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What's a Predial Tax and Who Needs to Pay It?

Updated: Apr 3

If you own any type of real estate in Mexico, you're on the hook for paying "Impuesto Predial," i.e. property taxes, so it's important to understand how they work.


For those new to this topic or looking to brush up, we'll cover the following in this post:


  • How property taxes work in Mexico

  • When predial taxes are due

  • Ways to pay them

  • How is the cost determined


How to pay your property tax bill in Mexico

Property Taxes in Mexico


Everyone who owns real estate in Mexico, whether it's a house, condo, or a piece of land, owes property taxes to their state government, aka the "impuesto predial." These taxes are paid annually, during the first quarter of each year.


The impuesto predial is separate from the property acquisition tax, known as ISAI, which the buyer pays as part of a real estate transaction.


Proceeds of the predial are used to fund local government activities, so unlike many tramites (the fun word for "official procedures") at government offices in Mexico, this one is exceedingly easy to get done.


How To Pay Property Taxes in Mexico


Unlike the States, you will not receive a bill in the mail for your property taxes in Mexico. You are just supposed to know your obligation and how much you owe.


Since this may sound odd to a foreigner, your best option is to visit a government office (or wherever you decide to pay the tax) on the first occasion to ask how much you need to pay.


The first time you pay the predial in Mexico, you will be asked for your property address and a comprobante de domicilio (proof of address).


How to pay your property taxes in Mexico

It's best to bring official identification (your residency visa or passport) and a recent bill from CFE or Siapa, and the bill does not have to be in your name, it just has to match the address of the property whose bill you wish to pay.


Don't bring an internet or cell phone bill from a private company as that normally won't fly.


On subsequent trips, bring along the proof of payment from the prior year since it has all the relevant details they need to pull up your account and process your new payment.


Where to Pay Your Property Taxes in Mexico


Here in Guadalajara, there are temporary drive-through stations to make paying your predial super convenient. In Zapopan, there's a huge one across from Plaza Patria mall at the intersection of Av. de las Americas and Av. Patria.


Another common venue for paying property taxes is a state government office. There is one next to the Basilica de Nuestra Señora de Zapopan in the Centro Historico of Zapopan, a short bike ride from our house.


But wherever you happen to be, your local city hall will accept these payments.


In addition, it's also now possible to pay the predial online, as long as you have your clave catastral (a number that can be found on the receipt of your previous payment, if you have one).


Let me repeat -- you can pay online! Whoa.


Ways to Save on Your Property Taxes


State governments in Mexico pull out all the stops to get these taxes paid as early in the year as possible.


Most states offer discounts to those who pay the predial in January or February, instead of putting it off until March. The size of the discount varies by state, and in many cases is larger in January than in February, so it really pays off to be an early bird.


There may be additional discounts available for senior citizens (with INAPAM card) and persons with disabilities. Since these vary from place to place, it's best to inquire at your local government office, or with your tax advisor, to see if they exist and if you qualify.

Paying property taxes in Mexico

Here in Zapopan (Jalisco state), residents who pay their predial before the end of February receive a 10% discount. For 2024 I've seen discounts as high as 30% in Merida and Tulum if you paid by January 31, and half that if you waited until this month.


I guess most Mexicans wait until the last minute to pay their taxes, as my trip to the state office to pay our predial last week was the fastest tramite I've ever experienced living in Mexico.


They had so much "crowd control" infrastructure in place surrounding the building in Zapopan Centro that it took me longer to navigate through the maze of barricades than it did to pay the bill once inside.


And while this office was theoretically equipped to accept predial payments with a foreign credit card (no manches wey!) their terminals were offline during my visit so my only option was to return another day or pay in cash.


I chose the latter.


How Much are Property Taxes in Mexico?


The predial is calculated based on the property's assessed value, which takes into account its size, age, and location and is typically much lower than the property's actual market value.


Our property tax bill for 2024 on a 3-bedroom home in Zapopan totaled $4,917 pesos, including the 10% discount, or roughly $289 USD at an exchange rate of $17 pesos to the dollar. Our tax bill increased 11% in pesos from 2023.


How to pay property taxes in Mexico
The receipt for a predial tax payment showing the total cost with 10% discount

If we factor in the dollar's depreciation against the peso over the past 12 months, our property tax bill increased 24% from last year. This is a big jump, and yet it's still 95% lower than the property tax bill we used to pay for a house in Colorado (~$6,000 USD).


Savings like these are one reason we're able to live well in Mexico on so much less than we could in the States.


 

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Sources: MexLaw, Government of Mexico

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