As most people know and expect you have to pay road taxes, Impuesto de Rodaje or Impuesto sobre vehículos de tracción mecánica, here in Spain annually. The amount to be paid varies dependent on the size of the engine the cv and now sometimes on the emission rates as specified by certain town halls.
Each town hall has slightly different rates and they also generally have different times of the year when these can be paid known as a “voluntary period”. You can normally check out the dates at the local SAC centres or online at the relevant town halls official web page eg: www.arona.org for the municipality of Arona. Normally Town halls provide a period of between six to eight weeks where by these taxes can be paid without incurring any fines or interest payments. If however you forget to pay during this time and pay after the end of that year a charge is normally levied sometimes 5% or more when the payment is eventually paid.
If the amount remains unpaid and you wish to sell your car and arrange a transfer of ownership then this is now “blocked” by Tráfico until such time as the road taxes are paid, i.e. at the current time if a transfer of ownership was to be attempted with the 2014 road taxes outstanding then it would not be permitted at Tráfico until such time as proof of the paid road taxes are provided. Some town halls automatically advise Tráfico directly when payment has been made whereas others don’t and the original road tax receipt must be shown at Tráfico for them to erase the block from their system. Most Town Halls automatically advise Tráfico of outstanding taxes at the beginning of each new calendar year i.e. on or around the 1st January in any one year. Failure to pay can result in an embargo being placed on your bank account to collect the money that way.
This would happen when the town hall had placed notifications in the Official Bulletin showing the debt outstanding with the amounts and the individuals NIE/DNI or company CIF number. This is normally published twice at which point the debt is then sent to Hacienda to deal with. They will send you letters, generally two or three, so it is important that both Tráfico and Hacienda have your correct address otherwise you will not receive any of these letters. The last letter from Hacienda generally comes with a Carta de Pago, which is like a payment receipt and can be taken to any bank to pay. However by this time not only will you owe the road taxes plus a fine but also interest and costs so it can prove to be considerably more than in the first place.
If you do not receive these letters or chose to ignore them then Hacienda will advise any /all banks with which you hold accounts and a block, embargo will be placed on your account preventing you from drawing that amount of money from your account. This process is normally a period of 15 days from notification to the money actually being taken. You can if you notice this go to the bank who will be able to tell you the reference number for you to contact Hacienda to find out what it is. At this point there is no way of stopping Hacienda taking the money and if there has been an error, which occasionally happens, you would have to make a reclamation which can take considerable time and paperwork.
The moral here is to be aware that although there are no tax discs displayed in cars, road taxes are due and payable annually and it is in your interest to pay them. They are almost always considerably cheaper than the UK.
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