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Spain looks to clear up mortgage tax confusion

November 7, 2018

MADRID (AP) — The Spanish government says it is looking to enact legislation to make banks, and not their customers, liable for paying future taxes on housing loans.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez says the reform, which would need to be approved by parliament, aims to provide certainty after weeks of confusion following conflicting rulings by the country’s Supreme Court.

On Tuesday, the court ruled that it was clients who had to pay for stamp duties on mortgages, sparing banks from reimbursing billions of euros to borrowers for past taxes.

That was a reversal from the same court’s mid-October ruling, which said lenders should be the ones paying those taxes, a decision that the country’s bank industry protested against.

Spanish bank shares gave up some of their earlier gains following the government’s announcement Wednesday.

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