Couples with different tax residence lose IMI exemption

Those who buy a house can benefit from exemption from payment of municipal tax on real estate for three years, provided that it corresponds to their own permanent housing. But when the property is purchased by more than one person (for example a pair), the exemption is retained only if none of the elements changes the tax address. Otherwise, the tax authorities are of the opinion that the conditions are no longer met in order to benefit from the tax benefit.

The question was asked by a taxpayer to the tax authorities: when one of the co-owners of a house changes his tax address (for example due to divorce), can the IMI exemption be withdrawn? The tax answer is clear. You can. Because the necessary requirements are no longer met.

According to the tax authorities, if the exemption is to be maintained, it is necessary that the assumptions which gave rise to the grant of the benefit be maintained for the duration of the exemption. "Since IMI is a periodic tax whose tax decisions are renewed annually on 31 December, the exception assumptions have to be measured over the period," TA said.

Thus, "for the purpose of coexisting with the co-owners of the exempted dwelling, the assumptions of the tax advantage with respect to the totality of the owners are no longer verified, which results in the exemption for all ceasing," concludes the understanding of AT for these situations.

The deadline and the ways in which it can be exempted from IMI have changed several times in the past and since 2012 the benefit is only granted for three years. It is possible that the same person or family will benefit for another three years, in the case of acquiring new real estate for their own and permanent accommodation.

In addition to the time limit, the rules that have prevailed since then – which were drawn up in the framework of the austerity program – stipulate that only persons with an annual income of less than EUR 153 300 and a house whose net asset value (VPT) does not exceed EUR 125 thousand the right to claim and enjoy this exemption.

Until recently, an exemption had to be applied for from the finance department, but the state budget for 2017 stipulated that the benefit would automatically be granted by AT – who had the elements of that, as it were, the IRS statement. Although the process is automated, the truth is actually that the legislation continues to refer to the deadlines for and the delivery of the request, whereby it is established that, in the case of a new deed, the consumer has a 60-day period after signing to request an exemption from IMI.

From the data provided by the TA, it appears that between January and 24 August of this year, 8,033 applications for exemption from the municipal tax on real estate were submitted – a number corresponding to the 12,000 per year averaged since 2015.

In addition to this temporary exemption, there is another, which is awarded to low-paid taxpayers and real estate. In contrast to the first, it has no time limit for all persons with an annual income of less than 2.3 indexes of social support (ie 15 295 euro because the IAS is considered to have the minimum wage in 2010) and when all buildings (including garages) have a VPT of less than EUR 66 500.

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