Water. This is usually paid directly to the relevant Water Board and is charged according to metered usage. Occasionally, it will be paid via a community who will meter usage internally.

Electricity. This is normally paid directly to the relevant Electricity Company and is also charged according to metered usage. Very occasionally, it too will be paid via a community who will meter usage internally.

Rubbish (Basura). This is usually paid directly to the municipal authority and is charged annually or half-yearly depending on municipality. Occasionally, it will be paid via a community where it will be included in the community charge.

Rates (IBI: Impuesto sobre Bienes Inmuebles). These are usually payable in May/June, or September/November in Adeje. The rate depends on the size, location and age of your property, and is calculated at around 0.45% of Valor Catastral (rateable value), or the chargeable base rate, base liquidable, if different to the Valor Catastral after a local rates revision.

Community Charge. This is payable by owners of properties which are part of complexes governed by the Law of Horizontal Division, under which a Community must be legally established. At an AGM of owners, the community will approve and adopt a budget which will depend on the various facilities and features of the complex, e.g. lifts, swimming pools, gardens, security, lighting, etc. The budget will be divided amongst the owners according to their quota, which is determined by a recognized formula: in simple terms, it is mainly based upon square metreage. The resulting community charge is paid into a communal fund which is disbursed by a Certified Administrator appointed by the Community who acts in accordance with all instructions arising from decisions made by the owners at Annual or Extraordinary General Meetings.

Income Tax (Impuesto sobre la Renta). Residents and non-residents owning property or investments in Spain are obliged to file annual tax returns. The basic income tax rate has been 24.75% since 2012 as a result of the Government’s austerity measures (the original rate was 24%). On 20 June 2014 it was announced that the rate will be reduced to 20% from the beginning of 2015 and further lowered to 19% in 2016. Income tax is applicable to declared and notional rental income. This notional rental income – Impuesto Sobre la Renta de no Residentes – is assessed on non-residents even if they do not let out their properties; it is based on an assumption of a certain level of undeclared rental income deemed to be 1.1% of the property value (or 2% if the Catastral Value has not been updated since 1994), the value being defined as the highest of the price declared on the Escritura, or the Valor Catastral, or the value deemed by the municipal authority if the Escritura price is not accepted.

Wealth Tax. The tax rate ranges between 0.2% to 2.5%, depending on net wealth over a threshold of (now) €700,000 per taxpayer, so for a couple, this is €1.4 million! For non-residents it is applicable only to Spanish assets, so it will only be payable by the very wealthiest of property owners.

Special thanks to Janet Anscombe for the information on taxes.