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

Handwritten tax forms banned by the Tax Office

Hacienda has banned handwritten tax forms and will reject any sent in that are not “mechanically printed”. Which is a bit of a bugger for the 35,000 tax payers who last year didn’t have access to a computer and actually went down to their nearest tax office, got the forms, found a pen and filled it in, longhand. Hacienda says that some tax payers -such as the elderly or the illiterate, their words – don’t Continue reading Handwritten tax forms banned by the Tax Office

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 Catalonia will tax banks for having empty repossessed homes

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

Rajoy reading massive tax break for families ahead of elections

As is usual in Spain, voters are rubbing their hands preparing for the election bribes, and this year will be no exception – Rajoy is preparing a 4,5 billion euro tax cut for families ahead of next years elections. It’s similar to the 400 euro cut that won Zapatero his last elections, but is expected to be applied in a different manner to avoid pissing off Brussels.

Tax Office wants to run snitches

The Tax Office Hacienda has asked for permission to be allowed to run informants (also known as snitches, grasses, stool pigeon or finks). The Spanish call them chivatos, and those who lived through Franco’s day fondly remember the great chivato massacre of 1976. The body representing Tax Inspectors today said that if Inspectors were allowed to run their own networks of informants, similar to the Police, paying them cash in exchange for information, things would Continue reading Tax Office wants to run snitches

The Google News tax, and how it’s failed elsewhere in Europe

So the Government’s new copyright law plans to allow news creators to charge news aggregators to use their stories. As part of the media buildup, the Government points to France or Germany, both of which have introduced similar laws recently. As I said yesterday, the new law is nonsense, pure pandering to elderly newspaper editors who don’t understand the Internet for short term political gain, and will stifle innovation whilst not touching the vast Internet giants Continue reading The Google News tax, and how it’s failed elsewhere in Europe

Pay your (Portuguese) VAT and Win! Win! Win! big on the State Lotto

So… Portugal has a new computer system for paying taxes. All companies are supposed to send off their invoices for processing at the tax office. Of course, if you don’t ask for an invoice, there is no reason for the company to generate one, and so no VAT needs to be paid, right? And since it’s a hassle to get an invoice (inputting your personal ID, address, etc), lots of Portuguese can’t be bothered. So… Continue reading Pay your (Portuguese) VAT and Win! Win! Win! big on the State Lotto

Yahoo! pulls out of Spain! for tax! benefits! goes back to Ireland! (but it’s bankrupt! anyway)

Yahoo! has sent a mass email to all of its Spanish users informing them that “to continue our excellent service” blah blah blah your user contract will be transferred to Yahoo! Ireland. I got one myself. (I use Yahoo!? Blimey. Oh yes, to fool Google.) So if you want to continue using Yahoo! in Spain, be aware that it won’t follow Spanish rules, and you have to abide by Irish laws. You can shut up Continue reading Yahoo! pulls out of Spain! for tax! benefits! goes back to Ireland! (but it’s bankrupt! anyway)