En 2012 the Spanish government approved a process whereby property owners are able to update and legalize their property details at the Catastral office for a fee of 60€. Much to the disgust of the government this process has been commonly called the “Catastral Amnesty”, and this process impedes any future fines on their behalf. The main points are:
This has been implemented by the Tax office, and will be in force until 2016, whereby paying a fee of just 60€ will allow you to update your property’s catastral details. It’s normal for people to carry out building work in their properties, such as extending the property, or turning the terrace into an extra room, without notifying the catastral office, as this would mean that your taxes, such as your IBI (rates) bill would increase. However, this is fraud and the fines for this range from 60€ to 6000€. The house boom also meant that a lot of houses where never declared to the Catastral office.
How does the Catastral Amnesty work?
The catastral office will be periodically publishing the towns included in this process, in the Official Bulletin of the State (BOE). This means that tax payers that wish to take advantage of this Amnesty should wait until their town appears in the BOE. By the 8th October 176 regions had been published, and the intention is to cover the whole of Spain by 2016, with a likely extension on that date.
How do we apply for this?
The Catastral office will contact any house owners where they have detected any irregularities. They will send a report, including aerial photographs of unregistered building work. The Catastral office will give the home owner 15 days in which to lodge any allegations. He can also initiate the process himself. For this he must present his application and pay the fee.
What advantages does this have?
Making the application will safeguard the homeowner from any future inspections and fines. The maximum fine for presenting an incorrect declaration or not notifying the relevant building work can reach 6000€. This process is a good opportunity to update the catastro and avoid nasty surprises in the future.
What is the cost of the legalization?
Updating the catastral details will mean an increase in the catastral value of the property, which translates in an increase in what we pay in our yearly rates (IBI), which will be recalculated and tax payers will have to pay the excess for the last 4 years at the new catastral value. This will also affect your personal income tax, With the exception of your habitual residence, the tax payers will be taxed between 1,1% and 2% of the catastral value of their properties. Plus Valia (Tax on the increment of the value of the land) will also be affected.
Can you legalize an illegal property?
You will be able to declare properties that at present do not exist in the Catastral office or whose details are incorrect. However, this does not include illegal buildings, for example, built on non urban land.