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Spanish Inheritance Tax - FAQ's : Part 9

By Jaime Vives - Wed 9th Dec 2009

21. ) What is the Padron?

The Padron or, to give it its full name, the Padron Municipal de Habitantes, is the municipal (or electoral) register. This is a list of all the people who live in a particular town, and is held in the local town hall. Empadronarse is the act of registering yourself on this list, and empadronamiento is the process of registering. The list is confidential and subject to data protection laws and enables the town hall to know precisely how many people live in their area and thereby provide public services that are adequate for that number of people. Officially, all residents in Spain are required by law to register on the Padron, and, once registered; you can begin to enjoy all of the advantages of the community in which you are living (see below), particularly if you intend to live in Spain for an extended period of time. In practice, being registered on the Padron is the key to becoming a member of your Spanish community.



You can register as an individual or as a family and unlike many other official procedures in Spain, the empadronamiento is painless. To apply in person take some official identification documents (see below) to your local town hall and complete the form provided with registration normally completed on the same day, but you may have to return to collect your certificate. Depending on where you live, you may have the option of applying for registration by phone or on line.

Accepted identification


For expediency, you should take originals and a copy of the following with you:

A. Passport or NIE or residence certificate/card (including those of your children if you are applying as a family).

B. Recent utility bill in your name.

C. Deeds to your house or copy of your rental contract.

D. If you are renting a room in a house or apartment then you will need your landlord or roommate (who is already empadronado) to vouch for you.

Advantages of Registration


Once registered and in possession of your Padron certificate (or certificado de empadronamiento), you will benefit as an official resident of your community in many ways. The benefits may vary from one municipality to another, but as an illustration, the following are examples of what you might expect from most districts:

Better Public Services - >The Spanish Central Government allocates money according to the number of people registered on each Padron, and the city or town uses this money to provide services on your behalf. Therefore, if you are not registered, your town hall is losing money for the provision of (for example) health centres, policing, fire fighting and schooling.

Access to Benefits and Social Care - You must be registered on the Padron for a specific period of time to take advantage of some income-related benefits, and other aspects of social care that are available through local social services.

Reduction in Taxes - Depending on the town hall, registration on the Padron could mean up to 50% off Property Tax and reductions in certain community charges.

Amenities - All people registered on the Padron can enjoy discounted courses, leisure and cultural activities run by the town hall.

Voting - You must be registered on the Padron to qualify for voting in local European elections.

Generally Making Life Easier - You must be registered on the Padron to carry out tasks such as registering for healthcare, registering your car with the Spanish number plates authority, getting married or enrolling your children in school.

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