Paying taxes on rental income

Your ultimate guide to real estate taxes in Mexico

Mexico is the ideal location for a retirement or vacation home. A lot of the US and Canada residents purchase property here to get away from the cold northern winters. However, some people get scared off by the prospect of paying property taxes in Mexico in addition to their domestic ones. Indeed, paying taxes is confusing to a lot of people. The last thing they want is to add to their already heavy tax burden and end up indebted to the foreign government. It is always helpful to make a list of pros and cons. And that is where the question arises: where does property tax really belong?

Real estate taxes in Mexico

If you think about buying a house in Mexico, you probably already know that the cost of living there is much less expensive than North of the border. What you may not know is that Mexico also has the cheapest property taxes on the continent. The local real estate tax is called predial, and it is payable yearly. Predial on average constitutes 0,1% of the assessed value of the particular property at the time of sale and is unchanged throughout the period of your ownership. Compare this to the lowest tax rate in the US – 1,28% in Hawaii – and you will immediately see the difference. Already feel a sudden urge to close the deal on that Mexican villa you like? Keep reading!

Property taxes in Mexico vary throughout the country and are calculated yearly depending on the real estate value established by the officials. Residential property tax is typically around 6,5 pesos per 1000 pesos of assessed value. For commercial and rental estates used only seasonally, the rate can be twice as much. The rate is also influenced by location (urban or rural) and accessibility. A property owner can file a request to the tax department for a lower rate.

Tips on paying property taxes in Mexico

Even though the rates here are pretty low, the local officials have still taken care of the taxpayers on a tight budget. The payment can be made in up to six installments that can be stretched throughout the year. Each installment is due in the first 10 days of every other month. For example, if you have made the first payment in January, the next one is due in March, then in May, and so on.

Moreover, the tax department provides up to 20% discount to those who pay in full during the first few months of the year. Senior residents pay only 50% of the predial. Discounts motivate residents to pay on time to ensure an influx into the government budget early in the year which makes it easier for officials to plan expenses. There are also high penalties for late payments. They can reach up to 3% per every month past the due date. Those who haven’t paid taxes in years face liens and increased tax rate.

The only disadvantage of paying property taxes in Mexico is that you need to go to the tax office to do it because the tax department doesn’t send out annual bills like their US and Canadian colleagues. And don’t forget your Property Tax Number (Clave Catastral) as all billings are filed by number. Remember: pay your taxes on time and save yourself from a headache later!

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