Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I'm Getting all too Familiar with the Word "Predial"

Impuestos Predial. Or, predial for short. It's the word for "property tax", and I've heard it more than the six times they say it takes to make it stick in your memory. (predial, predial, predial, predial, predial, predial in case you need to learn it, too)

I know, I know... you're asking yourself, "But you don't own any property in Mexico. Why is predial part of your vocabulary?" Well, it turns out that it's an extremely important word to know because the predial is your ticket to accessing many services, such as social security, a bank account, a driver's license, etc. 

Now, doesn't this predial thing just beg the question as to what one does when he/she wants to access a service yet doesn't own property? While there are other proofs of address, such as your telephone bill or utilities bill, they are not 100% guaranteed to get you through the door. Some take the electricity bill, others the water bill, and another the telephone bill. It's really a mystery to me who takes what, but one thing is fact: the predial is 100% guaranteed!! 

Here's another concern with the predial. I coincidentally received a notice about the predial today, and I opened it, despite it being for the landlord. (Yes, he continues to have important mail sent here despite it not being his residence anymore.) Well, good thing I did because it was a six-day notice to the landlord to fulfill, as it says, his "obligación constitucional" (constitutional obligation) to pay property taxes. For fear of facing eviction or serious fines, I did a quick search on the internet about paying property taxes in Mexico, because I had a feeling most people avoid it like they do their income taxes. Here's what I got from Yucatan Living: 

Well, apparently, we [writers of Yucatan Living] are among the few who pay their predial happily and the city seems to have trouble collecting. So, there are discounts: 12-15% discount if you pay in January, 10% in February and 8% in March. There are also other rather interesting incentives. If you are jubilado (retired), you might get a discount up to 100%! You can pay with a credit card and get a discount from the bank. People who pay early might win any number of prizes, including two brand new cars, 15 trips to the Riviera Maya, 12 laptop computers and 12 Sony Wiis!

If you know more about the predial, or in general, about comprobantes, please enlighten me. I am having a stroke of "newcomer" luck.


  1. Alice, so nice to meet you today tho it was cut short by a phone call. When it is time to pay our property taxes I am always amazed at how little they collect, then give the discounts for paying on time. But, I suppose that some Mexicans couldn't pay if the rates were anywhere near reasonable. It seeems to be different in each state. We talked about INAPAM (fomer INCEN)cards. In Baja, if you have the card, (the MX Aarp equivalent) you get a discount on your taxes. Not here in Guanajuato tho. I was disappointed when an American told my husband what to say to get a further discount by claiming to be old and infirm. This from an American with several income properties who is, I feel, taking advantage of the system. MX and Guanajuato can use the $ and it is not very much. We pay, before discount, about $200 US per year on a home purchased for $100,000 US, now worth $300-400,000.

    So what are you doing about the unpaid tax? Paying it in lieu of rent? Now... on to your other posts.

  2. Nice chatting with you, too. Guanajuato's charm isn't just the scenery, it's the people. About the predial--we notified our landlord, who said he would take care of the matter. Who knows if he will or not. When we ask friends about taxes, many either hire a lawyer to do it or don't do it at all. Like you, we'd rather do things ourselves if we can. We completed our income taxes by ourselves. Not easy but was accomplished in a week and even received a nice sum in return!