• Tax office inspectors made 20,446 unexpected visits to properties last year
  • They are stepping up their inspections on this type of activity
  • Hotel owners have long criticised illegal holiday lets in apartments

It’s clear that the Spanish tax office, Hacienda, is not about to let up in its search for those who are not paying their way by making their contribution to the tax man. Illegal rentals and sub-rentals are their current target.

More concretely, that is those property owners who are renting out their home or second home, earning an income but not declaring it to Hacienda.

In 2012, Hacienda inspectors showed up unexpectedly, making surprise visits, at 20,446 properties that they suspected were being rented out illegally.

This is almost twice as many visits as those made in 2011 (11,964) which demonstrates how seriously Hacienda are treating the matter (and how desperate they are to top up their coffers).

Officials say that they are not only on the lookout for the illegal letting of properties on a long-term basis where incomes are not being declared, but they are also looking to sanction those property owners who are renting out their home to tourists and holidaymakers.

This activity, they say, is unfair to hotel proprietors who pay their licences and taxes. Staying in one of these apartments does not assure the visitor the same guarantees or protection when something goes wrong, although it is more often than not a much cheaper option than staying in a hotel, which is the main attraction for most.

Hacienda inspectors are also on the prowl to catch those who are renting a property and then sub-letting a room, or rooms, within it, not only because of the money that is not being declared to the taxman but also because it is an illegal activity say officials.

Source: www.abc.es

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