You can now recover some of the fees, taxes and duties paid when you registered your property as an Assimilated Outside Ordination (AFO)

Law 2/2012 of January 10, established how existing buildings and settlements on undeveloped land in Andalusia are regulated. It recognises and gives legal cover to those buildings constructed without a license and those for whom the deadline had elapsed to obtain one. The idea was to take steps to address the town planning issues and restore order.

These buildings are defined as “assimilated outside ordination (AFO)” and the law should provide for its expressed recognition by the urban planning department acting through a procedure aimed at its quick effective declaration. In this sense, the Decree enables the local councils to establish appropriate rates so that the process of recognition does not place an economic burden on the local population.

Virtually all of the Andalusian municipalities have begun to adopt regulations establishing the tax base of the fees in the material execution budget of what, in each case, the work would cost.

For its part, the article 24 of the Local Taxes Act imposes levels on amount of the fees which a Council may charge for the provision of a service. It specified that the fees must not exceed, the actual cost of the service or activity concerned or, the value of the benefit actually received.

According to a recent judgment of the High Court of Andalusia tax income in these cases must not exceed the cost of the service that the City will actually pay for, otherwise it becomes profitable. The Court decided that to establish the tax base from the budget of material execution of any work was in direct contravention the law because that was never the intention of the regulations. The Law was aimed at placing a burden on administration to quickly remedy the situation. It was intended to lead the way towards the adoption of measures to restore the properties to the urban plan, in each case to determine that the property met the proper conditions, in that it is safe, habitable and fits in with the urban plan. In turn reports should have been made to certify the work down to ensure each house met the requirements then submitted to the taxpayer before processing.

This judgment opens the way for all those whom self-assessed and paid the relevant fees to register their AFO to request through the courts a refund of excess taxes paid and also recover part of the sums paid.

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