The attempt by the Spanish Government to attract wealthy investors and retiree´s to Spain has already been a frequent topic on this blog and is evidenced by laws which seek to promote business and settlement In this country.

european_unionHowever, it is also alarming to note the contradictory messages being given to expatriates from the United Kingdom and other European countries.

Where the enforcement of tax law has been somewhat lax in the past, the severity of the Spanish economic crisis has paved the way for a series of punitive measures aimed at extracting the maximum possible revenue from overseas nationals.

Under the new rules, expatriates could face minimum fines of 10.000 euros for not declaring overseas assets and for not, therefore, allowing the Spanish Tax Administration to check the data included by the resident in his or her tax returns.

These measures come on the heals of a steady drop in the economic quality of life of pensioners who, as a result of unfavourable exchange rates, have noted a decline in the worth of their pensions. Time will tell up to what point recent legislation will lead to an exodus of northern European expatriates who can no longer afford to enjoy life in the Iberian peninsular.

At a time when Spain is struggling to maintain interest in the tourist sector, it is surprising that such draconian penalties have been introduced, as they can only serve to stifle interest in areas such as the Costa del Sol or Costa Brava.

Article by Mark Athos Franklin, native English lawyer at the Rodriguez Bernal law firm.
For more articles on Tax law or for more articles in English, click the links provided.
Antonio Pedro Rodríguez Bernal
At the Rodriguez Bernal law firm we have a department specialised in tax law that is highly experienced in assisting clients from many countries and nationalities.
For more information about the services we offer on tax issues, visit our web site or contact us directly.
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