In the last 10 years, social media has changed from a mere trend to, for some, the main form of interaction. It has allowed people to provide or ask for aid in times of trouble, as was witnessed recently during the fires around Javea (Alicante, Spain). Businesses, small and large, have taken advantage of the quick and easy way to communicate their products.
From a slightly negative viewpoint, it has allowed people to remain in constant contact, giving freedom to people to let others know what is going on in their lives, irrespective of whether the recipient is interested or not. It has enabled people to inform prospective burglars when they will be away and how long it will take them to get home based on the airport information provided. There are those who believe that reminding others of their cat´s birthday is an important issue.
There now appears to be a new practice of social media; used by the tax authorities. There are a number of people who live in Spain, and have done so for many years, yet they claim to be non-Spanish resident. Sometimes that is because they are receiving treatment, or some other benefit, from the UK and do not want to lose it. For others, it may just be ignorance of the system. The tax authorities are quite capable of trawling through the various social media, possibly looking out for photos of Mr I M Nonresident hosting a barbeque. Then the same people are seen at their bowls club or the local fiestas. On top of this, they may be providing weekly updates on when their grandchildren will be over.
The tax man is always looking for new ways to boost the coffers, especially at times when governments have a huge amount of debt (Like now, as never before). Financial disclosure is already lurking in the background and the full impact is likely to be in 2017. Those who may not be au fait with how the residency rules work need to take steps to find out. If one is deliberately evading taxation, whilst others are playing with a straight bat, then, perhaps, good luck to Billy Dominguez on his smartphone at the Hacienda.
If you would like to know what pension and investment products are tax efficient in Spain, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (+34) 96 558 7633.