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30 Jan 2012 12:00 AM by Angar Star rating. 18 posts Send private message

To qualify, I am an british expat who has lived and worked in Spain since 2002 although looking for full time work since 2008. I come from Spanish parent and speak Spanish and try to integrate into the society here as much as possible. I love Spain and its people. I want to be part of the solution.

Its just an observation really which others may perhaps like to comment on whether they agree or disagree?

One only needs to look no further than this forum to find the many many examples of persons who have invested money in property in Spain and are going through or have gone through a process or reclamation for various reasons. i think it is generally understood particularly for any person who is living in Spain that the country is currently undergoing very serious difficulties particularly economically and financially. Which in a roundabout way brings me to the subject of taxes and the Tax Office. It seems to me that it has been convenient and incredible to 'ignore' the blatantly obvious practices that have been occuring in Spain probably for decades.

Is it possible that no one in the vast organisation that is the National Tax Office has no knowledge whatsover that for years:

a) Spanish property has been bought and sold using black money whereby no tax has been paid?

b) Spanish propery has been bought and has/is being rented out and no declaration and appropriate payment of income tax has been paid?

c) Non Resident taxpayers have been/are ignoring not only to pay any Imputed Income Tax but may also be receiving rental income and failing to declare and pay any appropriate physical Income Tax?

d) Resident and National taxpayers renting Spanish property and not making the appropriate declaration and payment of Income Tax?

e) The practice for Spanish businesses to form 'bogus'  multiple companies and issue shares and move funds around, including to divert monies to fiscal havens and to make as difficult as possible any fiscal investigation?

f) Who amongst us who have had any financial transaction in Spain can say that they have not at all participated in the propagation of this black economy in some way, including employees at all levels, especially upper levels of Tax Office?

Probably one can say now that especially in these very serious financial predicament that the country is in, the funds dont exist to pursue these large companies who have/are defrauding the country of greatly needed tax revenue due to their ability to pay expensive Lawyers to tie up the system/process in the courts. I think the Tax Office should be and should have been much more proacive in its pursuit of fradsters and evaders than it has been. Whetther the funds exist now to do something about turning this situation around  I suspect not. Perhaps they could pay for a study to try to work out what would be the cost to do so against the potential benefits gained.

Taxes are the lifeblood of the economy. As much people as possible need to be in employment and payijng taxes for the country to be financially healthy (in theory). Perhaps when the going was 'good' and unemployment levels were low, it has been convenient for everybody to turn a blind eye to such practices of tax evasion. Now of course the situation is very different and both the new Government and Treasury surely need to address this matter -create employment, make appropriate and meaningful changes to the tax system, investigate fraud and non payment of tax.

As I mentioned, its just an observation (albeit long one) and perhaps a sad indictment of a society in which we all have played a part?

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30 Jan 2012 5:24 PM by Bri Star rating in North. 591 posts Send private message

 Yes it is sad and I think all of the points you make are valid.  I would like to add to the list the number of northern Europeans who survive by doing odd jobs for cash in hand for other northern Europeans, and who pay no tax to any country.  And yes, I hold my hand up in that I have employed people I believe to be paying no tax - even though I don't agree with it.  I don't think I know anyone personally who paid black money on purchase, but I believe it was a long standing 'arrangement'.  I have paid tax in 4 different countries, UK, USA, France and Spain, and I would have to agree that Spain is the least inclined or the least able to pursue money it is owed.  Though I hear Greece is much worse.  We are talking about tax evasion here - not tax avoidance, and it is a sad indictment of our western societies indeed, that so many people do not pay tax due to the country which has benefited them for years.   



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30 Jan 2012 5:32 PM by Angar Star rating. 18 posts Send private message

Thanks for your comments Bri,

Unfortunately this situation is self propagating in that because for example there are officially more than 5 million looking for work here, if you were one of them and someone offered you employment, but only pay you cash in hand and no tax is declared, what would you do? There are so many people here not receiving any income at all, how can you say no even though one is helping to propagate the situation? Thanks for taking the time to read and post your comments, good luck.

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30 Jan 2012 5:40 PM by midasgold Star rating in Mijas.. 91 posts Send private message

There is also the question of corruption on a level that is only matched by Russia.

What is it, that is in the Spanish make up, that once a person gets to a managerial level

in an organisation he then wants to screw the system ? Mayors in jail,Banks not honouring

guarantees,Planners allowing building on farm land,estate agents,solicitors all on the fiddle.

This activity seams widespread in this country. A great shame as Spain it is a great place to live.

If lucky, there is another day.

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30 Jan 2012 5:46 PM by Bri Star rating in North. 591 posts Send private message

 Yes, I agree that it is difficult now - but the avoidance of tax went on all the way through the boom years.   And if you are earning enough to be eligible to pay tax - then I believe you should be paying it.   



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30 Jan 2012 6:01 PM by Angar Star rating. 18 posts Send private message

Dear Bri,

of course you are right, perhaps due to the amount wealth in the 'boom' years, the potential for tax revenue would have been even higher but make no mistake this practice has been in existence for many many years. Some people even expect it! Some say its an throwback to the times after the civil war but I dont believe there is any excuse to allow it to continue for the sake of the country.


Dear midasgold

again thanks for the time to read and post your comment. I dont want to talk 'off topic' even though the existence of corruption is something that many have experienced. There are in my humble opinion areas such as, employment, taxation, corruption, education and judicial systems that all need to be looked at again to improve everybody's lives but this forum is not big enough to solve all the problems, the government has its work cut out. Even so we must get used to the fact that the changes that are required, will take a long long time. I also belive in people power and together we can make a difference to our society. 

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DISCLAIMER:  All opinions posted on these message boards are the opinion solely of the poster and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Eye on Spain, its servants or agents.

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