by Jason Moore

I sometimes wonder if Spain wants foreign investment because at the moment the Spanish government seems to be doing their best to tax foreigners away. First, we had the matriculation tax on yachts which has almost ruined the yacht charter business and now foreign residents who have assets overseas are being asked to declare them to the Spanish taxman. This has obviously caused some alarm and it is reported that some foreign residents are leaving Spain as a direct result. Initially, the Spanish taxman says that he only wants “knowledge” of the overseas assets and does not plan any fiscal action. However, foreign residents who refuse to reveal an overseas income or wealth could receive a hefty fine. I just think this is so unneccesary at a time when Spain desperately needs foreigners to invest here. I know the Spanish government is short of cash but the move is so counter-productive. The Spanish government should be trying to make things easier for foreign residents not more difficult. I was also told this week that the taxman is also monitoring foreign plated cars on the school run. The taxman says that these people, who have children in school but say in some cases that they are non-residents, could be breaking the fiscal laws. There is nothing in the world which is going to scare people more than the thought that the taxman might be coming after them. Spain needs foreign investment and if it goes elsewhere then it is a big blow for the economy.