Author: Ariane van Wijk

Construction on rural land in Andalucia limitedly allowed for single-family homes

CONSTRUCTION ON RURAL LAND ANDALUCIA
Construction on rural land Andalucia: when are you allowed to build?

In December 2021, the Andalusian Parliament passed the new ´Land Law´ (Ley del Suelo) in Andalusia, commonly called LISTA, for the construction on rural land. One of the most important new features of this law is that under certain circumstances it allows for building permits to be issued for detached single-family homes in the countryside. This is big news for rural property owners as until now building in the countryside was not permitted and all buildings less than at least 6 years old could be sanctioned.

What is the implementation status of this new law for construction and renovation on rural land?

Following the approval of this new law, the Regional Government of Andalusia is working on regulations to implement it, with these being very important for the new law to start being applied. Currently, these regulations are in draft form pending approval and therefore they are still subject to change.

We’re also going to explain -in the last paragraph- the most important aspects of these draft regulations and the new land law, concerning plots on rural land and the possibility to obtain a building permit for detached homes. Here we´ll cover the new aspects affecting homes in the system of Declaration Assimilated out of Ordination, (DAFO/SAFO) as, for the first time, larger refurbishment works will also be allowed on these.

Was it allowed to build on rural land in the past?

The previous law in Andalusia -called LOUA and adopted in 2003- did not allow for the construction of homes for residential purposes on undevelopable/rustic land, the exception being the possibility to build homes related to agricultural, livestock or forestry operations.

However, despite this ban, many homes were built without a building permit, with incorrect permits or with permits later declared void/invalid. In the province of Málaga, in areas such as La Axarquía, the Guadalhorce Valley, the Mijas Sierra or the Ronda area, hundreds of thousands of rural homes were built due to strong demand from foreign buyers from Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, etc.

One of the reasons for this large demand for rural properties in the countryside of Andalucia is also that they were allowed to be inscribed in the Property Registry (Registro de la Propiedad), due to the time elapse and the neglect of the administration to act against these properties. This registration doesn´t make them legal but it does give them a better administrative status which -in combination with lower market prices – makes these homes more attractive to potential buyers.

What will be the future requirements to build on a rural plot?

  1. The plot may not be subject to any type of special protection, i.e. it must be regular rural land.
  2. The building must have a distance of at least 25 metres from the border of the plot.
  3. Also, the land must have a minimal surface which we explain in the next paragraph.
  4. There must be a minimum distance of 200 metres from other buildings used for residential purposes.

a. What is the minimum surface area for plots to obtain a permit for construction on rural land?

It will be possible to build on legally segregated plots, which may in no case be smaller than 2.5 hectares (25,000 m2) per property. In forest land, the minimum surface area must be 5 hectares. However, the regulations provide for the possibility of amending this minimum surface area through subregional planning regulations. This amendment must be based on the need to fight against the depopulation of rural areas, the promotion of rural development or the green and circular economy. It is certain that this minimum plot area to obtain a building permit will be amended in many municipalities in the medium term.

b. How many square metres am I allowed to build?

The maximum building area cannot exceed 1% of the rural plot or 0.5% in forestall area.  However, it is possible for the general urban planning instrument of the municipality to allow constructions and installations that are additional to the home, provided that their total surface area does not exceed that of the home itself.

c. What is the maximum height allowed for construction on rural land?

The maximum height allowed for these homes in rural land is 7 metres.

d. No approval to build if an urban settlement is being formed

An urban settlement, ´asentamiento urbanístico´, is defined as the formation or existence of a group of buildings in a relatively small land area, which would require collective infrastructure or services unsuitable for rural land. The new land law and its regulations prohibit the formation of new urban settlements in rural land and, therefore, do not allow for issuing building permits for homes likely to form a settelement.

The law provides many definitions of what can be interpreted as an urban settlement, some of these being somewhat ambiguous and subject to interpretation with the passage of time. For instance, one of the clearest criteria that make it impossible to provide a permit for a home on rural land is the existence of another 6 buildings within a radius of 200 metres. (These 6 buildings would not include outbuildings in plots within that radius.)

What tax will be due from building in rural land in Andalusia?

The new law has established a compensation provision payable to allow constructions in rural land equivalent to 15% of the material execution budget for detached single-family homes. It is payable upon the building permit being granted to the owner or developer, whether an individual or a company. The regulations provide the possibility for each City Hall to reduce this amount through a municipal ordinance.

Need for prior authorisation to obtain the permit

It is mandatory to request prior authorisation from City Hall, to confirm that it is possible to obtain a building permit on the rustic plot. This prior authorisation procedure must include certain technical and legal documentation about the plot, as well as about the building intended to be built.

One of the most important points of this authorisation is notifying the cadastral and registry holders of neighbouring plots. The neighbouring holders may object to the building, claiming that it would prevent the performance or implementation of regular operations in their plots. This refers to livestock, forestry or agricultural operations since the construction of a home on rural land is considered exceptional.

Approval Town Hall in case of sale

If a period of 6 months has elapsed from the moment that the application was filed and the City Hall has not replied, it will be interpreted as denied. In case the City Hall grants prior authorisation, the owner or developer will have a period of one year to apply for a building permit. Otherwise, prior authorisation must be obtained again. This prior authorisation will allow owners of a plot seeking to sell it with a building permit to carry out this procedure and, once the City Hall approves it, the plot can be sold to a buyer with the guarantee that they will be able to build on it.

Ability to refurbish/renovate homes considered Assimilated out of Ordination (DAFO/SAFO)

Construction on rural land and the certificate for Assimilated out of Ordination (DAFO/SAFO)
Construction on rural land and the certificate for Assimilated out of Ordination (DAFO/SAFO)

The new land law has introduced a significant amendment regarding homes with the status of Assimilated out of Ordination (DAFO/SAFO). The new law allows for these homes to be refurbished and for their structures to be adapted. Previously, these homes were only allowed to engage in minimum maintenance and preservation works strictly necessary to guarantee habitability, health, safety and accessibility. The possibility of carrying out improvements and refurbishments in these rural homes legally opens the door to many owners who have bought a home in the countryside, who have not dared to execute these works to date or who have done so and assumed the risks of sanctions by the Town Hall.

In our daily work as lawyers, providing legal advice during the conveyancing process of rural homes, we see that most buyers wish to carry out refurbishment and improvement works and they will now be able to do so legally with a municipal permit. It is very important to note that, to obtain a refurbishment permit for homes on rural land, these must have a DAFO/SAFO resolution or this procedure should be underway. Without the recognition of Assimilated out of Ordination, it is not possible to obtain any permits for a rural property, either for refurbishment or preservation of the property.

In my opinion, since the type of work that may be carried out in an existing rural home has been extended, having a DAFO/SAFO resolution for this property may be more appealing, as it will enable owners to maintain and improve their homes legally.

Author: Gustavo Calero Monereo, lawyer at C&D Solicitors (Torrox, Malaga)

 

NEW TAX VALUE IN THE PURCHASE, INHERITANCE OR GIFTING OF PROPERTY IN SPAIN

New tax value Spain (cadastral reference value)
New tax value Spain (cadastral reference value)

The newly introduced minimum tax value for real estate properties in Spain, introduced on the 1st of January 2022, is called “cadastral reference value” or in Spanish “valor de referencia catastral”. The old system was based on the cadastral value multiplied by a factor that varied per town hall and mostly lay significantly below the real market price. On the contrary, the new tax value approaches the real market price much more realistically, because -like an official price valuation for a mortgage- it´s based on actual selling prices in the area.

The new minimum tax value can be checked online through the website of the Cadastre by the cadastral number if you have a Spanish tax number and a digital certificate. Apart from the height of the value, the main consequence of this change is that -if available- it has become the new minimum tax value to always be declared in the purchase of real estate assets or its acquisition by inheritance or gifting/donating, in case the value in the deeds would be lower.

What are the effects on the different kinds of properties?

In practice, this reference value has entailed a general increase in the old minimum tax values. For instance, in Andalusia, we’ve seen cases of value increases in some properties of over 30% after 1 January 2022.

Standard vs. luxury properties

However, this new tax value does not have a special impact on the market for luxury properties or luxury villas, for example on the Costa del Sol. We are talking about areas such as the Golden Mile, Puente Romano or Sierra Blanca in Marbella, as well as in other towns with luxury properties such as Benahavis, Benalmadena, Fuengirola or Mijas, since their current market prices are relatively high.

Rustic or rural properties

Also, this change won´t have an effect on rustic/rural properties, for the reason that these don´t have this new tax value defined. You can in the last paragraph of this article how the Spanish tax authorities treat properties without this minimum tax value.

New build declarations

For new build declarations of existing properties, for example for an extension of the house, this value applies to the AJD stamp duty tax (Actos Juridicos Documentados), which in Andalusia is lowered to 1,2% since October 2021.

New build properties

In the purchase of normal new build properties from a developer, like in off-plan projects, the construction normally isn´t inscribed yet in the cadastre and therefore can´t have this cadastre reference value either at the moment of the signing of the purchase deeds. It´s not legal for the tax office to send you an additional payment request for the AJD tax basic on a cadastre reference value published after the signing of the purchase title deed.

However, this could be the case if you buy an existing new build property that already has the value defined and is sold for a lower price. In this case, the minimum value is only used for the AJD tax, not for the 10% VAT which is always calculated over the purchase price in the deeds.

What are the practical consequences of the new fiscal value on properties?

The new reference value is the official market value of properties for tax purposes, for which reason it needs to be taken into account by taxpayers during property purchases, inheritance or gift/donation executed after 1 January 2022.

The new reference value requires taxpayers to use this value as a minimum for the payment of taxes incurred during this property transfer. Just like in the earlier system of the minimum fiscal tax value that depended on index factors of the different Town Hall, its objective is to require taxpayers to pay the tax using this value without having to initiate value-checking proceedings as there already is an approved and predetermined reference value.

Have your lawyer check the tax value in an early stage

Of course, in order to know your total acquisition costs, it´s best to have this matter checked, preferably by a specialized real estate lawyer, in an early stage to avoid potential unpleasant and expensive surprises later on in the process. To consult this information a tax number and digital certificate from the Spanish authorities are needed.

What are the main taxes affected by the new tax value?

The buyers of a second-hand home, the heirs of a property or the recipients of a donation are the most affected by the reference value when they purchase, inherit or receive a property as a gift. In these property transfers, if the reference value is greater than the purchase price or the value stated in the deed, the new owner, heir or gift recipient must pay the corresponding taxes based on this reference value.

ITP property tax

The reference value is the tax value that determines the minimum taxable amount for the Transfer Tax (ITP), which is paid by the buyer of second-hand homes in Spain. In Andalusia, this tax is currently 7% of the price or value of the property purchased.

Inheritance tax

Likewise, the reference value applies to Inheritance Tax, which is paid as a minimum by heirs of a property in Spain. In Andalusia, following several legislative changes, this tax currently enjoys large exemptions and bonuses for close family members.

Gift/donation tax

Lastly, this tax value also determines the taxable amount in property gifts, which are paid by gift recipients who receive a property during the donor’s lifetime. In Andalusia, gifts also often are subject to much-reduced taxes, depending on the relationship to the receiver.

The gift would be affected by these reference values, for which reason donor tax residents in Spain will need to take this into account in their personal income tax returns. Remember that tax residents in Spain, when they gift a property, have to declare it as a sale and pay taxes on “assumed” capital gains. This doesn’t apply to sellers who are not tax residents, and therefore do not pay income tax on property gifts in Spain.

What happens to taxes paid when selling a Spanish property?

For property sellers, whether or not they are resident in Spain for tax purposes, there are two main taxes when selling a Spanish property, which are personal income tax (IRPF) and municipal tax called plusvalia.

Capital Gain Tax

In terms of IRPF, the seller pays taxes on the capital gain tax obtained from the sale of the property, if any profit has been made from the transfer. In this case, if the transfer has been for consideration, i.e. subject to a price being paid, the reference tax value does not affect the seller and the tax office cannot require payment of capital gains tax based of this. The administration could only require the seller to apply a higher value if a value-verification procedure has been initiated before, but this procedure is different from cadastral reference values.

Plusvalue tax (Plusvalia)

The new tax value doesn´t have any relation to the Plusvalue tax of the Town Hall over the increased worth of the property either when it concerns a normal sale. However, in donations/gifts it does affect, so we advise you to consult your lawyer on this matter.

Is the local IBI property tax or the IRPF/IRNR income tax affected by the introduction of this new tax system?

No, neither the yearly IBI property tax of the Town Hall nor your IRPF or IRNR income tax will change as they are calculated over the cadastral value and not the new minimum tax value.

What would happen if I don’t apply the new minimal fiscal value to my purchase?

If the reference value is greater than that specified in the Deed during the purchase of a property, the buyer will receive a notification from the Tax Administration with a tax assessment. This assessment will be to pay the tax that was not paid, on the difference between the reference value and the deed value, including any interest.

Penalty procedure from the Spanish tax authorities

At the same time as this assessment notice, the Administration may start penalty procedures, as the taxpayer didn’t apply the established reference value in the appropriate tax return. The penalty would be equal to 50% of the unpaid tax and a reduction of 30% may be applied with the agreement of the taxpayer and timely payment, as established in the notice.

In the event that the reference value is greater than the actual or declared value, if taxpayers choose not to pay the tax based on the reference value, they must be willing to appeal it. Otherwise, the economic damage will be greater than if the tax had been paid based on the reference value. It is no longer advisable to wait and see what the administration does as this assessment will certainly arrive, along with a very likely financial penalty.

What if I disagree with the tax value and wish to appeal?

If you disagree with the reference value of the property, the main argument for a claim should be that it does not represent its real market value. For this purpose, it is essential to obtain an official appraisal/valuation of the property showing that the reference value is excessive and does not reflect market values. In other words, it is necessary to have an appraisal to prove an error in the reference value established by the administration.

What are the risks of an incorrect tax application?

The main risk to taxpayers making such a claim is for the value not to be upheld in this procedure and the reference value being confirmed for tax purposes. In this case, the penalty of 50% of the unpaid amount would be due in full, with no reduction possibilities, in addition to default interest over this amount, which would be higher, in particular because it would take several years for the procedure to be settled. It would be necessary to take into account the cost of an appraisal in this consideration plus the fees of the solicitor involved in this procedure.

What is the likelihood of obtaining a favorable resolution in this appeal procedure?

Since these are properties values that entered into force on 1 January 2022, there is still no precedent for claims and it is not possible to know what the administrative authorities and courts will decide in these proceedings in the future.

New tax value versus the official valuation, for example in case of a mortgage

Our law firm C&D Solicitors currently has various foreign clients who have purchased properties in Marbella, Benalmadena and in Ronda, where the reference value is significantly higher than the purchase price. In one of the cases, the purchase was executed with a mortgage and it turned out that the mortgage appraisal while being higher than the purchase price, was significantly lower than the reference value of the property.

In this case, if buyers are willing to file a claim, our recommendation is to pay the Transfer Tax based on the property appraisal value, as we can understand that this is the real market value of the property (even if it is higher than the purchase price).

Advice for buyers who are willing to challenge this reference tax value is to have a property assessment (valuation) showing that the value is excessive and to pay the transfer tax based on this appraisal, attaching their Deed of Sale to it. This will not prevent the administration from requiring payment based on the reference value but it can be helpful during the subsequent appeal procedure. However, as this change is very new, the likeliness of success in an appeal procedure can´t be predicted yet and we recommend you seek advice from your lawyer in order to evaluate the costs versus potential benefits.

What happens to properties without the new tax value?

There are properties that (still) do not have this official reference value. For this reason, the value declared in the deed will be understood to be the market value of the property and, if the administration determines otherwise, it would have to start a value-verification procedure itself.

Minimum tax value for rustic or rural properties

Properties without an associated reference value include most of the rural properties, i.e. properties located in non-developable land, such as chalets, country houses, B&Bs, etc. Fortunately, this reference value does not apply to most of the purchase or inheritance of rural properties, which generate so many purchase transactions in Andalusia and the Malaga province, in places such as la Axarquía, Valle del Guadalhorce or Mijas, where they are very usual, as well as in the provinces of Cádiz and Granada.

Author: Gustavo Calero Monereo, lawyer at C&D Solicitors Torrox, Malaga

SPANISH PROPERTY INVESTMENT AND THE GOLDEN VISA

SPANISH PROPERTY INVESTMENT AND THE GOLDEN VISA
SPANISH PROPERTY INVESTMENT AND THE GOLDEN VISA

Are you a non-EU citizen with an interest in investing in Spain to obtain a ´Golden Visa´? Spain is a place with enormous appeal for foreign investors looking to purchase a property. Cities like Madrid and Barcelona, as well as the Costa del Sol and the entire Mediterranean coast are the focus of many foreigners looking to buy a property to live in Spain or to operate it in the tourist holiday market. The investment appeal mentioned earlier is combined with the Golden Visa for non-EU citizens, introduced in 2013, consisting in a residence permit for citizens from outside the European Union interested in residing in Spain legally.

The Golden Visa is designed to encourage wealthy people to invest in Spain in exchange for obtaining a residence visa. This is a seamless process that has led to 24,534 golden visas being issued to these investors between 2013 and 2020, a figure that doesn’t include their relatives.

The residence process regulating the Golden Visa does not compete with any other residence procedure in Spain and offers enormous benefits and convenience in terms of being obtained. This has made it possible for non-EU citizens with significant assets to use this procedure to reside in Spain, under very beneficial conditions for themselves and their relatives. In this post, we’ll try to summarise the main benefits of the Golden Visa as well as the application requirements for foreign citizens investing in the purchase of a property in Spain.

What is the minimum investment amount when purchasing a property to obtain a Golden Visa?

The minimum investment amount when purchasing a property must be 500,000 euros per person, excluding taxes and without using a mortgage or any financing, i.e. these must be the buyer’s own funds. It’s possible to invest all this money by purchasing different properties but the important thing is for the total amount invested in such properties to add up to at least 500,000 euros.

Do you have to buy a single property or can you buy more than one?

The 500,000-euro investment amount may be reached by adding several properties together. This amount doesn’t need to be paid for a single property. For instance, our firm recently advised an American citizen during the process to purchase two properties, the first in Benalmádena in 2016 and the second in Torrox in 2019. When adding the money invested in both properties, our client exceeded a total investment of 500,000 euros so that, once he signed the Deed of Sale for the second property, he was able to apply for a Golden Visa based on the total investment made. 

What if I’m married in joint assets?

Each applicant is required to invest 500,000 euros and, in the event of being married with joint assets, this means that the purchase amount must be 1,000,000 euros for both spouses to be able to apply. However, if you purchase, for instance, a 500,000-euro property in Malaga while married with joint assets, for the purposes of a Golden Visa, one of the spouses would be understood to be the investor and the other spouse may apply for residence as a relative of the main applicant. When married with separation of assets, the process is the same as that for joint assets.

Can I bring other relatives with a Golden Visa?

It’s possible to bring children under the age of 21 who are financially dependent on the main applicant. It’s also possible for applicants to bring their parents, provided they can prove that they are dependent on them.

What is the deadline to apply after a purchase?

There is no deadline. This means the application can be filed at any time after purchasing the property(-ies), the only requirement is that such properties must have been bought in 2014 or later.

Can I apply for a Golden Visa through a company purchasing a property?

Yes, this is possible, as long as the company is not registered in a tax haven and the applicant can prove that he or she holds a majority interest in it. In this case, it’s necessary to obtain a report from the Ministry of the Economy accrediting this situation.

Can I apply for it if I’ve purchased a plot of land and intend to build a home on it?

Yes, it’s possible to acquire a Golden Visa by building a home on land acquired through a purchase. In Spain, this type of purchase is classified as self-development and is very different from purchasing a property off-plan from a developer.

How long is this Visa valid?

A person obtaining a Golden Visa has 2 years to reside legally in Spain and, after these 2 years, a renewal may be requested. This renewal will be for 5 years, subject to proving that the applicant continues to own the investment property and that he or she has visited Spain at least once during those 2 years.

Do I have to pay taxes in Spain if I have a Golden Visa?

A Golden Visa allows you to reside legally in Spain but having it does not mean you need to pay taxes in Spain or become a tax resident in Spain automatically. The obligation to pay taxes in Spain depends on spending over 6 months within Spanish territory, at which point the tax authorities will consider that person tax resident in Spain automatically.

The Golden Visa allows the holder and relatives to leave Spain for over 6 months a year and they are only required to visit Spain at least once a year. Therefore, in this case, even if you have a Golden Visa, the tax authorities would consider you a non-resident in Spain for tax purposes and you’ll continue to pay taxes in your country.

What are the other benefits does it have?

  • You can move freely throughout the Schengen area to enter and leave Europe completely freely and with no need for a visa.
  • The spouse and family members mentioned above can apply for a residence permit at the same time. In other words, they don’t need to do it after the main applicant, which is not possible with other residence permits.
  • It allows for working in Spain automatically.
  • The processing time is fast as it needs to be decided within 20 days of submitting all documents and a non-response from the administration is considered to be an approval.

What other requirements are needed to obtain this document?

  • You need to have sufficient financial resources to live in Spain. In 2021, it’ll be necessary to prove that the applicant has at least 2,259.60 euros available per month, plus an additional 564.90 euros for each accompanying relative.
  • It’s necessary for the applicant and accompanying relatives to have health insurance with an insurer licensed to operate in Spain. This insurance must be valid at all times and be submitted to renew the residence permit.
  • Being a citizen of a non-EU country.
  • Being an adult.
  • Having no criminal records.

Furthermore, it’s necessary to prepare a series of duly legalized documents, pay certain fees and complete some application forms, which your lawyer or a law firm experienced in procedures of this type can do for you.

Can British citizens apply for a Golden Visa?

Of course they can. Once the Brexit process was completed, they became eligible to obtain a residence permit in Spain through this process. If they are financially capable of investing in a property valued at 500,000 euros or above, this is the easiest and quickest way to obtain residence in Spain.

The advantages of the residence permit obtained through a Golden Visa far exceed those of any other residence process, such as the non-lucrative visa.

Differences between the Golden Visa and the non-lucrative visa

Differences between the Golden Visa and the non-lucrative visa
Differences between the Golden Visa and the non-lucrative visa

A non-lucrative visa is a very interesting option to reside in Spain, there’s no question about it. Not all homebuyers in Spain are able to spend 500,000 euros on a property. Therefore, if a British citizen wishes to reside in Spain after purchasing a property or because they want to let a home in Spain, this procedure can be very useful to reside in Spain legally.

Since the main purpose of this article is to explain residence in Spain through a Golden Visa, we will just say that a non-lucrative visa is less beneficial than a Golden Visa, some of its drawbacks being:

  • The application must be filed within a period of 90 days prior to arriving in Spain, i.e. before moving to Spain, for which reason it must be obtained from the Spanish embassy or consulate of the applicant’s country of residence.
  • It lasts 1 year and can be renewed for a period of 2 years.
  • It’s not a work permit. It only allows for residing in Spain but does not authorize the holder to work.
  • It requires holders to live in Spain for at least 6 months and, therefore, they will be considered tax residents in Spain, being required to pay taxes in Spain as residents.
  • It’s possible to obtain family reunification with a non-lucrative visa but it’s necessary to wait several years before applying.
  • As with a Golden Visa, it’s necessary to prove a monthly income of 2,259.60 euros for 2021, as well as to obtain health insurance and have no criminal records.

What if I have questions or need a law firm to advise me on obtaining a Golden Visa?

In this case, it’s important for you to look for the company or firm that can give you the most confidence during this procedure.

C&D Solicitors is a law firm located in the Costa del Sol, which specializes in providing legal advice during the purchase of property by foreigners in Andalusia. Whether buying a new property (off-plan), self-development or purchasing a used home (secondhand home), we have extensive experience and can offer comprehensive advice, from A to Z.

We can support you throughout the process of buying a property in Spain and obtaining a Golden Vida. Don’t hesitate to contact us for a free initial consultation or a commitment-free estimate.

 

Author: Gustavo Calero Monereo, lawyer at C&D Solicitors, Malaga

ANDALUSIA SUDDENLY DROPS TAXES FOR PROPERTY PURCHASES 2021

TAXES FOR PROPERTY PURCHASES ANDALUSIA 2021
TAXES FOR PROPERTY PURCHASES ANDALUSIA 2021

If you buy a property in Andalusia in the remainder of 2021, you will pay less tax as a buyer. Those who are in the process of buying a property at the moment, will see that taxes for property purchases have reduced. On Tuesday 27 April, the Junta de Andalusia unexpectedly and urgently approved a decree that reduces the ITP transfer tax and stamp duty (AJD) for the rest of the year 2021.

The aim of the regulation is to stimulate the real estate market for the purchase of homes in 2021, by reducing the fiscal costs for homebuyers in Andalusia. And by doing so boost the real estate sector, which has also been greatly affected by the pandemic caused by COVID-19.

What is the saving on taxes for property purchases (second-hand real estate)?

A fixed ITP transfer tax rate of 7% will be introduced instead of 8%. Likewise, the tax brackets of 9% and 10% will be abolished. These were applicable to purchases that exceeded EUR 400,000 and EUR 700,000 respectively. The 7% ITP becomes the fixed and only tax rate regardless of the purchase price.

In other words, purchases with a high price will have a larger tax saving, as the market of second-hand luxury homes benefits the most from this tax reduction in 2021.

What are the tax savings for new or off-plan purchases?

For these purchases, the reduction is much lower, as the purchase of a property off-plan is taxed through VAT (IVA) of 10% and through the stamp duty tax (AJD), with a tax rate of 1.5%. With the reform, the AJD goes from 1.5% to 1.2%, with buyers or investors of new homes benefiting the least from this reform.

This is important, as in areas of Andalusia such as Malaga and in general along the Costa del Sol, off-plan or new build property sales represent a very important part of the property market, especially amongst buyers from countries such as England, France, Belgium, Holland, Sweden…etc.

When does it come into effect and until when does it apply?

This reduction came into effect on Wednesday the 28th of April and all purchases made after this date will benefit from this tax reduction. But pay attention when buying, because this rule will only be in force until the 31st of December 2021. This means that on the 1st of January 2022 buyers will pay the same taxes as they paid before.

Recommendation for saving on taxes for property purchases in Andalusia

If you look for a property to buy in Andalusia or are in the process of buying a property in Andalusia, make sure to discuss the tax savings that can be made by completing the sale in 2021 with your lawyer or solicitor, in case you are interested in speeding up the process.

 

Author: Gustavo Calero Monereo, lawyer at C&D Solicitors, Torrox (Malaga)

Changes in our office due to the coronavirus

Dear clients and contacts,

Due to the exceptional situation caused by the coronavirus, we inform you that we at C&D Solicitors will continue to attend to all matters of our clients in the coming weeks. You can reach us preferably by email as we´ll only be working in shifts from the office and the rest of the time online from home. Do you have urgent matters for which you would like to come to the office? Please just contact us first.

As most of our projects like purchases or sales take several months to complete, we think that a lot of these will be affected too much by the current situation. However, certain public services of the Spanish authorities will be limited for public. This applies especially to the signings of deeds or Power of Attorneys at the notary, to the application of the fiscal NIE documents and to certain administrative consultations like in the Town Halls. We will inform you individually if these apply in your project.

Deadlines from the government as payments of taxes or fines, administrative or legal deadlines, etc. are by law suspended while the state of alarm lasts. If you have any doubt about the deadline of a private agreement, please let us know.

C&D wants to cooperate and collaborate with the measures taken by the Spanish state to avoid putting at risk the health of our colleagues, clients, friends and family. Thank you for your understanding and we wish you all good health!

Best regards of the team of C&D Solicitors

Name C&D Solicitors misused in fraud recovery scam ISS/Realistix

C&D Solicitors Malaga
English speaking lawyers & Dutch assistance

Please be aware that C&D Solicitors/Abogados (in Torrox, Malaga / Spain) doesn´t have any relation with a court case against ISS Intelligent Software Solutions/Realistix. Criminals are offering victims of this time-share fraud through telephone calls a very expensive fake service for the application of a Spanish fiscal number (NIE). They state that these costs are necesarry to reclaim the money they have lost. The logo they use in their email communication is from a law firm in Mexico, but they use C&D Solicitor´s name and office address. It is fake, so please don´t respond to them. We have reported this fraud to the Spanish authorities.

For further details please read the following article.

https://mindtimeshare.me/2018/09/28/beware-of-actively-cold-calling-fake-lawyers-cd-solicitors/

C&D Solicitors Torrox (Málaga, Andalusia)

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