Treasury inspectors demand more presence abroad to combat fraud
The Treasury inspectors demand that the Government put an end to the process of dismantling the ministries of finance abroad and to reinforce the presence of the Spanish tax authorities in embassies, especially in those countries where there are greater economic interests, as an essential measure in the fight against fraud. In a meeting organized within the framework of the XXXII Congress that the Professional Association of State Treasury Inspectors (AIHE) celebrates in Granada, they have recalled how the work of these figures (who are also experts in the taxation of the country where they are established) is essential both in fight against fraud -to combat, for example, drug trafficking or smuggling- as in the monitoring of measures related to international trade or the taxation of multinationals through the exchange of information with other agencies. Also when it comes to controlling the changes of tax residence of the great fortunes.
The Treasury inspectors demand that their powers be clearly established (that they have a defined catalog) and that they operate as one more link in the chain and not as tax islands, as is currently the case. “It is advisable to increase the provision of material and personal resources in tax services abroad, which are, in many cases, overwhelmed by the volume of work and cannot adequately serve the citizens and Spanish companies present there,” they point out. in its document of proposals for the reform of the tax administrations. The president of the AIHE, Julio Ransés Pérez Boga, has emphasized that these officials “should be the Treasury delegation in each of these countries.”
Lack of inspectors and risk of politicization
Regarding one of the problems that the association has been denouncing for a long time, the lack of personnel, the inspectors have highlighted how the Tax Agency suffers from a chronic insufficiency of resources although they have stressed that in recent years the situation has become “dramatic”, with a very significant loss of troops in the decade 2010 to 2020, after the financial crisis, going from 28,000 to 25,000, as a result of lack of replacement. And the future is even bleaker in the next five years, 25.6% of its current workforce will retire, around 7,000 Agency employees.
Ana de la Herrán, vice president of the association, explained that it would be necessary go from the current 26,000 troops to 30,000 so that Spain could compare to neighboring countries. “The recovery that is taking place now had to have taken place in previous years,” she pointed out, although she made it clear that this recovery cannot take place at any price. It is not just that there are more inspectors, but that those who join are well prepared to guarantee the proper performance of their duties.
In this sense, the AIHE is concerned about the simplification of the requirements to access the profession that entails the future design of the internal promotion that will give access to their functions -and in whose design, as they have been denouncing, the superior bodies of the State, among which are the inspectors themselves, are not participating. Also for the increase in freely appointed positions because it can lead tofrom his point of view, in a “politicization” and even in that the selection of professionals occurs by “friendships”. The former president of the association, José María Peláez, has stressed that the most precious asset of the body of inspectors is independence from political power and the possible interference that may arise from it. “I am not saying that the AEAT is politicized, but there have been particular cases of politicization in the past”, he has sentenced.
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