The package of measures to respond to the housing crisis was released by the Government on 13 February. One of the tax-exempt proposals is capital gains from the sale of real estate to the State for housing. It is now known that the measure will apply to any type of owner without exceptions, according to a report by Público. Thus, entities such as investment funds or companies headquartered in offshores may also be entitled to tax exemptions if they sell real estate to the State.
For now, the Government's proposals are still under public consultation and may undergo changes, the wording of which is not yet known. Regarding the capital gains exemption, in order to increase the public housing stock, the Government does not want to define exceptions regarding the type of entity that can benefit from this tax exemption. This includes, therefore, investment funds or companies based in tax havens. The objective, by not excluding any type of owner from the exemption, is to ensure the effectiveness and scope of the measure.
The Government hopes that the creation of this tax exemption – which will eventually make sales profits higher – will be enough to convince owners to sell at prices below those practiced. However, the fact that exceptions are not defined will mean that entities that benefited from the last financial crisis (buying properties at very low prices and renting them at prices much higher than those practiced) can now profit even more if they choose to sell the real estate to the state.