Katy is right, it’s happening all the time. In fact, it’s more a problem for the buyer than the seller. The seller pays CGT to the national government, and the buyer Transfer Tax to the regional government (Junta de Andalucia in Qwerty’s case). The former rarely requests further tax (and it’s the seller’s problem, as hillybilly correctly points out), but the Junta de Andalucía has been very active lately requesting more money (probably because they are broke), something which makes no sense in the current economic climate.
I remember Mark commenting about this on his blog post Tax catch-22 (cannot seem to get it working)
If you want to know the exact figure the taxman expects you to pay for the property you are buying, you can use this calculator. The valuation figures provided are those of 2008. For 2009 the figures change, and guess what? They’ve gone up! 😯 For Marbella, you will have to add around 7% on top of the valuation the calculator provides.
There is nothing much you can do but to wait for the dreaded letter after you have completed. If it arrives, your lawyer should be able to successfully appeal this tax request without too many problems (no one believes any longer that property prices are rising!) It may be a good time to agree with your lawyer to include this as part of the conveyance service at no extra costs for you (except for, perhaps, a valuation report).