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Posted by Phil Murray on February 24, 2014
Tax inspectors want more legal powers to help combat fraud

The Professional Organisation of Tax Inspectors of the State has put together a proposal to be included in the fiscal reform which would enable them to tackle tax fraud more efficiently and make it one of Hacienda’s top priorities.

The president and the secretary-general of the organisation have stressed the importance of acquiring new legal strategies to combat tax fraud as well as corruption, and for this reason they want their proposals to be incorporated into the legal system and that tax officials have their legal powers augmented.


Working undercover

One of the most attention-grabbing proposals put forward is the idea for the tax inspectors to work undercover. This would mean that officials could turn up unexpectedly, or without having to identify themselves beforehand, if agreed.


Another surprising measure that tax officials hope will be allowed to go ahead is that of being provided with funds so that inspectors are able to pay informants for information about taxpayers who are committing fraud. They have called for a system similar to that of the Police or Guardia Civil, which prevents these funds from being badly invested or misused.

List of defrauders

Also amongst the list of proposals is for a list of the main tax evaders and fraudsters to be made public. This has already been announced by the tax office but is yet to be put into action.

The inspectors have urged for those who defraud the tributary system of 120,000 euro or more and those previously found guilty and ordered to pay a sanction of between 100,000 and 300,000 euro to be named and shamed.

Information stored in one place only

The officials believe that their job and that of the tax agency would be much easier and simpler if there was one unique database of information on taxpayers, which should be managed by Hacienda and made accessible to all public service organisations.

Not only this, but they are also calling for a single place for taxpayers’ money to be collected and paid in to rather than the system that is in place now, which is complex and inefficient.

Regular head change

One of the most popular proposed changes is for the director of the Tax Agency to be elected for a period of 5 years with the possibility to extend this for another 5 if in agreement. If he or she misused their position, it would also be possible to dismiss them.

The head of the tax body would be elected by a small group, and not by the Treasury minister as it is now, and other roles within the agency would be put out to tender and won on merit. This, it is hoped, would allow the organisation to become more independent and less linked to the political party in government.

Recent cases of politicians trying to use their influence to cover up scandals, including that of Princess Cristina amongst others, have made this proposal a top priority.

These scandals and the role of the tax office in them have put its credibility into doubt.

If these proposals are accepted, they will probably be put into place in 2016.



  • Spain
  • Hacienda
  • tax office
  • tax fraud
  • tax evasion
  • informers
  • undercover inspectors


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