The Spanish Treasury has a sneaky plan to reintroduce tourist rental income controls that were struck down by the courts.
The new regulation, which will come into force once published in the official gazette sometime early next year, will require all people and companies in the holiday-rental business to declare the rentals they are involved in on a regular basis.
The regulation is aimed at intermediaries in the business, especially platforms like Airbnb, not holiday-home owners themselves. However, home owners and tourists are affected, as declarations by intermediaries will include the identity of both owners and clients, plus all the financial details of rentals carried out.
This declaration is not exactly new. The previous fiscal declaration form, known as Modelo 179 (quarterly informative declaration of the ceding of homes for touristic ends) was ruled unlawful by the Spanish high court, following the lead of the ECJ, on somewhat technical grounds.
The Spanish tax authorities have now informed Brussels of this new return they plan to introduce to do the same thing, namely force all intermediaries to inform the tax authority of any holiday rental activity they are involved in, with the identity of the property owners and tourists, and the rent paid.
The measure will be tagged onto a new decree taxing financial transactions in Spain, informally known as the Tobin Tax, which will, of course, simply reduce financial transactions in Spain.
The ‘Tobin Tax’ decree will also introduce a new rule requiring banks to identify the fiscal residency of clients with bank accounts in other EU countries. We will have to keep an eye on this, as it sounds like the kind of innocuous measure that ends up being a real pain for foreigners with bank accounts in Spain.