Staff Reporter
THE tax office is planning to tighten up controls to ensure that non-Spanish European Union residents who are on the Balearic electoral roll are paying their taxes in the islands.

This is in addition to measures which were announced at the end of last month.
In 2003, there were some 50'000 people from the European Union and Norway with the right to be included on the electoral roll but only about 25 per cent of them (12'000) exercised their right to vote.

It is this low figure of registered voters which, it seems, has attracted the attention of the tax authorities.
In order to be included on the electoral roll, European expatriates must live in the Balearics at least 183 days a year, be included on a census, and fulful their tax obligations in the Balearics.

Some municipalities, although there was a low turn out of EU-voters, showed an unusual increase in the number of people on the electoral rolls.
They were mainly coastal areas, with the accent on “residential tourism,” people who spend long periods here or who come several times a year.
They include areas such as Andratx, Son Servera and Calvia, which includes the popular resorts of Palmanova, Magalluf, Paguera, Santa Ponsa and Illetas.

It was reported that shortly before the regional and municipal elections, there were campaigns to encourage EU residents to register to vote.
The results were spectacular compared to the 1999 elections. On that occasion, for European Parliamentary elections, only 5'500 EU residents put their name on the electoral role. In 2003, the figure was more than double.

At the end of last month, Raul Burillo, head of the tax office, said that a plan for the prevention of fiscal fraud had been launched.
This plan included 300 measures to detect and correct fiscal fraud, although at that time he did not say that the electoral rolls would be supervised.

He said at the time that special attention would be paid to real estate operations and the payment of IVA (VAT), the underground economy, undeclared activities, companies which are inactive and others which ask for a NIF (fiscal number) but do not register.

Last year, the tax man in the Balearics uncovered fiscal fraud totalling 255 million euros, 123 million of which was uncovered during inspections.
The amount of unpaid tax recovered was 15 per cent more than the previous year.
As to smuggling, the customs and excise board seized contraband valued at more than 68 million euros, double the amount of 2003.
This included two major drugs hauls in Ibiza.


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