Foreign property taxes & legalities
Don't rely on your estate agent or seller to furnish you with all the facts, they are afterall after the sale and won't want you to be delaying that process completing.
When buying in a foreign country, you should always consider the tax implications of buying, selling and possibly renting out your property. Taxes rules and rates can vary immensely from location to location so make sure you have done your homework as unexpected taxes could be crippling for you further down the line. Your tax situation may well be affected as a result of your foreign property purchase so advice should be sought from a professional who can offer specific guidance on issues such as:
taxation in the UK
capital gains tax
succession laws and inheritance tax
double taxation implications
For example, did you know that if you decide to rent out your property abroad you will need to declare this income to the taxman in the UK and potentially the country where you have bought the property, no matter how small the sums involved? And, did you know that most countries will apply some form of 'gain taxation' against the sale of a second home? You may therefore wish to set this off against the profit you make on your purchase when selling it at a later date. You should also be aware that some countries have different succession and inheritance taxes and laws that are very different to that in the UK which can lead to expensive traps for the uneducated.
These are just a few areas within the complex subject of property taxes which may, or may not be applicable to you when purchasing your property abroad. It's therefore vital that you seek solid tax and legal advice before taking the plunge on any type of foreign property.
Please note that foreign property taxation and legal issues are complex and difficult subjects with which you should seek independent advice indivdual to your requirements. Taxes and legal issues outlined here are merely general in nature and therefore no liability is accepted in connection with the information provided.