In Spain there are a lot of buildings and structures which have never been declared to the Cadastre, and some of the following examples will doubtless be familiar to you: the little hut in the country that was converted into a beautiful second home, the extra bedroom built on the roof terrace of the penthouse, the swimming pool or garage built on the plot of land or in the garden ... And so we have thousands and thousands of undeclared square metres, non-existent for tax or legal purposes, though we enjoy them every day, and swim, park and live in them.

With the aim of bringing this unregularised property to light, the head office of the Cadastre will set in motion a special regularisation procedure to seek out those buildings whose owners (private individuals or companies) either pay no taxes on or, if they do pay, do so only partially.

Its official name is the Cadastral Regulation Procedure 2013-2016, though given its similarity to the famously controversial tax amnesty, we have taken the liberty to rechristen it with a less technical name and call it the CADASTRAL AMNESTY.

What does it involve?

The procedure involves seeking out unregularised buildings and structures by means of aerial photographs. It is about to start, and is planned to continue until 2016. Throughout this period, it is expected there will be a huge amount of checking up on the part of the Cadastre.

To get the “cadastral amnesty” underway, a cadastral regularisation fee has been established. It’s a national tax which private individuals and companies subject to property tax (“Impuesto sobre Bienes Inmuebles” or IBI) must pay in the tax year in which the regularisation starts. The fee is 60 euros for every unregistered building or structure discovered and must be paid at the start of the regularisation procedure.

What happens if I don’t pay the fee?

Anyone who has a property which has not been declared to the Cadastre, or has carried out improvements and/or upgrades without declaring them, will now be able to regularise their situation by paying only the aforementioned fee of 60 euros with no other penalty or surcharge, except the payment of taxes for former years, as we will explain later on in this article.

Not paying this fee will result in a penalty which could total up to 6,000 euros.

How can these buildings and structures be regularised?

There are two ways of doing so: ex officio (by the cadastre itself) or by a voluntary request for regularisation on the part of the owner of the building or structure.

The Cadastre will publish when and where the regularisation will take place in the Spanish Official State Gazette (BOE)

In the ex officio procedure, the Cadastral will inform the owners of the new cadastral value, and demand the fee of 60 euros for every irregular building detected. From the receipt of notice of the new value, the interested parties will have 15 days to examine the report and file objections. Once this period has finished, if the interested party has not filed any objections, the regularisation proposal will become definitive. At this point, the fee must be paid and if it is not paid in the stipulated time, a penalty procedure will be implemented.

If the Cadastre does not notify you after the regularisation process in your area has been published in the BOE, you can inform the Council of your wish to voluntarily regularise your property.

Be careful! Things to keep in mind

The regularisation will take effect as of the date when the unregularised building being rectified was built. Therefore, the Council will demand payment of the Spanish property tax (IBI) and other taxes pertaining to the property, plus interest for payment in arrears for the non statute barred tax years when you did not pay taxes on the regularised building

Also keep in mind that the Amnesty only allows you to regularise buildings and structures built on legal property. The “Cadastral Amnesty” can not be used to legalise buildings which breach urban planning laws (for example a house built on non urban land, or one which breaches coastal law, etc).

The “Cadastral Amnesty” is a good opportunity to legalise property and buildings which are unregularised. Not only will you avoid substantial penalties by paying only the 60 euro fee, you will also be allowed to bring your property up to date, and this will save you future problems, especially if you decide to sell it.

If you are affected by this and would like to avail yourself of the regularisation please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us, we’ll advise you throughout the whole process.

For further information, please contact  / +34 93 444 11 66