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The Impuesto sobre Vehículos de Tracción Mecánica (IVTM) is an annual tax that is payable on all vehicles in circulation on the road. IVTM is paid to the municipality in which the vehicle is registered. It is the responsibility of the vehicle owner to inform the Provincial Traffic Office (Jefatura Provincial de Trafico) of any change of address since initial registration of the vehicle. This ensures that tax is paid in the correct municipality.
The tax period is arranged by calendar year. The vehicle owner on January 1 is the person liable to pay tax for that year. Vehicles which are removed from circulation (baja definitiva/ baja temporal) and new vehicles which are registered for the first time pay an adjusted rate. Diplomatic vehicles, vehicles providing some types of public service and vehicles which have been registered for 25 years or more are exempt from IVTM.
The rate of IVTM is set by the municipality within the Spanish government's minimum and maximum amounts. The rate takes into account the horsepower (potentia fiscal) of the vehicle and type of vehicle. The rate is arranged so that vehicles with higher horsepower pay a higher fee. Electric or hybrid fuel vehicles receive a discount of up to 75 percent on this tax. Vehicles with eco-friendly adaptations may also receive a discount.
Road tax is paid annually. Each town hall sets a voluntary payment period (período voluntario), which lasts two months. Posters and announcements in the local press are used to announce the voluntary payment period, but the schedule can be confirmed with the town hall at any time. In some municipalities, vehicle owners will also receive a notice of required payment by post. Payment can be made in person at the town hall and at certain banks, or through a direct debit arrangement. Some town halls allow online payments through their websites.
When paying road tax in person, the following documentation is needed:
If payment is not made within the initial voluntary payment period, fees and interest charges are added to the tax bill. The initial charge for late payment is 5 percent. If the payment is not made within one year, the charges are increased to 20 percent.
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