Friday, 11 May 2012

Adiós 'black money'

HSBC Private Bank, Geneva
SPAIN The Secretary of State for Taxes, Miguel Ferre, said recently that the volume of 'hidden resources' could be "very important", and believes that the recently announced tax amnesty will be accepted in the end by the regional authorities in spite of their previous opposition because the solution they propose does not look "judicially possible" because there is no fiscal independence as such in the country. He said also that there few if any accurate figures on the hidden money but he did refer to the previous (PSOE) government's activity in this area, which raised some €200 million from Spanish nationals through one single Swiss branch of HSBC.>>>
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Other figures are available, though, from other countries that have set up this kind of measure, and he has guaranteed that, based on these numbers, he has tried to make an estimate that is the "most realist and lest risky" possible, aimed at raising some €2,500m in hidden assets via the fiscal amnesty that was proposed.

The Secretary of State insisted that the amnesty is an "extra-ordinary and special" measure that is unlikely to be repeated during later tax years. The amnesty does include a 10% levy on undeclared capital, which suggests that the €2,500m to be found is based on a figure of €25,000m of hidden money.

"This is not a whim of the Government's," says Ferre, who refers to the fact that there is an international tendency towards adopting this kind of measure, as was established in Germany, Belgium and Italy, for example. Also, this is not the first time such a proposal has been made, and applied, in Spain.

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