IBI – Property tax

What is IBI?

IBI is levied on the value of developed and undeveloped land and that of a special nature.

The categorisation of property is determined by the Dirección General del Catastro (Land Registration Agency) or, in the case of property of a special nature, by its technical characteristics.

The value of the property, its nature and use are established by the corresponding land registration norms.

Who must pay this tax?

IBI must be paid by the persons liable.

According to article 63 of the Texto refundido de la Ley Reguladora de las Haciendas Locales (Revised text of the Regulatory Law of Local Revenue Agencies), persons subject to IBI are individuals and legal entities, and those entities established in article 35.4 of the Ley General Tributaria (General Tax Law), who hold the ownership of a property right subject to this tax.

Article 35.4 of the Ley General Tributaria establishes as entities, those groups of persons who have interests in common and own property rights but whose legal situation does not qualify them as legal entities. This includes recumbent inheritances, joint ownership of immovable property and those entities which, without being a legal entity, constitute an economic unit or a separate estate, subject to taxation.

In the case of multiple holders of property rights, accountable persons are established, firstly, as the holders of administrative concessions, secondly, holders of rights to build and holders of usufruct rights and, finally, the holders of other easements. The existence of a previous right excludes posterior holders of rights from being accountable for IBI. This means that, if usufruct and other easements coincide, the holder of usufruct is liable.

In the case of transfer of rights, the new owner must pay IBI from the year following the date of acquisition.

It should be noted that new owners may be called on to pay pending tax debts. Therefore, it is recommended that enquiries regarding outstanding IBI tax debts are made before purchasing immovable property. Notaries are now required to obtain this information and make it known to the buyers.

Notaries are obliged to inform the administration of change of ownership of immovable property. Once BASE-Gestió d’Ingressos has been notified of any changes, it will update the IBI ownership registers.

When must it be paid?

Each local council sets due dates in its tax byelaws. After the deadline for payment, the tax will be enforced, with corresponding surcharges and interest for late payment.

Where and how must it be paid?

At the collaborating entities listed on the official payment form using one of the following methods of payment:

  • In person, at branch offices of the financial institutions.
  • ATM, if the collaborating entity offers this service.
  • Phone banking, if the collaborating entity offers this service.
  • Internet, by bank transfer or using a debit or credit card.

The official payment form sent by BASE via surface mail, is needed to complete the transaction. If you do not receive this form you can request a copy from any of the BASE offices.

Sample official payment form (pdf)

Notice: Payment must be made within the period stipulated on the official payment form. After this period you can request a new document, depending on the status of your tax file.

Regulation of IBI

The IBI is regulated by:

  • The Texto Refundido de la Ley Reguladora de las Haciendas Locales (Revised text of the Regulatory Law of Local Revenue Agencies), approved in the Royal Legislative Decree 2/2004, of 5 March (articles 60 to 77);
  • The tax byelaws of the local councils, where taxation percentages and relief are set (within the limits established by law) and concrete matters and formalities for management and collection are determined.

The cadastral value and the tax base for IBI are determined by the Texto Refundido de la Ley del Catastro Inmobiliario (Revised Text of the Land Registration Law), approved by Royal Legislative Decree 1/2004, of 5 March.