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Property in Spain For Members

How to contest the cadastral value of your Spanish property

Esme Fox
Esme Fox - [email protected]
How to contest the cadastral value of your Spanish property
Can I change the cadastral value of my home? Photo: Jose Francisco Fernandez Saura / Pexels

The cadastral value and cadastral reference of a property in Spain affect various factors including how much yearly property tax and inheritance tax you'll pay. Here's how to change the valuation Spanish authorities give your home.

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When it comes to taxes, everyone wants to know if there are ways to pay less. While it's not always possible, there are certain factors that affect particularly taxes associated with your Spanish property - namely the cadastral value and the cadastral reference. But, can they be changed or rectified?

What is the cadastral value?

The cadastral value is applied to all properties in Spain. It’s the value applied to your property by the Ministry of Finance or Hacienda and serves as a tax base to determine how much IBI tax or Impuesto sobre Bienes Inmuebles you pay for example. This is a yearly tax for all those who own property in Spain.

READ ALSO: What is Spain’s IBI tax and how do I pay it?

The value will depend on the size of your property, the condition it's in, the year it was built and the cost of construction, among other factors.

It differs from the cadastral reference, which is an estimate of the market value of a property and is used as a reference for the real estate market. It is also used as a tax base for inheritance and property transfer tax.  

How is it determined?

At the beginning of each year, the cadastral value of homes is reviewed, and as a result, it can increase or decrease. This is why your IBI bill can increase or decrease too. As a general rule, the cadastral value is usually much lower than the market price, but this is not always the case.

How do I find out the cadastral value? 

To know the cadastral value of a property, you must first know the cadastral reference. Then you can find the value in the corresponding public records online. You can find this reference on your IBI bills, as well as on your property deeds.

Once you have this you can go to the electronic headquarters of the Cadastre, and click on 'reference value'. There you will find all the information about the cadastral reference and the corresponding cadastral value.

Even if you’re not the owner of a property, but want to find out the cadastral value of a property you’re considering buying, you can find it out here.

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Can I change the cadastral value of my home?

Yes, it is in fact possible to change the value. If you believe that the cadastral value of your property is too high with respect to the market price of your home, you can request that it be reduced.

You may want to do this in order to lower your IBI bill or if you want to sell your property at a lower price than the market value.

How do I lower the value?

If you believe that you have a case for changing it, you can make a claim to the General Directorate of Cadastre, overseen by the Ministry of Finance. There are two different claims you can make:

  • The procedure for correcting discrepancies
  • The procedure for rectification of material and arithmetic errors.

Procedure for correcting discrepancies

This option is typically used when there is a large difference between the market price and the cadastral value of a property, as well as when there are errors or false data about the characteristics of your home.

To do this, you must go to the Cadastre office in your municipality or apply online at the Cadastre Electronic Headquarters.

Procedure for rectification of material and arithmetic errors

The second option is used when there are errors or incorrect urban planning information, which affects your home. Again you can do this in person or online. In this case, it will have a retroactive effect. If you have paid too much IBI in the past, then it should be returned to you if the application goes in your favour.

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Can I change the cadastral reference of my home?

If the reference value of your home is higher than the market value, then you may be wondering if you can change the reference in order to lower your tax base.

Unfortunately, you cannot request changing this in the same way as you can with the cadastral value. But, the good news is that there is a way to challenge it indirectly.

To do this you will need to request an appraisal from a company approved by the Bank of Spain. If the result of this turns out to be lower than the reference, you can try to rectify your self-assessment tax return, providing the appraisal as evidence that you should be on a lower tax base. As mentioned above, this will only affect certain taxes like inheritance or property transfer. 

In order to approve this, the tax office will need a report from the General Directorate of the Cadastre who may be able to rectify the reference and provide a report to settle the matter.

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