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Suma property taxes bring a nasty surprise

By Jo Green - Tue 19th Jan 2010

Perhaps it is the traditionalist in me, or perhaps I am am being too English in my outlook, but I consider it fair play only to pay for goods and services that I have used and no more.

I have lived in my Finca now for 5 years, and in that period of time the yearly SUMA bill has not once been correct – sometimes it includes costs for neighbouring properties ( 3 different Catastro references on the SUMA bill in my name ? ) and sometimes it lists me, entirely incorrectly, as being a Farm – and as such this carries a much higher charge than a building that is not used for commercial purposes – like a House.

Every year I have sent the details back to my Asesor, along with my reasons for not paying, and every year he has contacted the SUMA office on my behalf to sort this mess out.

Every year the response comes back that, yes, they hear my concerns and will change their database accordingly and send me out the correct SUMA bill for payment as soon as …

For the last 3 years this has not been the case – no corrected bill was ever sent out to me, and instead the following May I have received the current year’s bill (still incorrect) along with the bill for last year (completely unchanged), but to add insult to this a penalty fee and interest rates have been added to this.

Each year, at my Asesor’s suggestion, I have simply not paid the bill, as I am waiting for the correct bill to be re-calculated. Am I perhaps being typically English and a little niave in expecting that the interest charges and penalty fees for the last 3 years will be waived?

I hold onto my faith that things will eventually get resolved, but every year when I receive the compiled Bill including all fees and penalties my heart sinks as I know that sooner or later things will come to a head.

That call came in this morning – the Head of Outstanding Debt at the provincial SUMA head office in Alicante called me demanding money before court action would take place ! Of course they denied all knowledge of any querie on my file, and stated that at this stage in the proceedings, because of the term of ‘non-payment ‘and because no official complaint about the details being incorrect were on my file, I would be unlikely to be able to appeal about the full amount being demanded.

Next time you receive a SUMA bill please check that the Catastro reference is for your property, and please check that that your property is correctly classified as soon as you possibly can !

You can read how my saga with Suma continues via this link Yearly Suma bills – the plot thickens.

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