Thursday, March 17, 2016

Some moans about Spain and things

The Spanish Economy: Spain's deficit for 2015 is forecast by the EU to be 4.8% of GDP, against the 4.2% demanded. Instructions have now been given that Madrid reign in excess regional spending. As if.

The Spanish Regions: Said EU has announced it's stopping funding to Andalucia because of the 'perceived' corruption down there. As if it's a new thing. They've also said they're concerned about corruption in Valencia. Not before time, one has to say. What on earth does it take to get them to act? Or even just speak?

The Modelo 720 Tax Measure: This is the law about overseas assets which all Spanish residents must declare, even though: We have no intention of taxing them: it's just an informative obligation. The more I think about it, the more I reason its introduction was designed to set up innocent people for payment of humungous fines of at least €5,000 for each relevant year they've failed to do this.
  1. There was no media publicity - in Spanish, never mind English.
  2. It was introduced in late 2012, ensuring you couldn't make perfectly legitimate sales or transfers during the year to reduce your assets below the qualifying level. And that you'd be obliged to report the final quarter average if this were higher than the 31.12.12 total. As it would be if you made transfers immediately after the law's introduction.
  3. No letter was sent out to either Spanish or Foreign taxpayers.
  4. If you had dealings with the Tax Office(Hacienda) about income tax(Renta) due on your overseas income, no one made any effort to tell you about the new measure in respect of the assets on which this was earned.
  5. On the draft Renta declarations which the Hacienda sent out after 2012, no reference was made to the new law, even though they were at pains to tell you (in a standard paragraph): We are aware that you have income overseas but we haven't had time to check the details. Please declare this. Same thing 12 months later.
    Laughingly, on the form they send you to tell you you've been fined, the Hacienda takes up most of the first page stressing how zealously they went about ensuring everyone knew of the new law, now being considered for its legality by the EU. Now, you might think that, in a country of high evasion, all's fair in love and war. But this would be to totally ignore the impact on the foreigners who invest in Spain and provide so much of its GDP (and employment) by living here. But, then, Spaniards aren't famous for taking the long view and one wonders whether these were ever thought about in rush to hit Spaniards hiding black cash overseas. 
Another Stupid Spanish Measure: On this theme, witness the hotel-industry-driven laws against private renting down in the South and in major cities. Such counter-competition measures are standard in Spain, after some terrified industry cabal has lobbied the government for protection. As someone has written: Will people now stay in hotels instead of apartments? Will they hell! If anyone thinks buying a place in Spain is a good investment, think again. Apartment owners in the Adriatic resorts and elsewhere must be laughing their socks off.

A Last Note about Lovely Jávea: It does occasionally rain there. If so, be careful when you step outside. The beautiful tiles used for the pavement/sidewalk – at least where I was staying – are rendered astonishingly slippy by the slightest bit of water. Especially when the pavement slopes down to the road. Outside Mercadona, for example. With a bagful of stuff. Poor planning again?

Finally . . . Arriving at the always-irritating security check at Alicante airport yesterday, I had a brainwave: Instead of taking off/out all the little items that go into a tray – and are occasionally left behind – why not put them all in my carry-on case? So, on the other side – and with a smug smile – I started to get them all out again. Only to find that my iPod was nowhere to be seen. Several searches later – and abortiive questions made of the staff – I gave up, in the hope it was somewhere in the bag of laundry. But, no, it wasn't. So, this time-and-trouble-saving measure has cost me at least €50, if I replace the thing. Right now, I find I can get my old one to work by banging it on something hard. But for how long? Meanwhile, I have the cold comfort of knowing that the body-check machine failed to detect either the belt I'd forgotten to take off and the set of small keys in that usually useless tiny pocket one has in one's jeans. Some security!

Another Day. Another Dollar. Another Dawn:

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