Community of owners in Spain - checking up on paymentsSpanish Law Wed, 20 Nov 2013
How are you at book-keeping? People might fall into three book-keeping categories following a request for an invoice:
Category 1 answer: ‘Here is the invoice for the 31st December 2010’
Category 2 answer: ‘I had an invoice somewhere for that’
Category 3 answer: ‘What’s an invoice?’
Some people are just better organisers than others. Hopefully if you belong to a community of owners in Spain, then your administrator falls into our first book-keeping category. In this article I’ll explain why.
Community ups and downs
Belonging to a community of owners has its benefits. Sharing a community facility like a swimming pool means that you have the benefit of this luxury without all the hassle of its day-to-day upkeep.
The downside is that, like all groups of people, communities can struggle to get along. At times of austerity, it can be particularly difficult for them to bring in community fees on time from everyone. There can be serious disagreements about how the community is run and rules can seem arbitrary and rigid.
One of the chores for communities in Spain is that they must organise the work needed to keep the community running efficiently. This involves regular input to keep the swimming pool well-maintained, the stairwells clean and tidy and the grounds maintained.
On occasions it can also involve one-off, bigger works such as repairs and improvements. You might recall that quite recently there was a limit placed on cash payments of more than 2,500€. At the time, people were sceptical about the ways in which this might be monitored. Now, we know a little more.
Checking up on cash payments
According to ‘hot off the press’ information released by the Spanish Tax Authority, one way in which they are going to be checking on this rule is by visiting communities of owners and asking to see their records. They will want to check how service providers such as plumbers, carpenters, painters, security firms and administrators are being paid.
Hopefully your community has been implementing the new regulations efficiently and has the records to prove it. If not, you could find you are not only sharing out the costs of having these services in the first place but the cost of fines as well.
The Spanish Tax Authority are calling this kind of check, ‘The pursuit of tax fraud on foot’. It’s not only communities they will be visiting but weddings, fiestas and other events to check that the correct procedures have been followed.
According to figures released by the Spanish Tax Authority, the number of visits that the tax man made in 2012 was 20,446 compared to 11,964 in 2011. We have been informed that a similar increase in visits will take place this year too. So, all those within a community, for better or worse, make sure the books are in order and your own personal and property taxes in Spain are up-to-date. The taxman is out on the beat.