INLAND Revenue workers in the Balearics complained yesterday that more investigation is carried out in the islands into the tax affairs of the unemployed, the divorced, and bankrupt companies than is ever undertaken into the black market economy.

The workers said through their union “Gestha” that Central and regional governments need to change their approach to tax collection at a time of economic crisis. More attention needs to be paid, said a spokesman, to the “big-time” tax evaders than those who are struggling to make ends meet.

Tax workers said that in the Balearics, 69'000 people - unemployed, divorced and those associated with bankrupt companies are being investigated by the Inland Revenue. “Gestha” also criticised the tax authorities for their pursuit of people who had lost their homes because they couldn't afford to keep up the mortgage payments. The spokesman explained that if the result of the auction, including interests and costs is greater than the cost of the property in the official deeds, the Inland Revenue considers that this is tantamount to capital gains and they demand between 19 and 21 percent of the difference.

The union said it was shameful that the tax authorities are also busy chasing the 3'000 people in the Balearics who are separated or divorced, claiming that they are a “gold mine” for the Inland Revenue.

If the partner who is left with the house asks for credit to pay off the departing spouse, the tax authorities consider that the partner who has sold his or her half has made a “capital gain” and is therefore also sent a demand for between 19 and 20 percent of the sum.