STAFF REPORTER

PALMA
A NUMBER of companies affiliated to the Balearic Rent-a-Car Association (Baleval) are considering taking action against regional tax authorities claiming they are being forced to pay levies for which they are not responsible.

The Association alleges that the tax imposed for registering a number plate on a used car sent for export is not up to them to pay. At least three of the companies on Majorca affiliated to Baleval have contracted the legal services of Juan Martín Queralt who is professor in Financial Law at the University of Valencia. The companies want Queralt to defend them in a case where cutting edge knowledge of latest adjustments to national law will stand in their favour.

Tax authorities are forcing the rent-a-car companies to pay the number plate registration tax on non-new vehicles which were sent for export in the years prior to 2005, an issue which rent-a-car affiliates find “illogical” because, as one spokesman commented, “no one in our sector keeps an individual vehicle for such a length of time because they are sold after six, twelve or eighteen months of use.” The companies claim that the tax pressure on them has been unfair following a case of a car hire business in Montuïri which indulged in an illegal “mass number plate registration” to save paying more than 1'000 euros per car. Since then, rent-a-car businesses allege that the fiscal authorities have “tarred them all with the same brush.” The tax fraud in Montuïri was an isolated case of a business attempting to take advantage of the number plate registration exemption to which such companies were previously entitled. Baleval declared yesterday that the car hire industry was currently experiencing a crisis and numbers were decreasing.

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