Buying a House Abroad in 2020: Taxes and Other Expenses to Consider

house with curb appeal and great resale value

Relocating abroad is one of the most challenging processes; most like is you are to buy a property there. Property ownership Abroad comes with countless issues, among them tax implications. Other matters revolve around market rates, property transfer charges rates, varying legal structure as well as oversea mortgages. 

Upon relocating to a foreign country, you have no option besides adopting o anew culture, even learning a new language. If buying a house abroad is one of your dreams, you must consider numerous factors. Among the factors, tax implication is the most critical. The following are ideas that you can accommodate to help you go through the process smoothly.

We know Italy Is a very popular option for American citizens. If you want to know more about the situation in this European country, read the article about property tax in Italy.

What You Need to Know When Buying Your House

For starters, it is good to note that you are not required to pay UK tax upon purchasing buying your property abroad. However, VAT is an issue that you can never overlook as there could be reverse charges in some instances. To help you have an easy time in the future, ensure to acquire and keep all tax receipts safely. 

Making a will is a brilliant idea making sure that it is in that country’s local language. That goes far in settling disputes in case of death. Be keen to examine the owner’s tax status connecting to the house before making your purchase.

What You Need to Know About Property Ownership and Local Taxes

Are you buying the house for rental purposes? Well, you need to be aware that this attracts tax in the UK as well as the country in which you buy the house. The levy comes with various deductions that require you to consult a professional to help you with the calculations. As you make consultations, ensure to find out the month in which tax year begins in that country. Ensure to have all factual information about property ownership as well as all local rules and regulations. 

Pool Home
A large pool in the backyard of a luxury home.

What are the taxes on every property annually in that country? You should never overlook any details on what to expect in terms of tax implications for you as a nonresident. With countries like Spain, you are supposed to pay tax for estimated rental income, if you are a second owner. However, that tax applies regardless of whether you have tenants or none.

What do You Need to Know Before Selling Your Property in the Future?

Unlike buying a house abroad, selling it has more tax implications, more so if the owner is departed. Having written your will in a language relating to the local country makes it easier for those who transact when you are gone.

What If You Buy a House and Use it For Holiday Letting?

Buying a house abroad and then renting it out in your absence is a brilliant idea. The move can help you earn money from your property when you are away. As it is different from renting your house entirely, the taxes involved could be less in some countries. It is, however, wise to know that you can claim some of the capital gains tax relief. Among the ones, you can enquire about our entrepreneurs’ reliefs as well as business Assets Rollover Relief. The cost incurred in furnishing your house is also claimable. However, you must prove that the house befits letting as a holiday home and is available for that purpose. You should then not let out the property on a long-term basis.

Do You Intend to Buy a House Abroad For Luxury?

Buying a house for luxury purposes attracts its package of taxes as per the local tax rules. For an instant in the UK, you will incur tax charges when you decide to sell your property regarding the capital gains you made through the house.

The calculation of the tax charged on the capital gain of property results in a higher figure as compared to many others. The best thing to do is to identify your house as your main home, as that exempts the charges on the capital gain.

The UK capital gains only affect the residents of the UK. However, you are liable for a capital gain levy for selling a house abroad when you have stayed away and then relocated back to the UK in not more than five years from the time you sold the property.

Do You Plan to Move Abroad Upon Purchasing the House?

As some would prefer moving to the country that the purchase property in, the move will benefit you in terms of tax. That is so because, once you get domiciled abroad, you shall be free from foreign tax on your property. However, local taxes are inevitable, so you shall pay taxes as per the regulations of the country to which you decide to relocate. It is advisable to investigate and find about such levies.

For the residents of the UK domiciled abroad, you may opt to make an application that sees you incur tax on your foreign house based on remittance. What this means is that not all your money attracts the levy, but the amount you have when moving back to the UK.

It may be extremely profitable to make investments on foreign property that may occur in various ways. Did you know you can invest in a fast-accelerating market as you enjoy life abroad? By either letting your house on a long-term basis or short-term basis, you only need to have all the knowledge relating to the tax regime.


In conclusion, buying property abroad has never been easy; however, it is one of the most common forms of investment that many people have embraced in modern days. Having ample information about taxes and how to avoid getting caught unawares is the most essential. 

Understanding how to calculate various taxes on foreign property gives you an upper hand when investing. You need to define the purpose of your property abroad before making your final decision. If there is an option in which you can avoid incurring high taxes, then grab it and move forward with your plan. However, buying a house abroad tax is inevitable. 

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