(+34) 976 233 383


General Interest

State Liability: A Case of Nonexistent Capital Gain

Posted on 22/4/2024

State Liability: A Case of Nonexistent Capital Gain

The recent decision by the Supreme Court of Spain has set a precedent in the jurisprudence regarding state legislative liability, especially in cases where taxes are levied without a real increase in value. This ruling emerges as a beacon of justice for taxpayers who have been financially affected by the application of inappropriate valuation methods.

Legal Context

The Supreme Court addressed the issue of the Tax on the Increase in Value of Urban Land (IIVTNU) levies when there is no actual capital gain. This tax, commonly known as the capital gain tax, has been at the center of numerous legal debates, particularly following the declaration of unconstitutionality of certain provisions in STC 182/2021. However, the unconstitutionality declared does not automatically imply that every charge of the tax is illegitimate.

Specific Case

In the case at hand, a taxpayer demonstrated through direct estimation that there was no increase in the value of their land, contrary to what the objective catastral values used by the Administration indicated. Despite the evidence presented, including deeds and an expert report, the objective estimation method judicially prevailed, leading to a taxation now considered inappropriate and excessive by the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court Ruling

The Supreme Court, correcting the application of a method it considered unconstitutional, has declared the state's liability for this legislative act, emphasizing the need for a probative analysis more aligned with reality and not solely based on catastral values. This decision underscores the state's obligation to compensate the taxpayer for taxes and penalties wrongly paid under inappropriate regulations.

Impact and Relevance

This ruling is crucial not only for its compensatory impact on the affected party but also for setting a precedent on how tax bases should be evaluated in the future. It highlights the importance of valuation methods reflecting the economic reality and not being confined to outdated criteria that may not correspond with the current real estate market situation.


The recent decision by the Supreme Court acts as a corrective for past practices and points towards a fairer and more equitable taxation, where state liability is evident in protecting citizens' economic rights. This case not only reinforces transparency in the state's fiscal management but also ensures that taxpayers are not unfairly penalized by an outdated valuation system.

To read more details about this case and its legal implications, visit the original article published in Diario La Ley.


© Cremades& Calvo-Sotelo - C/ Paseo Independencia 21 , 1º Centro, 50001, Zaragoza, España - (+34) 976 233 383 -