IBI stands for Impuesto sobre Bienes Inmuebles in Spanish, which translates to tax on property goods, but it also goes by the name SUMA depending on where exactly in Spain you live.

It’s effectively a local property tax that has to be paid once a year by all property owners in Spain, and it serves as a benchmark to calculate all other Spanish property-related taxes.

The IBI amount is decided by the town hall in which your property is located, and there can be big differences between municipalities. For example, in Málaga there’s a difference of hundreds of euros between what homeowners in the municipalities of Torremolinos, Cártama and Rincón have to cough up on average in IBI tax and what those who are based in Málaga city have to pay

According to a report by Spain’s main consumer watchdog, the OCD, in 2023 Lleida, Tarragona and Girona are the municipalities with the highest IBI, while San Sebastián, Bilbao and Vitoria have the cheapest IBI rates.

IBI or SUMA is calculated as a percentage of the cadastral value of the property, an amount that is recorded at the local land registry. Catastro and catastral are words you’ll come across a lot if you own a property in Spain – they essentially refer to the land registry or records office which has information about your property and all others in your municipality in Spain.

By law, IBI tax on urban properties must be between 0.4 percent and 1.1 percent of the value of the property, although it can be up to 1.3 percent in provincial capitals with more services and amenities. For rural properties, the IBI amount is often slightly higher than urban properties, usually because they are bigger and have more land.

The valor catastral (land registry value) of a property is determined by its location, size, the value of the land, the land’s urban characteristics, the material cost of the building and its age, among other factors.

Spanish property website Fotocasa also has a tool that allows you to estimate your IBI tax bill

If you are looking to buy a property in Spain and need a mortgage, email mark@vci-network.com for the latest criteria