Spanish tax authorities begin targeting retired expats

Published:  29 May at 6 PM
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The Spanish tax office is now targeting almost 28,000 retired expats, accusing them of not declaring their foreign pensions on their returns.

Investigations have been launched into the financial affairs of almost 28,000 expat pensioners living in Spain. Those being investigated are accused of failing to declare pensions originating from outside the country on their tax returns.

Although the country’s finance minister, Cristobal Montoro, has stated that the accused will not be regarded as fraudsters, it’s clear that repayment plans will be put in place. Montoro said that the tax authority will do its best not to wreck the financial position of those investigated, but many of those affected are claiming that they were not aware of the law.

Unsurprisingly, an expat outcry is arguing that the new law received little publicity in the English language, and others are blaming local authorities for misinformation on the best plans for their pension pots. Politician Antonio Hurtado considers it’s unfair to regard pensioner expats as criminals, adding that a high number benefitted from the 2012 tax amnesty.

Given the number of expats who’ve already left Spain and the even higher number who are preparing to leave after their properties are sold, it seems an unwise move for the government to alienate older expats still further. Hurtado points out that major tax frauds in Spain are being allowed to continue whilst the tax authority hits out at expat pensioners who are contributing to the economy as a whole.
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