The Spanish Tax Office Hacienda is taking a stand against investment property owners who fail to declare their rental income after sourcing their advertisements on real estate websites.
In a bid to control cash-in-hand rental activities, the tax office is mainly targeting people who advertise their property on the Internet through various property platforms, and is particularly interested in holiday or short-term rentals.
For the first time, such taxpayers will receive a written warning together with their income tax review draft stating:
“In accordance with data available to the tax office, it has come to light that you have taken out a number of adverts announcing property to rent in various media, including the Internet.
"We remind you that in the case of having earned money through these adverts, this should be included in your annual declaration, as should any other type of income earned through activities that do not correlate with our fiscal information.”
According Spanish online newspaper elmundo.es, anyone who has advertised a property to rent via the internet is likely to receive one of these written warnings with their annual income tax declaration draft in the post.
It's understood, Hacienda is collating all the property to rent ads found and adding the details to the Tax Office database to allow the ability to match properties with taxpayers who haven't declared their income.
While the officials won’t know how much has been earned by a rental property, or even whether it has actually been rented, they will nevertheless send correspondence as a way to let alleged offenders know they are being monitored.
Elmundo.es adds data from other sources such as the electricity and water companies will also be cross-checked to gain an idea of whether a property has been lived in or whether it has remained empty.
If the owner of a property has deposited a rental agreement with the local town hall, this too will be a source of information to weed out culprits
Elmundo.es reports it’s not only taxpayers who rent out a second property without declaring their earnings that will be targeted.
"The tax office is also combing other websites and adverts to search for other types of activity that people are being paid for but that isn’t being declared, such as selling clothes, beauty products, sports equipment or even food." the paper says.