By Fabien Madesclaire
Early this September the Secretary of the Hacienda and Public Credit (the Mexican taxation entity comparable to the IRS in the U.S. or the Canada Revenue Agency) announced that all foreign buyers and sellers of Mexican real estate are now required to have their own CURP (Clave Unica de Registro de Poblacion), and RFC (Registro Federal de Causantes) numbers at the time of closing on a property.
Too, current foreign property owners are now obligated to have their own RFC and CURP numbers. The CURP is the national identification number here in Mexico. If you already have an official Mexican Residency Visa your CURP should be printed on your Visa. If you have a resident visa, but no CURP, you should contact the Immigration office here in Mexico (INM). If you do not have a residential Visa you will have to contact the Mexican Consulate of your native country and begin the process of establishing Mexican residency.
Applying for a residential visa has become more complicated, and a big change from the past, when you could simply go to the immigration office here in Vallarta, turn in your tourist visa and apply for your FM2 or FM3.
These types of residential visas no longer exist, which has caused some confusion and aggravation, but ultimately the process is pretty straightforward, and most of the Mexican Consulates in the larger cities and towns in the U.S. and Canada are now accustomed to processing this paperwork. For instance, the Los Angeles Mexican Consulate website has a link to residential visa information on its homepage. For more information go to: http://consulmex.sre.gob.mx/losangeles/index.php/visas-a-extranjeros.
Your local Mexican Consulate will provide you with official documentation, to begin the temporary or permanent visa process. Complete and submit INM’s online application prior to arriving at their office.
Be sure to have copies of all necessary documents (they are strict about this, so make a few extra copies of everything to eliminate any trips back and forth to INM), pay associated fees, and your Visa should be ready in about 2 weeks. Note: Puerto Vallarta’s INM office is much busier during the high-season (December-March) so try to shoot for the other months, in order to expedite processing. For more information, go to the INM website at: www.inm.gob.mx/
Banks and Unofficial
Evidently, in the past, some banks issued unofficial RFC numbers to foreigners opening bank accounts in Mexico. To find out more check out this interesting article on the always helpful website Yucalandia: http://yucalandia.com/2014/01/18/mexican-bank-issued-non-sat-rfc-ids-for-foreigners-potentially-a-problem/
How to Obtain
Your Official RFC:
The Secretary of the Hacienda is happy to issue you an RFC, as it means more money in the coffers of Mexico. They provide a plethora of information online at: https://rfc.siat.sat.gob.mx/PTSC/RFC/menu/
Remember that your RFC number is an excellent tool, which can be used to take deductions on renovation work that you’ve done to your Mexican property. If and when you decide to sell, it will help you to shave off some or all of your capital gains taxes.
Always ask for an official factura (invoice) from any service providers.
Check to see that they include both your and their RFC numbers on the factura. Also, make it a habit of asking for facturas from hardware and supply stores, when making home improvement related purchases.
Obtaining your RFC does involve some extra work, but using one can really pay-off in long term savings
Please Note: This information may not be the final word, as things do change. Be sure to consult with a Notary or real estate agent if you are involved in a real estate transaction here in Mexico.
G3MEX Real Estate Group is a full service real estate agency. Our knowledgeable staff is always available to assist you with your property needs. Contact us at our office at: 322-209-0832