By Guest Writer • 11 February 2022 • 11:39
BIG BROTHER will be watching you through the Spanish Tax Agency as the Ministry of Finance unveiled its Annual Tax and Customs Control Plan.
Basically, having been slapped on the wrist by the European Court of Justice over disproportionate fines for not declaring overseas assets and with the likelihood of having to amend the legislation, the left-leaning government has come up with a new plan.
Still determined to crack down on the hiding of assets abroad, the government intends to invest in expanding the technological strength of the Tax Agency in order to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to try to detect attempts to either defraud or avoid paying tax.
In theory, this is aimed at wealthy Spanish individuals and companies who use tax havens and other financial loopholes to either avoid tax or to hide their overseas assets, many of which are believed to currently be based in Andorra or Portugal which are more generous as far as taxation is concerned.
It won’t just be traditional assets that will be on the Tax Agency radar as it expects and intends to track holdings of cryptocurrency which is why new technology has to be introduced (as are laws concerning companies trading in these ‘currencies’ in Spain) as many holders are protected by the complexity surrounding their undeclared assets.
The other sector to be targeted will be sportsmen and entertainers of all types who are Spanish based but earn income from around the world, so that they will be ‘encouraged’ to declare all assets and pay Spain the taxes due.
It looks as if expatriates who formed a significant number of people penalised by Modelo 720 fines will not in the first instance be under the Tax Agency microscope unless they have significant holdings overseas but once the AI is working efficiently (and this could take some time) then who knows what could follow.
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