Spain Explained

IBI in Spain: What is it and how to pay

If you’ve bought a property, you’ve likely come across IBI in Spain. This tax is basically Spain’s equivalent of council tax. 

Impuesto sobre Bienes Inmuebles, or IBI, is a tax that every property owner in Spain has to pay. Either your local town hall or SUMA offices will collect the payment, which they use to finance local services. The local authority collects this tax annually and failure to pay can lead to fines and interest. Actually, taxation in general can be complicated in Spain and you could be subject to fines or penalties if you miss a deadline or don’t do your taxes properly. Advisably, you should seek fiscal advice from an expert to avoid possible complications.

New Call-to-action

Although every local authority collects IBI yearly, different amounts are due at different times depending on your region. In this article, we explain the basics of IBI, how local authorities calculate the amount, and how you pay.

IBI in Spain: How is calculated?

IBI calculations are relatively similar to the British council tax band system. The local council will calculate IBI according to the rateable value of your property, or the valor catastral. The valor catastral is determined according to:

  • size
  • condition
  • location
  • title
  • lease details
  • cost of improvements
  • construction cost of the property.

With this information, the local authority will compile a report and a valuer will assess what the rateable value should be. 

This valuation is then recorded at the Catastral Registry, which is a central record agency. However, it’s important to note that this organisation is different from the Land Registry. This registry is usually based at your local town hall. You can find out how much the valor catastral is by looking at your IBI bill or receipt if you do online banking. 

Is IBI the same everywhere?

No. Different town halls will charge different rates and your local authority will make a difference to how much IBI tax you must pay. The rates can vary a great deal, ranging between 0.4% and 1.30% – and this is a factor to take into consideration when you are buying a home. However, homeowners generally find that IBI in Spain is far cheaper than equivalent taxes in their home country.

Will my IBI payments change?

Yes, they might. Occasionally, there is a review of the valor catastral in your local area. In theory, this should happen every ten years. Following this review, you might find that your rateable value increases and you will be charged more for your IBI. This may be the case if, for example, you have completed a structural change to your property such as adding a swimming pool or building an extension. In some cases, the local council can even charge you backdated tax if you have made home improvements and not informed the authorities correctly.

Will I be fined if I miss my IBI payments?

Yes, you will. However, it is important to know that often, Spanish local authorities will not chase you up immediately if you miss an installment. Instead, the council will hold a record against your property that will come to light when you want to sell or bequeath it. Therefore, it’s very important to keep you with your payments. After all, you don’t want any nasty surprises when your home is on the market.

How do I pay?

Depending on which region you live in, either the town hall or SUMA will collect your IBI. In most parts of Alicante, it’s SUMA. They’re the agency that is also responsible for things like speeding fines and vehicle tax. They have their own website where you can pay your bills. The process is quite simple providing you pay within the specified voluntary period and have the bill to hand. 

On your bill from SUMA, you will find a reference number and your NIE tax number. With this information, you can pay online by credit or debit card. The website is relatively easy to navigate and there is an English version. Alternatively, you can pay your IBI in Spain directly at a SUMA office or by telephone using your card.

New Call-to-action

IBI in Spain: Keep on top of your payments

As with most taxes in Spain, it is important to keep on top of the IBI and make sure that you do not let any debt build. As mentioned earlier, the Spanish authorities may not contact you immediately and it could cause problems for you in the future. However, you needn’t let IBI cause you stress. The payment processes are often very simple, and if you keep an eye on your bills, it’s very easy to make sure your payments are up to date.

If you have any doubts about IBI or any other Spanish tax don’t hesitate to contact us and we will offer you a free fiscal consultation with no obligation.

See all

It might be of your interest...

Leave a comment

10 comments

Wilf Mallett

5 February, 2020 5:31 pm

We here in Montesol Granada come under “Moclin Ayuntamiento” Our urbanisation is not yet finished to the ayuntamiento standards(we are expecting this to be resolved soon) so therefor we have not been “adopted”
Most of us have been here getting on for 15 years and have paid IBI for all those years. We pay our water/electric rubbish collection separately and therefor get absolutely nufink from the ayuntamiento!
Can this be right?
Many thanks for any light you can throw on our situation…Wilf

Oscar Paoli

7 February, 2020 12:29 am

Hello,

It is very difficult to give a straight forward answer, but usually if the urbanisation was not finished by the builder the Town Hall should use the bank guarantees provided for that purpose once the appropriate deadlines have passed. What happens is that each Community has its own regulations and has been changing over the past few years. It is also possible that the urbanisation has urban charges or infractions that the owners have to respond for.

Should you request more detailed information please do not hesitate to contact us at legaldpt@abacoadvisers.com

Kind regards,

Ábaco Advisers

Thelma Arnold

26 May, 2020 4:34 am

Very Well Explained. Thankyou

Oscar Paoli

26 May, 2020 3:31 pm

Thank you!

Patricia Clarkson

30 June, 2020 3:19 pm

Hi ,Myself and my husband purchased a 1 bedroom bungalow in La Siesta in January 2018 we have paid all suma bill’s but are confused about non resident tax as we haven’t recieved a bill for this.We were due to fly out from Scotland in April and again 28th June but both flights were cancelled can we pay this bill online and how do we know the amount. Hope you can help with this enquiry.

Oscar Paoli

30 June, 2020 11:03 pm

Hi Patricia,
Please find some useful articles that explain this tax from our own blog:

https://blog.abacoadvisers.com/non-resident-property-tax-in-spain/

https://blog.abacoadvisers.com/modelo-210-non-resident-income-tax-in-spain/

https://blog.abacoadvisers.com/all-you-need-to-know-about-non-resident-tax-in-spain/

If you wish to get further information, please contact us at info@abacoadvisers.com
Kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

MR P HAYNES

17 August, 2020 5:23 pm

Hi.

How do things work when you only visit your property on an infrequent basis?

I have a house in Jaen, to be signed off in November 2020, i will maybe visit the house 3 or 4 time a year.

Who do i contact about paying the local taxes?

Also, how do i avoid large electricity bills if i am only at the house a few times a year?

I do not want to pay a fixed fee every single month when i may have long periods of not even being in the property.

Is there a ‘pay as you go’ facility available for electricity in Spain?

Thank you.

Oscar Paoli

19 August, 2020 8:38 am

Hi,
You can set up a direct debit for the payment of your local taxes, your solicitor who assists you in the process or the estate agent assisting you in the purchase will be able to help in this matter.
Regarding the electricity you will always have a minimum fixed fee charged for the service of the electrical company and taxes. When you are visiting the property you will pay for the electricity consumed, the rest of the time just the mentioned fixed fees and taxes.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Melvyn Fowkes

23 September, 2020 3:20 pm

We pay if i from bank in July and then fill 210 in and pay again in December we never get a bill for July is this normal thanks mel

Oscar Paoli

24 September, 2020 8:28 am

Hi Mel,
You can always access a copy of your bill via the Local Town Halls website or via SUMA if your area is managed by them. SUMAs website is the following: https://www.suma.es/?idioma=en
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers