The law on measures to prevent and fight tax fraud, in force since July, included among its extensive articles a modification of the tax valuation of real estate that promises to raise the taxable bases of the taxes on Patrimonial Transmissions and Documented Legal Acts, Successions and Donations, and Patrimony from next January 1. As a result, as confirmed by the main groups of tax advisers in the country, the number of real estate sales has begun to accelerate strongly in order to avoid the tax increase in sight.
The legal modification introduced by the Ministry of Finance in the aforementioned rule ends the concept of “real value” of the transferred properties on which the calculation of the tax bases was based, after the Supreme Court overthrew this concept after years of high litigation. Instead, the Government devised a “reference value”, a dynamic calculation made from cadastral data.
From there, the difference is that traditionally, and until December 31, included, it was the taxpayer who declared the value of the purchase and the administration who could verify it, while as of January 1, 2022 it was will automatically establish the new reference value as the tax base. “It is equivalent to setting a minimum tax base,” says Rubén Rúa, coordinator of the Group of Experts on Local Finance and Cadastre of the Spanish Association of Tax Advisors (Aedaf). “We are surely going to find a general increase in the tax base because you have to pay at least what the administration tells you even if you buy for less money,” he adds.
As a consequence, he details, the sale and purchase operations “are accelerating” to avoid the potential rise in the tax bill. The tax advisers, he details, “we are closing many operations because now we know what the taxation is, but we do not know what the valuation of the properties will be from January 1”, which cannot be calculated until the reference values are made public, on December 20. When in doubt, buyers prefer certainty, he says. Thus, he illustrates, in Galicia 10% is currently paid for Transmissions, that is, 30,000 euros for a property of 300,000, and although the Xunta has promoted a reduction of the rate to 9% for next year, taxpayers prefer to pay the current rate on a known tax base to risk the increase.
“If we consider that it will be cheaper to do the operation now than on January 1, we do well to advance the operation to pay less taxes,” adds Rubén Gimeno, director of the study service of the Registry of Fiscal Advisory Economists (REAF) , which assumes that the situation may change depending on the degree of validity of the cadastres. The fact that the General Budgets for 2022 foresee the update of the value of 825,000 properties may have an impact on the new estimate “reflecting more the market value than the one considered by the autonomous communities, and that may mean that more is paid for the properties , because the previous data was out of date ”. A specific exercise on a specific property located in Madrid, he clarifies, yielded an increase of 44%, he illustrates.
Although the updating of the cadastres does promise to have an impact on the calculation of real estate tax (IBI), the new calculation formula included in the anti-fraud law will not affect this tax. Nor, they assume in the REAF, will have an impact on personal income tax and companies, although it may have some specific effect on VAT. The Ministry of Finance ensures that it has no calculations on the impact of the reform on collection.
The perception of tax advisers that taxpayers are accelerating their operations coincides in time with the multiplication of registered real estate sales, at maximums of 2008, after the paralysis of the Covid pandemic, which makes it difficult to estimate which part is motivated by the tax hike.
From teleworking to the tax address records
Payments in kind. The Registry of Tax Advisory Economists (REAF) yesterday presented a battery of recommendations to face the payment of personal income tax for 2021, in the campaign next year. In the case of materials delivered by companies to their employees to carry out teleworking, such as laptops, their consideration will be remuneration in kind, although they will only be taxed for it based on the personal use that is given to them, such as it happens with company cars, they illustrate.
Inspection. In parallel, the REAF valued the legal shield also introduced in the anti-fraud law to the domiciliary registries of companies made by the Tax Agency, after the Supreme Court decreed that they cannot be carried out if the taxpayer has not been informed that it has been opened. a file and there are good causes to do so. Although the norm avoids advance notice, since the Treasury feared that giving it would allow offenders to destroy evidence, the REAF recalls that the high court warned after the General Tax Law is not valid to modify constitutional rights and that an organic law would be necessary to allow such effects, which promises to open the door to allegations.