Everything you need to know about the IBI

The IBI is the Real Estate Tax, and its rank of importance comes from the data it can provide on rural or urban buildings. In other words, they are like a basic guide to essential data about a property.


25 April 2022 |

The acronym “IBI” appears very often in the tax and real estate world, but in short, what is IBI, how to calculate the IBI, who should pay it?

Here at Withfor, high standing ethical real estate agency in Barcelona, we will explain everything related to this tax in this article.

What is the IBI?

The IBI is the Real Estate Tax, and its rank of importance comes from the data it can provide on rural or urban buildings. In other words, it is like a basic guide to essential data about a property.

Thus, the characteristics of this tax are as follows:

  • It is imposed on the holder of the rights over a real estate property.
  • It is a direct and compulsory tax.
  • It is a local or municipal tax, i.e. it is levied by the local councils and forms part of the municipal taxes.
  • It requires annual payment.
  • It exists in the form of a receipt.

So, every time you buy a property, whether it is a house, flat, business premises, land or car park, you will be obliged to register with the General Directorate of Cadastre, which will issue your bill annually.

How is it calculated?

To calculate the IBI of a house, we need to take into account different variables that start from the so-called cadastral value -which is valid for 10 years-, in which values such as are taken into account:

  • The population.
  • Age of the building.
  • Value of the land or property on the current market.
  • Urban characteristics of the land.
  • Material cost of the buildings.
  • Location of the property.

Other coefficients are applied, but to summarise, to get an idea, IBI is usually calculated according to the cadastral value of the property, to which a series of coefficients, reductions and a final tax rate that will depend on each Town Hall must be added.

In the case of Catalonia, the current rate is 0.66% for 2022.

For more details on the calculation of the cadastral value, we recommend you read: how to know the cadastral value of a property.

Who pays it, tenant or owner?

In order to know who pays the IBI in a sale and purchase, it must be understood that, when it comes to everything related to taxes on the sale of a property, it is the owner or seller who must take charge and assume these expenses.

This is because in order to finalise the sale, the property must be free of debts, before any transaction on the real estate.

It is also true that this can be negotiated in the purchase contract. The important thing is that everything is clearly stated in the document, which is why it is essential to be well informed about how to sell a flat.

However, to make sure that you are acquiring a property that is solvent with the IBI as usufructuary, you can always ask for proof of payment of the last IBI receipts.

On the other hand, if the property has been inherited, it is the owner who should pay this tax.

Finally, there may be some particular cases that generate doubts, such as: who pays the IBI on a foreclosed flat, who pays the IBI on a deceased person, or who pays the IBI on the property of a deceased person? Or who pays the IBI on a new property? In these cases it will be decided according to the periods, that is to say, the payment will correspond to whoever is the owner on the first day of the year.

When is IBI paid?

Each Town Hall manages the dates when this payment has to be made, but generally, every 1st of January is taken into account. Therefore, whoever appears as the owner on the register of the property on this date must pay the tax.

However, in Barcelona the tax can be paid in the following way:

1st period: payable on 3 March.

2nd period: payable on June 3rd.

3rd period: then paid on 3 September.

4th period: finally, it is paid on 3 December.

However, if you do not have a direct debit, you will have to make a single payment between 1 March and 4 May.

How to pay IBI in Barcelona

  • By internet: you can pay by card and without the need for a digital certificate.
  • By telephone: this is a free call. You can call 010 if you are calling from Barcelona.
  • At kiosks: these are electronic self-service terminals located in different parts of the city.
  • At partner financial institutions: Banco Sabadell, Banco Santander, BBVA and CaixaBank.

You can always get more information on the Barcelona City Council website to find out about tax relief (especially for large families or for new constructions and comprehensive refurbishment work) and instalments.

What you should bear in mind, however, is that if you do not meet the payment deadlines, penalties of up to 20% may be applied.

How much will IBI be paid in 2022?

As we already commented the IBI in Barcelona is equivalent to 0.66%, so if we apply the formula and we make a calculation with a simple example we say that, in the case of having a house with a cadastral value of 50 000 €, you will have to multiply those 50.000 x 0,0066, which gives as a result 330 euros.

Remember that in Withfor we are at your disposal to solve any doubt or to help you with the management that you need. You can come to our offices or contact us at +34 934 144 843 or at info@withfor.com without any commitment. We will be pleased to help you.

We are with you and for you.

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