Tax Demands – Overpayment Inheritance Tax
Many property purchasers (also heirs, and people who have received a gift of property) in the Comunidad Valenciana Region have received, a “supplementary demand” for the purchase tax (Impuesto de Transmisiones Patrimoniales) or inheritance tax (Impuesto sobre Sucesiones y Donaciones).
This demand is issued by the tax authority in the Valencia Region (Conselleria de Hacienda): they have been reviewing the valuation of acquired, inherited or gifted properties, obtaining a higher value than the real price referred in the corresponding Notary deeds. As a consequence of this new valuation, the Conselleria calculates the amount of the tax to be paid, which is higher than the amount previously paid; and they claim for the difference –plus interests- against the new owner.
The mentioned valuation adjustments that the Conselleria has been making -causing overpayment inheritance tax- were based on article 57.1.b) of the Law “Ley General Tributaria” and the Regulation called ORDEN 23/2013, of 20th of December, issued by the Conselleria. Those legal texts refer to the right of the Administration to review valuations just by referring to the valuations (a certain price per square metre) previously published in official registries for tax purposes, applicable to all the properties in a determined area.
Superior Court Judgment Opens Door for Appeals
But legal circumstances have recently changed in regard to these issues as a consequence of the Decree issued the 28th of October 2015 by the highest Court in Comunidad Valenciana -Tribunal Superior de Justicia de la Comunidad Valenciana (TSJCV)-.
This Court has determined that the direct reference to “official prices” is acceptable in certain cases -for example, local taxes known as “IBI” or “Plusvalía”-, but not for other taxes, like the purchase tax (Impuesto de Transmisiones Patrimoniales) or inheritance and donation tax (Impuesto sobre Sucesiones y Donaciones). According to the Decree, the Laws applicable to these taxes require the valuation adjustments made by the tax authority to be personalised and individualized, and valuation reviews made only by reference to the “official prices” are against the Law and, therefore, are not valid for the specified taxes.
This new situation opens the door for appeals of hundreds of purchasers (or heirs, or people who have received a donation) who have received office notifications relating to the referred taxes. Therefore, we highly recommend to appeal against those tax demands. If the Conselleria refused a first appeal, we will have the opportunity to appeal again, through an “administrative” Court called Tribunal Económico-Administrativo and, if necessary, through the mentioned TSJCV, which is the highest judicial authority in the region and has already clearly determined this issue.