Official name is Impuesto sobre Bienes y Inmuebles or as some call it Suma. This is similar to the old rates system in the UK, for those that remember. Property and land owners in Spain have to pay rates; the amount paid can vary a lot depending on the area where the property or land is situated, as a norm, along the coastline it is higher than further inland.
The amount you pay is decided by the town hall according to the value of the land, size of the property and its situation; it is not based on the number of persons dwelling in the property.
Time to pay is around the summer months; please check your province as each province in Spain can vary on the time and deadlines to pay.
In the province of Alicante, Suma has taken over the collection of this tax, but there are still a few town halls that collect their own, please check at your town hall or Suma office when you should pay in and by which deadline.
It is the property or land owner’s responsibility to pay this on time, failure to pay on time can lead to interest, costs etc being added onto the bill, and repossession does ultimately take place on nonpayment.
The bills are sent out via post but may be lost. Excuses such as non receipt will not be accepted, so please go along to your town hall or Suma for the bill, bills can be paid via standing order or over the counter at most banks.
you can pay the bill over a period of a year with a small rate of interest, via standing order out of your bank account. If you wish to do this, pop along to your nearest Suma office with your bank book or account details and proof of identity, then they will For those who have debt with the IBI, go along to your Suma office or town hall where applicable and see if the debt can be paid over a period of time to eliminate the debt. We have had many dealings of this situation and most of the time SUMA are helpful and a solution is found.
Do not bury your head in the sand, as debts will not go away and it will become a debt on the property or land, which will show up if you sell or even worse you lose the property due to repossession.
Please also note that on some IBI bills could appear rubbish collection charges, sewerage, unpaid fines i.e. traffic offences and so on. In some areas the water bill is added on as well. Check your IBI bill to see what you are paying.
Do not go into these offices like a “bull in a china shop”, stay calm, show them respect and they will help you, If you do not speak Spanish, we can help you with any translation and we understand the system!
Yet again buyers please insist on completion at the Notary that an up to date IBI bill is produced to prove that the property or land is debt free to avoid future problems. It is also worth mentioning here that when buying a property on the Costa Blanca that you also obtain a "certificado de no infracción urbanistica" at the same time, which will highlight any planning infracions or fines issued by the town hall against your property.