Spanish properties sold at a loss – Plusvalía

Filed under : Civil Law, Litigation, Property

A decision of the Malaga administrative courts may have set a precedent for thousands of vendors in Andalucia who sold their properties at a loss.  The local Town Hall tax – plusvalía – has been charged on all property sales for many years. In some cases the tax has been tens of thousands. This is despite the fact that the property owner may have made a loss on the sale particularly on properties bought in the property boom and sold after the crash in 2008.

This court ruling mirrors other regional court decisions in Madrid, Catalonia, Valencia and Rioja. The reasoning of the Judge is that the plusvalía whose full title is – Impuesto sobre el Incremento del valor de los terrenos de naturaleza urbana – is implicitly a tax on an increase in value. Since the beginning of the crisis many people have sold at a loss so a tax referring to “an increase in value” is inherently unjustifiable. The recent decision on the sale of a property in Fuengirola cannot be appealed to a higher court as the amount of the claim is less than 30.000€. Interest will also be payable on the amount to be repaid by the Town Hall.

Unlike mortgage floor clause claims – see article at –  the Plusvalía claims will have to be pursued in the courts and there will be costs to pay to commence the claim. Each claim would need to be reviewed to see if it is cost effective to pursue. It is important to stop prescription running by sending a burofax to the Town Hall and this can be done for a small fee to stop your claim becoming time barred.

If you have paid this tax on a sale at a loss you may be able to make a claim in the courts for the return of monies paid. You will need copies of the deeds and evidence the tax has been paid. For more information please call us on 952 527014 or contact us on We have property and litigation experts who can advise you in your own language.