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The owners of new properties that have been discovered during initial checks in 29 municipalities will pay an average of 215 euros more in IBI and a further 508 euros in charges
20.03.15 - 11:03 -
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Hacienda detects 30,000 undeclared properties and building works in a year
The tax authority is looking for new properties, extensions and swimming pools. :: SUR
The campaign by the Spanish tax authorities to find all newly built structures, alterations or changes of use of properties which have not been declared to the Land Registry is starting to show results. This comes to the satisfaction of councils that are going to receive a great deal more money in IBI tax, and to the annoyance of owners who for years have avoided the gaze of the taxman but who now cannot escape.
The first phase of Hacienda’s plan has covered 486,000 properties in 29 municipalities in Malaga province so far, especially Fuengirola, Benalmádena, Mijas, Vélez, Antequera, Alhaurín de la Torre, Cártama and Alhaurín el Grande.
Inspections have revealed 30,113 buildings (6.2 per cent of the total) which had previously been invisible to the authorities for tax purposes because neither their owners nor the respective town halls had declared them, irrespective of whether or not they had works licences and the necessary certificate of occupancy.
Most common fraud
The most common irregularities involve new construction (a ‘toolshed’ which has become a villa, for example, or a family-owned piece of land on which the children have all built themselves a house alongside that of their parents), which represent one third of the total. Another 36 per cent are extensions and modernisations (gaining some extra metres from the patio at the back to create a garden or parking space); 15 per cent are alterations or changes of use (enclosing a terrace to create an extra room, among others); and the remaining 16 per cent are swimming pool constructions.
Now all is in order with regard to these properties, with the consequent increase in the rateable value and its inevitable repercussion in taxes, the amount of which varies depending on this rateable value. These include state taxes such as IRPF (income tax) and wealth tax, regional taxes such as inheritance and transfers or municipal taxes like capital gains and, principally, IBI.
According to figures from the Ministry of Finance, the owners of these buildings are going to find themselves paying on average an extra 215 euros per property when their next bill arrives, as well as approximately 508 euros to cover the lack of payment over the last four years; any amounts due from before that period can no longer be claimed by law. In total, town hall coffers will be boosted by 21.7 million euros in IBI alone as a result of these inspections.
These are big figures, but of course not everyone will be paying the same because it depends on the type of fraud (the rateable value of a house is not the same as that of a storage shed). What they will all have to pay, however, is the sum of 60 euros which Hacienda takes from the owner of each property to cover the cost of their services (from taking aerial photos to making checks on site). So far, 1.8 million euros have been paid by property owners in Malaga province, just for this.
Sources at the Land Registry point out that people are not being fined for the irregularities which are detected, but fines can be issued by local councils and the regional authorities in the case of illegal construction. They therefore stress that “the objective of this plan is to fight fraud by finding properties which are benefiting from municipal public services at the expense of property owners who have declared everything correctly.”
The whole province
In any case, the 30,133 cases of fraud which have been detected so far are just the tip of the iceberg. They represent only one third of those that Hacienda believes could exist in Malaga province. The inspections have already been carried out in the first 29 municipalities and are now continuing in a further 13 (Malaga city, the other coastal resorts and the metropolitan area) to obtain a reliable picture of the situation in each area and ‘hunt down’ those who have not met their obligations under the Ley del Catastro Inmobiliario to declare fully and correctly any new construction or modifcations to existing buildings, whether these are economic, physical or of ownership.
The aim is that by 2016 full checks will have been made over the entire province, where 1.43 million urban properties are registered, placing special focus on large residential developments on the coast and in rural areas where there has been a great deal of self-build activity.

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