Legally speaking who pays the property tax?

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I have recently sold my house in Spain, but I am told that I will have to pay the SUMA tax on it in September because the owner of the property on January 1 of each year is responsible for this tax. Could you confirm that this is true?

J N (Costa Blanca)


Traditionally, this has been true, that the owner as of January 1 pays the municipal property tax for that year. But wait. There has also always been the possibility for the buyer and seller to agree beforehand to pay the tax in amounts proportional to the time each one has owned the property during that year.

And now comes the Spanish Supreme Court with a sentence of June 15, 2016, declaring that, even without a previous agreement, the seller who pays the full amount of the property tax can claim from the buyer the amount proportional to the time that has passed since he became the legal owner. Consult your lawyer. Finally, you are asking about the IBI, the municipal property tax, the rates. SUMA is the tax collection agency which handles the municipal taxes for Alicante Province.

Send your questions for David Searl through lawyers Ubeda-Retana and Associates in Fuengirola at [email protected], or call 952 667 090.

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David Searl

You and the law in spain Send your questions for David Searl through lawyers Ubeda-Retana and Associates in Fuengirola at [email protected], or call 952 667 090.