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Marbella Rugby Club faces uncertain future due to disputed tax debt

The trophy presentation at Marbella Rugby Club at the end of last season.
The trophy presentation at Marbella Rugby Club at the end of last season. / SUR
  • The non-profit club’s accounts have been frozen in order to collect IBI tax on the municipal land that the club has occupied since 1992

The survival of one of the longest established sporting organisations in Marbella is under threat due to a municipal tax demand. The Patronato Provincial de Recaudación (the provincial tax collection agency) has ordered an embargo of Marbella Rugby Club’s accounts and is demanding the payment of outstanding IBI (municipal property tax) on the facilities that the club has been using since 1992.

The non-profit organisation, which has been running for 28 years and coaches more than 350 children, is situated on a municipal plot of land that the local government handed over for their use free of charge in 1992.

Under the terms of a municipal government commission on 21 October 1992, the club agreed to accept responsibility for the maintenance of the facilities, with no mention of it having to pay IBI tax on land that is public property.

The tax claim dates back to April 2015, when the land registry office amended the value of the plot at the request of the Marbella town hall. As the land had changed from being considered a green area in 1986 to a sporting area in 2010, its value had increased significantly from 90,000 euros to 4.2 million euros. The club was not made aware of this process, nor the subsequent IBI invoice, which totals 112,000 euros.

The embargo represents a troubling situation for the club, which may be forced to close due to a lack of resources.

The club appealed to the Patronato de Recaudación on 9 January stating that it was not notified of the debt and questioning the validity of the documents that revalued the land and the obligation of the club to pay municipal tax on public land it does not own but is simply licensed to use. The Patronato de Recaudación has one month to respond to the appeal.