Taxpayers in the Balearics have until next Friday to seek investments which will ease their tax burden for the year 2000. The most popular options are the purchase of a house, savings accounts linked with house purchases and pension plans. An estimated 320'000 people in the Balearics present income tax (IRPF) returns and this year, there have been few changes to the regulations. In the Balearics, one of the chief fiscal advantages benefits young people buying their first home. For the purchase or refurbishment of a home within the fiscal year 2000, the deduction is 20 percent of the first 750'000 pesetas of the mortgage and 15 percent for the second 750'000 pesetas, providing certain requisites are fulfilled. Current legislation has eliminated the need to consider house ownership as producing income for tax purposes. The deduction for donations is similar to last year, between ten and 25 percent of the total amount. The deductions on interest on bank accounts is reduced from 25 to 18 per cent and there are also deductions for investments in pension plans. Under the new regulations which entered into force in 1999, various deductions were eliminated or replaced by reductions in the taxable base. The period for filing income tax returns, which can be purchased from tobacconists, has not yet been announced but is usually in the month of June. The tax office sets up a free service to help people complete the forms and many banks offer a similar service for their customers.

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