Short term lets to be regulated by Tourism Ministry from January onwards

Do you rent out your apartment or house for short periods and live in Andalucia? Well, as from January (if the decree is passed next week) you’ll be operating as a tourism business and will be expected to apply for permission and regulation from the Andalucian Ministry of Tourism. See, the tourism ministry of Andalucia is completely controlled by the Hotel industry, and they have been lobbying hard to prevent people from renting out their Continue reading

Here’s why Spanish GDP is rising – they’ve included illegal activities!

How to quickly make the national economy appear to be improving ahead of an election? Why, fiddle the figures of course. In this case, Rajoy’s government has decided that to improve the PIB (the gross domestic product, GDP) of Spain, they’re going to included guesstimates of illegal drug sales and prostitution. They’re also going to include spending on R&D, something that normally isn’t included. In all, the illegal activities bit bump up the Spanish PIB Continue reading

How long does it take to setup a limited company in Spain?

In the UK, as I know, you can setup a limited company in the same day using an agency, or spend 15 quid registering it online with Companies House (that takes 48 hours). This fellow in Oviedo took 28 days and €845 to setup his limited company, and felt he’d got off lucky. Worth a read if you read Spanish. Poor old Pablo Panda – he’s a good example of why it’s more difficult to Continue reading

Wealth tax will be abolished next year, but IBI to go up

Wealth tax will be abolished ahead of the 2015 elections, but IBI (Spanish tax on property) looks likely to go up again to compensate. That will annoy the hundreds of thousands of expat property owners who will see their IBI tax possibly double or triple. The wealth tax is known in Spanish as impuesto del patrimonio and is administered by the regions. It was originally centralised in 2008, but was returned to the regions back Continue reading

Electric companies must repay 680 million euros to customers (that’s me and you!)

40 euros apiece is what OCU, the consumer union, reckons we’ve been overcharged on our last three electric bills. It’s because the storms in the north of Spain have made the renewable energy generators produce more electricity than expected, driving down prices. That means the electric companies must repay 680 million euros to their customers, and will, in the July bill.

65,000 companies could close by mid year, warns Bank of Spain

The Banco de España has warned that 15,000 large companies, and a further 50,000 small companies, look likely to run out of cash by the middle of the year, forcing them to declare bankruptcy, after looking at the amounts of cash on loan from the banks for this year. The simple problem is that Spanish banks aren’t prepared to keep loaning out the money that the Spanish economy needs to keep ticking over. No extension Continue reading

Catalonia will tax banks for having empty repossessed homes

Catalonia has announced a new law which will tax banks between 800€ and 1.650€ a year for each empty home they possess. The idea isn’t to generate cash, but instead to stimulate banks to start leasing these empty homes back to the region for social use. The Generalitat says that many people are looking to rent homes, or regional authorities are looking for social use homes, but that the banks prefer to sit on these Continue reading

Calar Alto observatory fights for survival: 20% of staff laid off

Calar Alto observatory, in the mountains above Almeria, is Europe’s largest observatory. But that hasn’t saved it from funding cuts which lead to its Director quitting recently in protest. It’s administered jointly by Spain’s CSIC and the Max Planck Institute of Germany. CSIC has almost abandoned the observatory, and Max Planck has also severely cut back. This has lead to a wave of job losses, as the remaining staff are forced to take pay cuts Continue reading

Health Tax on Fuel is illegal, rules EU court – must Spain pay back 13 billion euros to us drivers?

The EU has ruled that the centimo sanitario is illegal, opening the way to a court ruling that Spain must return the almost 13 billion euros collected to drivers. It’s a tax that the regions are allowed to apply at their discretion to fuel sold at the pumps, and the reason why Murcia is slightly cheaper for gas than Andalucia (Murcia doesn’t collect the tax). It’s known as the impuesto sobre las ventas minoristas de Continue reading

Taxes to start dropping as from next year (not IVA)

Taxes will stop dropping as from next year promised Mariano Rajoy this morning. It seems he suddenly realised in the shower this morning that next year is an election year. He has a lot more reforms up his sleeves, he promised, although he refused to be drawn on details. His finance minister quickly rushed out a statement assuring people that IVA won’t drop, and he’s talking about income / corporate taxes. A cut on income tax Continue reading