Could you be paying more than you should for your Spanish IBI (Local Property Tax)?

Could you be paying more than you should for your Spanish IBI (Local Property Tax)?

In Spain, it is usually this time of year when we pay the local IBI tax (depending on which municipality you are in). The tax is sent by our Town Hall, or in some municipalities by entities responsible for the local tax management (IBI, vehicles, waste, etc.), such as SUMA, etc.

This tax is based on the cadastral value of the property, which depends on many factors, mainly on the description of our property on the Catastro, i.e: the nature of the property (urban, rustic, etc.), the surface of the plot, the building area, type of construction, etc.

It is very common when we review our clients catastral property description for the first time, that we discover that the details on catastro do not correspond to the physical reality, and often taxpayers have been over paying local taxes for years, especially property tax, due to these cadastral mistakes.

Cadastral errors occur for many reasons; improper measurement of the land or plot surface or construction or built area, or attributing a different use to the property different to the real one, for example understanding the property to be commercial or industrial in use when it is not, etc.

An error in the cadastral data of our property not only can have implications on the payment each year of local tax IBI, but it can also affect the inheritance and gift tax, property transfer tax, etc., as the tax authorities usually review the declared values comparing them with the cadastral values.

In addition, the wrong cadastral property value could cause us to pay more in the tax commonly known as local Plusvalia when we sell our property (or inherit it, etc.), and also affect the income tax for non-residents in Spain because it is paid applying a % on  the cadastral value.

Given all of the above, we encourage our readers to check the cadastral value and description of their properties on the website of the Virtual Office of Cadastre, or requesting this information from their Town Hall or the competent SUMA office or equivalent.

Also if you have recently received notification that confirms that your cadastral value has been modified, or received a request for an extra payment for IBI regarding prior years under a new revised cadastral value, be aware that depending on the cause of the revaluation, the administration could claim against you for the IBI tax you failed to pay, for up to 4 years.

If you have any questions regarding the property tax you pay, or your property cadastral information or value, or if you disagree with them, please contact us.

The information provided in this article is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys general information related to legal issues.

Carlos Baos (Lawyer)

Spanish Law firm solicitor attorney barrister.

Alicante, Denia, Costa Blanca Marina Alta

White & Baos 2015 – All rights reserved

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