Penalties for misinterpreting tax laws in Spain to be withdrawn

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The Spanish government has announced that penalties for misinterpreting tax laws will no longer be applied, a fine that was inevitable if you filed an incorrect return.

But according to a report by La Vanguardia on Monday, November 21 the government will no longer automatically fine those whose tax returns contain an error.

The change, which is in the process of being finalised, is called the implementation of the right to error.

Currently anyone who makes an involuntary error is automatically fined €150 and €250 for incomplete declarations. Those fines were levied whether there was intention to defraud the treasury or not and could also involve other penalties were the government substantially out of pocket as a result.

The ministry is said to be checking the legal and technical feasibility of change so that this right to error protects uninformed citizens, who have no intention of committing irregularities.

The Director of the Tax Agency, Soledad Fernández, told the Congress of Deputies that it wants to introduce a model for evaluating the conduct of taxpayers when they make minor and involuntary errors.

He said: “We are aware that, despite all the information and assistance tools, it is inevitable that small errors, forgetfulness or incorrect interpretations of the rule will occur that translate into small breaches.”

The idea is that taxpayers will be given the opportunity to correct errors themselves before the return is processed, doing away with the administrative burden for the Tax Agency. If approved the changes will be implanted for the tax period 2023.

In addition to the change, the agency is working to encourage maximum voluntary compliance using creative means. One of those for example is a tax calculator whereby residents will be able to see what contribution the tax they paid has made to the running of the public sector.

That could include examples of how much a taxpayer has contributed towards education or health.

Another plan is for the elderly to be offered face-to-face meetings without the need for an appointment. But the main plan is to do away with the penalties for misinterpreting tax laws which are seen as a barrier to submitting returns.


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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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