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BESEIGED EXPATS fighting Spain’s draconian new asset declaration law have found allies in Costa Blanca town halls.
04 April 2013 @ 19:49

 Local politicians fear their expat residents will be driven away by the controversial legislation and new immigrants choose other countries for a new home in the sun – hitting the fragile economies along the coast.


And town halls are worried that the legislation, which demands the declaration of overseas assets worth more than 50,000€, is ill conceived and has already spread “havoc and panic” in their communities.

Passed by Royal Decree last November, the rules require Spaniards and expats classed as fiscal residents to make a declaration by 30th April or face prohibitive penalties that could exceed the value of any undisclosed holdings.

Expats facing being caught up in Madrid’s trawl through the country have already branded the law “the new Spanish Inquisition” and believe the declaration is a forerunner for new taxes or levies in a “money grab” by the recession hit state.

Enter a White Knight. Oscar Anton is Deputy Mayor of Javea and its councillor for Finance. Supported by other town halls he is calling on Madrid to rethink its new law.

The leader of Xabia Democratica – a political party supported by a large number of expats in the Marina Alta town – he has organised two meeting with finance experts, the second was last night (Thursday) to help explain the declaration rules.

TARGET

However, Mr Anton believes the asset declaration exercise is missing its intended target – Spanish citizens moving money abroad to avoid taxes – and instead hitting foreign residents keen to abide by the rules.
“People living here and paying taxes must declare assets over 50,000€. Why? Because the government is not thinking of the expats but the Spaniards sending money out of Spain,” he said.

“Madrid wants to know how much is going to Switzerland or Germany or wherever. But what has happened? In this area and mainly in places where there are large numbers of expats facing this situation of having to declare everything. They are already paying their income taxes.

“I want to present a motion explaining to Madrid that they don’t realise what they have done to the expat – the spirit of the law was for the Spanish not foreign residents.”

Mr Anton said the declaration did not mean new taxation but added: “Everyone is in a panic because of the economic situation (in Spain) and this kind of thing does not help.”

He said he would underline the importance of expats to local economies and how much money they brought into the country.

QUESTION

“I want to say to Madrid that we are not happy about the law and the government must limit things because in future people will not choose Spain to make a new home because the state will be asking you a lot of questions,” said the politician.

“People are coming here to retire and relax or to work – they pay their taxes, we do not want more taxes from them because they spend their money in our shops, restaurants and bars and for our services. It is wrong to get to these people.”

Meanwhile the fight back by worried expats against the directive continues to gather pace with a ‘manifesto’ being prepared to show the extent of fears in the foreign community.

A petition is also being urgently being prepared for Brussels raising important questions with the European Parliament regarding legitimacy of the declaration process under European Union law and complaints have also sent to the European Commission – with the possibility of a challenge in the European court of Justice.

Part of the draft manifesto states: “We are now becoming increasingly concerned that we are being targeted under the terms of recent anti-fraud and asset declaration laws being forced to reveal in great detail sensitive personal information and data tom others including authorities with no guarantees that this information will not be used in a tax or asset grab to follow from the declaration or to conduct detailed reassessments of past tax returns.

“We are further concerned about the disproportionate penalties for even minor reporting errors, when these derive from information provided under different reporting systems and are passed via third parties in a form few of us understand.”

Source: RTN 




 



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13 Comments


Fred said:
06 April 2013 @ 08:09

Those wishing to comply with the latest declaration are expected to visit local gestors , when gestors are asked for details of this new demand most do not seems to be ready to answer questions, and say their fee for their services depends upon the amount of your wealth!!!!! There is no fixed fee by Government!!!
Some still (until today 6th April) do not have the correct programme on their PCs.
Why are we not given individual notification (in our respective language) of the requirements? Why do we need to rely upon the local 'bush telegraph' or a brief article in the local newspapers?
Or from those ' financial experts' seeking to ;cash in' on this latest piece of legislation?
With such draconian fines for getting it wrong, why are we not told officially in writing from the Hacienda in our respective language.
Some of the details asked for are HIGHLY SENSITIVE and care should be taken when entering an internet site giving these details!



midasgold said:
06 April 2013 @ 08:32

Any world wide wealth you may have is your PRIVATE affair.
Do not volunteer any information as this will be used to
steal it from you. Remember Cyprus.


Stewart barker said:
06 April 2013 @ 08:42

I have sold up and left Spain the Spanish government seem intent on finishing off anything left in the housing market, and destroying the goose that lays the golden egg. Well done Spain Saludo!


Chris said:
06 April 2013 @ 09:30

The clear message is "do not buy a property in Spain" as it could lead you to inadvertently become a Spanish tax resident, whether you like it or not. Allegedly the tax authorities monitor electricity consumption to determine if a property is permanently occupied. So if you spend more than half the year in Spain you could wake up in 2015 with a fine that wipes out the value of your asset in Spain and your non declared assets in your home country. The law states that non declaration or errors or omissions can be held against you for the rest of your life. I guess that if you're from the EU you can also be pursued in your mother country. Viva España!


Confused said:
06 April 2013 @ 09:36

Half baked legislation !
So.... if you have 50.000 euros invested abroad, you don't need to declare it? If that investment is getting interest income, it suggests the Hacienda doesn't want to know about it.
So if a couple have 100.000 euros invested, does that mean they do not need to declare it? (50.000 each)
If this rule is to be fair, then this must be applied !
Or if a couple have 200.000 invested do they get an allowance of 100.000? Before tax?


Norman said:
06 April 2013 @ 09:56

Confused - yes you are - just like the rest of us!

Answering your questions in part, and this shows the stupidity of the requirement, if you and your wife each have €50,000 in separate accounts - no declaration needed. If you have €100,000 (or even €50,001) in a joint account, you both have to make declarations.


Tomtomgiri said:
06 April 2013 @ 10:40

I have a house in the Canary Isles, where I spend holidays and took out 'residencia canaria' for the advantages of lower services costs and discounted travel to mainland Spain - where I visit too.
But I live and work in the UK.
Does anyone know if this new 'law' affects me?


Rob said:
06 April 2013 @ 21:37

I don't see the big deal, pretty much every country, perhaps,with the exception of a few tax havens taxes you on your world wide income.

Rob


Shelley said:
06 April 2013 @ 23:26

Spain are going to kill the proverbial goose that laid the golden egg, and a lot of people will just make sure they are not in
the country for more than six months of the year, or they will move altogether, and Spain will lose all the revenue from what
us ex-pats spend in Supermarkets, restaurants, shops,petrol
staions etc...and the economy will shrink significantly, I imagine. Fair enough, if you have taken residencia you have made your choice, but for those of us
that pay are IBI, wealth tax etc here, but may choose our own
mother country for our fiscal residence, this will just force us to stay away more, and the object is defeated...


Pamela said:
06 April 2013 @ 23:31

Does anybody know when they are counting the 183 days from??!!


peter of burjulu said:
08 April 2013 @ 22:10

so if i declare the house i still have in the UK, at 49,999£ as my half and ditto the wife for the other half will the hacienda go to a british estate agent to go and get them to check it?
most spanish politicians and bureaucrats do not seem to be capable of thinking through the consequences of any legislation.
we should give support to the enlightened: Oscar Anton the Deputy Mayor of Javea etc


morganjo said:
09 April 2013 @ 20:46

We will be getting out ASAP and convert to being UK tax residents again.
What is worrying for most is the fines for mistakes on the declaration, very harsh and totally unfair.


L Ainsworth said:
27 April 2013 @ 11:25

Others talk, we act! Javea council first to officially declare opposition to Spain’s controversial asset declaration law as it currently stands.

The Plenum session of Javea council on Thursday 25 April unanimously approved the motion proposed by XD Councillor Oscar Anton to inform The Ministry of Finance and Public Affairs in Madrid of the direct damage that the application of Law 7/2012 will do to the coastal towns with large foreign populations. Deputy Mayor Oscar Anton told us. “Other councils like to talk about it, but in Javea we do something about it. Actions speak louder than words and we as a council irrespective of party all believe that this . Full text on Facebook

Our problem now is getting other Councils to support this Motion to make the message more powerful to Madrid . So far
Councils with large expat populations have not responded such as Benitachell, Denia, Calpe, Teulada , Benidorm .
What should expat voters make of this inaction??


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