Chinese Whispers

_-Industry-Chinese-Whispers-2-4-Xbox-720-_Whilst the Brits are getting their knickers in a twist about this new ‘Bedroom Tax’ we´ve got a few new problems to deal with ourselves over here in Mallorca. Have you heard about it? You have to declare if you have any property worth over 50k, investments, and something else as well, I´ve heard, on the grapevine. Well that´s just it isn´t it? It´s all gone a bit “Chinese whispers”: everyone´s talking about the new tax declarations that we have to make if we are residents in Spain, but no one seems to actually have any solid information. First it had to be done by a certain date, then no, that date was wrong and it had changed, then there we thought it was just property, but now it is assets as well, or so I have heard.

And the dire consequences of not declaring? Fines, large ones, and interest on the fines, plus excommunication, followed by death, or so I have heard, Chinese Whispers again you see. There is some entertainment to be gained from telling someone who knows nothing about the new declaration, watching the levels of panic rising, their breath quickening and their faces reddening as their hearts start pumping? Priceless.

Some people I know have even said, perhaps they just won´t bother to declare at all. After all, how could the hacienda find out if there were assets? But, I get the feeling that perhaps, that this time they mean business. Perhaps, gasp, the British and the Spanish tax offices will actually speak to each other? Given the terrible state that the Spanish economy is in I think they are going to be knuckling down pretty hard on us.

We all like to tell the stories of the black economy and how quaint things were once upon a time. There is a story from my village which goes something like this: “George couldn´t afford to pay his electricity bill so the bank took some money out of his friend John’s account to pay it because they thought he ‘wouldn´t mind’”. Those kinds of sweet little stories have done the rounds for years so I completely understand why we may not really take and new crack downs seriously, but when you have people like Kate Mentink from EPORE (Europeos Por Espana) wading in and organising information sessions, then it´s time to take notice.

Kate says that confusion is rife on the subject, “I see that the misinformation on this tax subject, and the subsequent rising levels of panic, are causing problems for the ex-pat residents here on the island. I do not think the traditional. “head in the sand” attitude is really going to help this time!” So that is why she is organising a free information session this Friday night (March 22nd 6.30pm) at Mood Beach in Costa D’en Blanes. The speaker will be a tax expert Miguel Angel Serra, he is a lawyer and an economist. The whole meeting will be in English; it is free, without any obligation or commitment.  There will be a question and answer session at the end. Best get there on time to get a good a good seat, there will be a lot of people there, or so I’ve heard.

If you can´t make it to the meeting on Friday then get in touch or if you need more information visit http://www.familymattersmallorca.com

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