By Humphrey Carter

HOLIDAY home and apartment rentals are going to come under close scrutiny by the tax man this year.
Raul Burillo, head of the Balearic tax office, said yesterday that over the past two years, in excess of 40 million euros has been collected by the tax office from holiday home owners making a tax return for the first time on their rental properties.

Burillo said that the focus over the past few years has been on long rentals but this year, the spotlight is going to be turned on short-term holiday lets. “We are going to be thorough and tough,” he explained. “In many of the cases, holiday lets are turning over substantial amounts of money and we are going to check that the income generated is declared and tax is paid,” he warned. The tax office chief said that holiday rentals is a huge business in the Balearics and, as a result, the sector is going to be dealt with separately by a special campaign which is soon to be launched.

Tax inspectors know they face a complicated and painstaking task, especially with many of the holiday rentals being conducted on line nowadays and the properties being paid for in the clients' countries of origin.

However, the tax office is determined to start collecting its missing millions from the holiday let market.
The period during which people have to make their tax returns opens on May 2 and does not close until June 30.
This year, a near five percent increase in tax declarations are expected to be made.
Burillo said that more and more foreign residents are becoming tax registered in the Balearics and nearly 19'000 more people registered last year.
In order to swiftly handle the 443.600 tax declarations which are expected to be made this year, a network of 62 different tax return centres, staffed by highly trained income tax advisors, are being set up all over the Balearics in order to make the process easier for the general public.