Hacienda trawls internet adverts to find out who is renting property and not declaring the earnings
For the first time ever, Hacienda, the Spanish tax office, is sending a warning to taxpayers who they suspect are renting out a second property through adverts on the Internet and not declaring the income.
These taxpayers will receive a written warning together with their income tax review draft saying: “In accordance with data available to the tax office, it has come to light that you have taken out a number of adverts announcing property to rent in various media, including the Internet. We remind you that in the case of having earned money through these adverts, this should be included in your annual declaration, as should any other type of income earned through activities that do not correlate with our fiscal information.”
In a bid to control cash-in-hand rental activities, the tax office is mainly targeting people who advertise their property on the Internet through various property portals, and is particularly interested in holiday or short-term rentals.
If anyone has advertised a property to rent via the Internet, it is likely that they will receive one of these written warnings with their annual income tax declaration draft in the post.
Apparently, Hacienda is adding all the adverts of property to rent to their database so that they can check to see who hasn’t declared the income.
And officials won’t know how much has been earned through renting the property, or even whether it has been rented, however, they do have means of find out! At the moment, it’s just a nod to say “We know what you are doing.”
You can rest assured that data from various sources such as the electricity and water company will be crosschecked to gain an idea of whether the property has been lived in or whether it has remained empty.
If the owner of the property has deposited a rental agreement with his local town hall, they too will hand over the necessary information to the tax inspector.
And it’s not only taxpayers who rent out a second property without declaring their earnings that will be targeted. The tax office is also combing other websites and adverts to search for other types of activity that people are being paid for but that isn’t being declared.
For example, if you work as a teacher in a school, but give extra classes on the side and advertise this second business online, it’s probable that Hacienda already knows about it and you will receive some kind of warning or check up on your declaration in the future.
And the same goes for anyone that has advertised any other type of business or service, ranging from selling clothes, beauty products, sports equipment or even food.
This year’s campaign for taxpayers’ annual income tax declaration has just begun and drafts should be arriving in the post any time soon.