FFaced with the scarcity of land in cities and to combat speculation, the government introduced a tax on undeveloped land (TNB). It covers plots located within urban perimeters and centers with an urban planning document. Are also concerned the grounds dependent on the constructions subjected to the housing tax and whose surface is higher than five times the covered surface of all the constructions.
After its entry into force, this tax has been the source of numerous difficulties for taxable persons, linked in particular to the interpretation of the text of the law, to collection or to the delimitation of the urban perimeter. Several disputes have arisen between the owners and the tax authorities, some of which have been brought before the administrative courts.
“Several lots are not registered with the land registry, particularly those around the towns which had an agricultural aspect. Under the effect of rural exodus, demographic and economic growth, these areas have moved into the urban perimeter. The tax administration does not have an address known to the owners to notify them. As a result, many owners only know that they are subject to the tax administration when they want to sell their land. They find themselves with an accumulation of several years of unpaid bills as well as heavy late penalties”, underlines Youssef Oubouali, professor of tax law at the University Hassan II of Casablanca.
The tax is due by the owner or, in the absence of a known owner, by the possessor. This last term is not well defined by law, creating a legal imbroglio. In the event of joint ownership, the TNT is established in the joint ownership unless each joint owner requests that the tax be established separately on his share. In this case, the co-owners remain jointly and severally liable for payment of the full amount of the tax.
“An owner in joint ownership who wants to sell his share is obliged to pay all of the tax due on land which includes many co-owners. Which is unfair. For a large plot of several hectares with many years of unpaid bills, the sum is colossal,” explains Oubouali. at 12 DH for villa areas, individual housing areas and other areas. This grid is strongly contested by taxable persons, especially those with land in the regions.
“Most often, the tax administration does not align itself with the fair tariffs, but rather with those that are the highest, making no distinction between land located in a small town and another in Casablanca or Rabat, for example. example. It is up to the taxpayer to accept or dispute. The tax review procedure is delicate and long. It is essential to simplify it”, says Oubouali. For Mohamed Lahlou, president of the association of real estate agents in the Casablanca-Settat region, “the current tariff grid of DTT is not an incentive and has not given the expected effects, namely the release of building land. It is necessary to revise it upwards in large urban areas and to reduce it in the regions so that this tax is fair and equitable”.
It should be noted that the 2021 Finance Law has made several adjustments for the benefit of developers, but not for individuals, including in particular the distinction between the developer-investor, who could generate additional tax revenue for the community, and the merchant owner. of property, which acquires land with a view to selling it as it is after a certain period for purely speculative purposes.