Avoiding legal problems in Mexico

Selected Facebook group posts from San Miguel attorney Ian Clement

I keep having case after case, where clients cannot get their money out of banks here because of incorrect information left on beneficiaries and general information on the account-holder. When you create your account, be sure that you check every detail that you give and ask for a copy of the contract that you signed. Even if the banker tells you that everything is ok and that the information is correct, when it comes time to claim, the burden of proof is on you, not the bank. They will not let the smallest detail slide, so do this right. (March 4, 2022)


If you are going to sell your property in San Miguel, it is necessary to have an RFC number (Mexican Tax ID). The process for acquiring an RFC used to be simple, but the process has changed. One must now go to a meeting at Hacienda to be set up with the RFC. These appointments can be a month out, in some cases. It is a good idea to preemtively get your RFC, if selling is in the cards. Don’t wait until the wire to do it, because many closings are getting jammed up for this reason. (March 2, 2022)

If you sell a property in Mexico and utilize your tax exemption (because the property is your primary worldwide domicile), you are obligated to file a one-time tax return before the end April, the following year. Many people who sell are not advised about this factor and SAT (Mexican IRS) can penalize you for not having carried out this final step and even deny you the tax exemption. (Feb. 8, 2022)


Getting an appointment to set up residency in Mexico can be a challenge. This is the official list of consulates/embassies that offer appointment through the Mexitel online system. At other consulates/embassies you must email or call to get assigned an appointment. (Feb. 16, 2022)

  • In the USA: McAllen, Laredo, San Antonio, Denver, San Jose, Boston, Sacramento, Del Rio, Eagle Pass, Phoenix, New Orleans, Detroit and Albuquerque.
  • Canada: Calgary
  • Worldwide: Havana, Guatemala City, Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, New Delhi, Quito, Lagos, Madrid and Barcelona, Managua, Paris, Santo Domingo D.R., Buenos Aires, Panama City, Lima, Santiago, Porto Prince and Tegucigalpa.

There is a new program where if you have the following characteristics, we can take out a 4 year resident card, from right here in Mexico:
-An expired or soon to be expired FMM tourist card
-Entries to Mexico before 2020 (provable through passport stamps)
(Nov. 10, 2021)


For more from attorney Ian Clement on banking, property ownership, residency, and other legal issues that may affect your experience living in San Miguel de Allende or elsewhere in Mexico, join the Facebook group Civil San Miguel de Allende (https://www.facebook.com/groups/civilsanmigueldeallende).

Also see the website for Ian Clement & Associates.

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