Law 119/2019 amends the Code of the Municipal Property Tax (CIMI), expressly authorizing the consultation, by lawyers and solicitors, of the building booklets of the rustic buildings adjacent to those of their clients. The measure takes effect on October 1, 2019.
Until now, building books were subject to confidential consultation, and only the legitimate owners of a property were able to consult them. This framework of confidentiality remains, but an exception was made for lawyers and solicitors, who can now consult them when it comes to matters related to the actual interest of their clients. For example, properties that adhere to those belonging to their clients, legal disputes, etc.
Law No. 119/2019 , of 18 September, was published in the Diário da República, which amends several tax codes, namely the CIMI.
In Article 93 (7) we can read:
7 - Lawyers and solicitors may, in the exercise of their profession, have access to the information contained in the property booklets, without being able to oppose the confidentiality regime, under the following conditions:
a) When dealing with matters related to the actual interest of the respective clients;
b) Subjection to confidentiality duties regarding the information they consult.
With the new legal provision, lawyers and solicitors, in the exercise of their profession, will be able to have access to the information contained in the building booklets, without being able to oppose the confidentiality regime.
The measure, which resulted from a proposal by the Socialist Party, puts an end to an understanding of the Tax and Customs Authority (AT) which, in March 2018, issued binding information under which owners were prohibited from accessing the matrix information of adjoining rustic buildings, based on the confidentiality regime.
According to the wording now introduced, the access, by lawyers and solicitors, to the information contained in the property booklets is, however, subject to two conditions: access is only allowed when «it is a matter related to the actual interest of the respective clients »And lawyers and solicitors are subject“ to confidentiality duties regarding the information they consult ”.
With this change, it is easier to notify neighboring owners, in case of sale of a rustic building, for the purpose of exercising the preemptive right.
Partially vacant urban buildings are now subject to an increased rate of IMI
A rule has also been added to the CIMI that determines the application of the increased rate of IMI to partially vacant urban buildings.
According to the new wording, the IMI rate is raised annually to three times in the case of partially vacant urban buildings, «the rate increasing, in the case of buildings not constituted in horizontal property, only on the part of the corresponding tax equity value to the unoccupied parties'.
Heirs are now identified in the matrix of undivided inheritance buildings
In the case of buildings that are part of an undivided inheritance, it is the responsibility of the finance service to register, in the building matrix of all buildings registered in the name of the author of the inheritance, the tax identification number assigned to the undivided inheritance.
With the change now introduced, the finance services will, in addition, have to register in the building matrix of all the buildings registered in the name of the author of the inheritance, "the identification of the heirs, with the mention of the respective shares".
Regarding housing and non-housing lease contracts whose income is updated in line with the Adjusted Gross Annual Income of the lessee's family member, the IMI amount payable by the landlord may be indexed to the value resulting from the capitalization of the annual income through the application factor 15, provided that this result is lower than the tax equity value.
Regarding the properties of the undivided inheritances, in addition to the property matrix showing the tax identification number of the undivided inheritance, it will also count the tax identification number of the heirs and the respective shares. The right of lawyers and solicitors to the information on building booklets is now enshrined in the law in cases of effective interest of the respective clients and when subject to confidentiality duties regarding the information they consult.
The increase in IMI is now applied to partially vacant urban buildings, the rate being raised to triple.
These changes take effect on October 1, 2019.