Hacienda to investigate more real estate agencies

An interesting news snippet brought to my attention from Expansion, the Spanish financial newspaper (19th August):

Hacienda has announced that this year it will be increasing the number of random checks on real estate agents by 65%, in order to root out “under the counter” commissions and black money purchases. They expect to carry out 90.519 checks this year, which means there should be a drop in Porsche sales soon.

While trying to find out how many real estate agents there are in Spain, I realised that since there is no central registry of real estate agents, nobody knows how many there are.

In a related note, they have announced that tax inspectors are being told to keep up to date with corporate websites to see if any interesting snippets of news are being published that they aren’t told about. They used the example that if a group of directors announce that they have gone on a junket abroad, but then don’t declare this trip on their personal tax return, a note will be made against their file for a quiet chat to be held. Or in the case of a company that sent out a PR saying that they had opened an office abroad in order to improve corporate image, then requested tax rebates for a large overseas operation.

Leaving these companies between a rock and a hard place – false publicity or tax avoidence?

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