I sincerely thought that the “useless green residence certificate” was the principle concern of non-Spanish expatriates on the island. Now, the decision by the Spanish government to reintroduce our old style residence cards, which are valid ID, and scrap the green certificate, which is not, has been welcomed but the biggest concern of some expatriates is not the “green certificate” but the recent tax crackdown launched by the Spanish authorities. The more wealthier expatriates are now obliged to reveal their worldwide assets to the Spanish tax authorities. This has caused some concern and some expatriates and even local law firms have claimed that it may not even be legal. However, in some expatriates circles this has been a major talking point and as Frank Leavers says in his column in today´s newspaper some expatriates are even planning to sell up and move elsewhere. Now, the Spanish authorities have a habit of announcing major crackdowns and then little or nothing is done. But, let us remember that Spain is now a modern European Union country and the tax authorities work closely with each other in each member state. I do not believe for a moment that Spain is looking to scare away foreign investors who may own property on the island. Spain needs foreign cash. But I suspect what Spain along with many others is trying to ensure is that the days when people didn´t pay tax anywhere are over and this at the end of the day is only fair.
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