The Municipal Revenue Collection Center (CRIM) is the Puerto Rico government agency in charge of collecting property tax. The term "real estate" means houses, buildings, farms and apartments.
How is CRIM's property tax paid?
Generally, when a mortgage is involved, the financial institution is responsible for sending the payment, if any, directly to CRIM. The bank or credit union usually pays this debt from an account known as "escrow. This account is funded by the contributions you make as a mortgagor.
When there is no mortgage, CRIM is supposed to send you a semi-annual invoice to your postal address, that is, every 6 months. This is as long as you have any debts to pay. Therefore, it is important that the agency has your current contact information. It is your responsibility to notify CRIM of any changes in your mailing address.
What is the exemption for the main residence in Puerto Rico?
In Puerto Rico the main residence is exempt from property taxes, up to a certain amount of the value. This amount of exemption is calculated based on a special formula that dates back several decades. At present, the exemption is up to $15,000 of the property value according to the method used by the CRIM. It is important to note that this property value, according to the CRIM formula, is not equal to the market value.
For example, a property that has an estimated market value of $125,000 is likely to be fully exempt. However, depending on the town you are in, any excess of the $15,000 value will be charged to the owner. In other words, even if you have a principal residence exemption, if you live in a home that is worth more than a certain amount, you will still be required to pay.
What happens when there is an exempt residence and the owner dies?
It is important to note that even if a residence has already been approved for exemption from the CRIM, it expires when the owner dies. This means that at the time the property is transferred to the heirs, the CRIM will retroactively collect any amount due. Such debt will be for the years prior to the death and will include interest and penalties. It is therefore very important that the Transfer of Inheritance process be initiated as soon as possible. We at Abogado Notario Online will take care of all this.
How can I make sure my primary residence is exempt?
For the principal residence exemption to be applicable, the homeowner must have signed a Tax Exemption Application. Such a request is normally submitted to the CRIM at the time of a sale, for example.
When the purchase is made through a mortgage, the custom is that the financial institution submits the application. However, in those transactions without a mortgage, it is the owner's responsibility to verify that such a release has been filed. Sometimes, if the application was never filed, we can prepare a Retroactive Waiver Application.
What should I do if I buy a second property?
In case you purchase a second property, which you will not use as your primary residence, you need to submit a Change of Ownership Application. This will allow CRIM to make the appropriate calculations on your property tax liability.
Remember that the exemption referred to above is for the primary residence only. Failure to submit a Change of Ownership Application may result in negative consequences. In this case, the agency may charge you not only back taxes but also interest and penalties.
How can I find out my CRIM property number?
CRIM uses a "cadastre" system for the management of real estate in Puerto Rico. This cadastre is equivalent to a database in which a unique number is assigned to each property. If your property is not registered at CRIM or does not yet have a cadastral number, it is important to register it to avoid fines and penalties.
What other services do we offer about CRIM?
As legal representatives, we offer all types of services of this important agency of Puerto Rico. For example, it is possible to get you a Debt Certification as well as a Value Certification for your real estate. We also search for properties registered in the CRIM, both under the physical address and by the full name of the owner.