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Spain's Rubalcaba Slams Tax Amnesty Plans

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

17 April 2012


Leader of Spain’s main opposition Socialist Party (Partido Socialista – PSOE)) Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba has recently announced his party’s intention to contest the constitutionality of the government’s planned tax amnesty, to prevent implementation of the ruling People’s Party’s (Partido Popular – PP) latest proposals.

Denouncing the “immorality” of the amnesty, Rubalcaba insisted that it is simply not fair to treat citizens worse when they pay their taxes than when they do not. It is not constitutional, he warned.

The Socialist Party’s criticism of the plans follows hot on the heels of recent comments by the Spanish association of state tax inspectors (IHE), which insisted that the tax amnesty is “unethical” and “undermines the conscience of honest taxpayers” in Spain.

During the presentation of the draft state budget at the beginning of the month, the government unveiled plans to enable individuals to regularize their offshore and undeclared accounts by paying between 8% and 10% in tax.

Expected to yield around EUR2.5bn (USD3.29bn) for the state, the measure is designed to enable the government to meet its 5.3% of gross domestic product (GDP) deficit target in 2012 (down from 8.5% last year), as agreed with Brussels.

Echoing comments by Spain’s Finance Minister Cristobal Montoro (PP), secretary general of the ruling People’s Party Maria Dolores de Cospedal rejected claims that the new levy represents a tax amnesty, insisting that the initiative is merely aimed at regularizing a taxpayer’s situation.

TAGS: individuals | compliance | tax | tax compliance | tax avoidance | gross domestic product (GDP) | offshore | Spain

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