceased within twenty-four hours of receipt of the notice of death.This affixing of seals shall be carried out ex officio, or at the request of the parties concerned, by the consular authority, in the presence of the competent local authority duly requested, which may cross-stamp the seals of the consular authority.

  2. If the consular authority does not affix the seals, the competent local authority shall do so after a simple invitation to the consular authority, which shall retain the right to affix its seals across those of the local authority.

  3. The affixing of seals shall not take place where an estate consists of a commercial or industrial undertaking operated in accordance with the provisions of Article 8(2) of this Convention.

  4. The seals shall be removed by mutual agreement:if, however, after being requested to attend the removal of the seals by the local authority, or vice versa, the requested authority has not appeared within forty-eight hours of receipt of the notice, the consular authority alone, or the local authority alone, as the case may be, may each proceed with the removal of the seals.

  5. The aforementioned notices and summons shall be addressed in writing and receipt of delivery shall be acknowledged.

Article 3.
  1. After the seals have been removed, an inventory of all the property and effects of the deceased shall be made by the consular authority in the presence of the local authority, or only by the latter if the consular authority, not having attended the affixing of the seals, and having been invited by the local authority to take part in this inventory, does not appear within forty-eight hours after receipt of the notice.

    It is understood that if the interested parties appear to take part in the inventory, they will of course be admitted.

  2. The Consul may proceed with the affixing and removal of the seals and the drawing up of the inventory, either in person or through a delegate.This delegate must have a power of attorney issued by the consular authority, authorised by the official stamp.

Article 4. The competent local authorities shall publish the edicts customary in the country, or prescribed by their laws concerning the opening of the succession and the summoning of heirs and creditors, and shall inform the consular authority of the contents of the edicts, the latter being free to make such other publications as it deems necessary.
Article 5.
  1. All movable property comprising the estate, namely:securities, securities, credits, papers, as well as the will or wills, if any, must be forwarded to the consular authority, upon simple written request and without any delay, by the competent local authority.It is the duty of this authority to have the elements of the succession handed over for this purpose by any notary or lawyer, as well as by any bank or consignment office;in short, by any official or private person who was the owner of any object forming part of the succession.

  2. Wills found under seal shall be opened by the consular authority in accordance with the laws of your country.

    If the will of the deceased contains provisions whereby certain movable or immovable property left by the deceased in the country where the succession is opened has been bequeathed to one or more nationals of that State, the consular authority shall keep such wills at the disposal of the persons concerned for the period of eight months provided for in Article 7 in order to ensure them the possibility of benefiting from the privileges provided for in Article 14, paragraph 2.

Article 6.
  1. The Consul is obliged to declare to the competent authority of the country the amount of each succession of his nationals which has been referred to him, in order to enable that authority to determine the duties due to the Treasury of the State in which the succession is opened.

  2. These declarations shall be made within eight months of the date of death, if the succession has been submitted to the consular authority in due time.If this referral is made after the expiry of the eight-month period, the said declarations shall be made as soon as possible.

  3. If, in accordance with the laws of the country, failure to declare or to pay the succession duties within the prescribed time limit entails the penalty of a fine, such fine shall not be applicable to the successions in the hands of the consular authority, even if the declaration provided for in paragraph 1 of this Article has not been made by the consular authority within the time limit specified above.

  4. The succession duties due to the State in which the succession is opened shall be levied only on that part of the estate which is situated in the territory of that State, but in no case may they affect the real or personal property of the deceased situated in his homeland or in other States.

  5. Inheritance of Spaniards in Greece and of Greeks in Spain shall not be taxed with inheritance rights different or higher than those of the inheritance of nationals.

Article 7.
  1. The consular authority shall keep as a deposit, subject to the laws of the country, the inventoried effects and valuables, the amount of credits received and income realised, as well as the proceeds of the sale of movable property, if it has taken place within eight months of the date of death.

  2. However, the consular authority may order the sale at public auction of all the movable objects of the succession that are liable to deterioration and of all those whose preservation in kind would be difficult or onerous.The auction shall be conducted by the competent local authorities at the request of the consular authority and in the manner prescribed by the laws of the country.

  3. The consular authority shall be entitled to deduct immediately from the assets of the estate the expenses of the last illness and burial of the deceased, the salaries of servants, rents and expenses of the same kind, as well as the sums necessary for the support of the family of the deceased, if any.

Article 8.
  1. Subject to the provisions of this Article, the<B> consul shall have the right to take, with respect to the movable or immovable succession, all measures that he deems useful in the interest of the heirs.He may administer the succession himself or have it administered by a delegate whom he shall appoint under his responsibility and who shall act on his behalf.

  2. If all or part of the estate is represented by a commercial or industrial undertaking, the Consul may not liquidate it without the consent of all the heirs.

    In the absence of such consent, the business shall be operated without interruption until the succession is handed over to the heirs.

  3. Exempted from the above stipulation (paragraph 2) are commercial and industrial enterprises whose operation causes undisputed damage.The consular authority may liquidate these companies, when it deems it appropriate, giving prior notice, if possible, to the heirs.

Article 9.
  1. Any claim made against the succession may be judged by the courts of the country in which the succession is opened, in so far as this claim is not based on a title of inheritance or legacy and does not relate to a right in rem in immovable property situated outside that country.

  2. It is expressly provided that the courts of the country shall have jurisdiction only if the action is brought within the time limit laid down in Article 7 of this Convention.

Article 10.
  1. In the event of insufficiency of the estate's assets to satisfy the full payment of obligations, the creditors may, if the laws of the country so authorise, apply to the competent local authority for a declaration of bankruptcy.Once this declaration has been made, all documents, effects or securities forming part of the succession shall be forwarded by the consular authority to the competent local authority or to the bankruptcy trustees, the consular authority being responsible for representing the interests of its nationals.

  2. It is understood that the declaration of bankruptcy may only affect that part of the estate which is within the country in which the succession is opened, and shall have no effect in respect of the property left by the deceased in his homeland or in other countries.

Article 11.
  1. At the expiration of the period fixed by Article 7, the consular authority shall settle within three months, at the rates in force in the country, all expenses and accounts payable by the estate and shall satisfy claims recognised by the consular authority itself or by the courts of the country to which it is subject under Article 12 of this Convention.

  2. The consular authority shall immediately transmit the succession to the successors in title or to their government if the successors in title do not appear in person or do not send their proxies.

  3. If the actions provided for in Article 9 have been brought against the succession and are still pending at the expiry of the time limit laid down in Article 7, the consular authority shall be obliged, upon the order of a competent court, to keep in deposit the whole or such part of the succession as is sufficient to discharge the obligations, pending the final decision of the competent courts.

  4. The consular authority shall be accountable for the management of the succession only to its Government.The heirs are entitled to receive a copy of the report.

Article 12.
  1. In all matters to which the opening, administration and liquidation of the successions may give rise, the Consul of either country shall be recognised ipso jure as the representative of the estate.The local authorities may not in any case require from the consul any powers of attorney held by the heirs or official proof of the existence of heirs of the same nationality as the deceased.

  2. The Consul may appear or be represented by delegates before all competent judicial, administrative or other authorities to defend, in all matters relating to the open succession, the interests of the succession and of the heirs, upholding their rights or contesting the claims made against them.The delegates appointed by the consul shall possess all the qualifications required by the laws of the country and shall be provided with a<B> power of attorney from the consular authority.

  3. The local authorities shall have the right, at the request of the persons concerned and if the local laws so permit, to appoint a representative of a Spanish succession in Greece and of a Greek succession in Spain to defend the succession in legal actions that may be brought against it.In this case, the authorities of the country shall be obliged, at the time of appointment, to inform the consular authority, which may, if it deems it necessary, replace the representative.

  4. However, it is well understood that the Consul may never be personally prosecuted in matters concerning the succession of his nationals.

Article 13.
  1. The succession to immovable property as well as the hearing of any claim or defence concerning the succession to immovable property shall be governed by the courts or other competent authorities of the country within which the immovable property is situated and in accordance with its laws.

  2. In the event that the estate consists in whole or in part of immovable property which, according to the laws of the country, is not capable of being held by the person or persons to whom it devolves, the persons concerned shall, in the absence of a time limit provided for by local law, be granted a period of time sufficient according to the circumstances to effect the sale of such property in the most advantageous manner possible.

Article 14.
  1. The succession to movable property, and the hearing of any suit or defence relating thereto, shall be governed by the courts or competent authorities of the State to which the deceased belongs and in accordance with the laws of that State.

  2. But if a national of the country in which the succession is opened asserts his rights to the said succession, rights based on an inheritance or legacy, and if his claim is presented to the consular authority within the time limit fixed by Article 7 of this Convention, the examination of this claim shall be entrusted to the competent courts or authorities of the country in which the succession is opened, provided that they hear the case before the expiry of the above-mentioned time limit.These courts or competent authorities shall decide, in accordance with the provisions of the national law of the deceased, on the validity of the claimant's right and, if applicable, on the share to be attributed to him.

  3. The consular authority shall dispose of the remainder of the succession, after having delivered to the succession beneficiaries the share of the succession determined by the competent courts or authorities, in accordance with the provisions of Article 11 of this Convention.

Article 15. Where judgments rendered by the Spanish courts in matters relating to the liquidation of the succession of movable property are enforceable by virtue of the laws applied by the competent courts, they shall be declared enforceable in Greece in so far as they relate to the succession property, under the conditions and according to the forms laid down by Greek law, but without review of the merits of the case.

Likewise, the judgments of the Greek courts relating to the liquidation of successions will be enforceable in Spain under the same conditions.

Article 16. If a succession of a Spaniard in Greece or of a Greek in Spain gives rise to an intestate succession, the immovable property forming part of this succession shall be disposed of according to the laws of the State in whose territory the immovable property is situated, and the movable property shall be disposed of according to the laws of the State of nationality of the deceased.
Article 17.
  1. When a Spaniard in Greece or a Greek in Spain dies in a place where there is no consular authority of his country, the competent local authority shall, in accordance with the laws of the country, take preventive measures for the preservation of the succession.Authentic copies of the documents relating to the above-mentioned measures, together with the death certificate, the will or wills of the deceased and the documents attesting to his or her nationality, shall be forwarded as soon as possible to the competent consular authority.

  2. The competent local authority shall take, in respect of the property left by the deceased, all the measures prescribed by the laws of the country governing the transfer of property of its nationals, and the proceeds of the succession shall be transmitted as soon as possible to the diplomatic or consular agents of the State to which the deceased belonged.

  3. It is understood that as soon as the diplomatic representative of the nation of the deceased or the competent consular authority sends a delegate to the place of death, the authority shall proceed in accordance with the prescriptions contained in the preceding Articles.

Article 18. The provisions of this Convention shall also apply to the estates of nationals of the two Contracting States who, having died outside the territory of the other State, have left in it movable or immovable property.
Article 19. This Agreement shall remain in force until the expiry of a period of one year from the day on which one or other of the High Contracting Parties denounces it.
Article 20. This Convention shall be ratified and ratifications shall be exchanged at Madrid as soon as possible.

They will enter into force one month after the exchange of ratifications.

In witness whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed this Convention, which they have authorised with their seals.

Done in duplicate at Madrid on 6 March 1919.

(L. S.)Count of Romanones.

(L. S.)P. Scassi.

This Convention has been duly ratified and the ratifications exchanged on 18 November 1920.