Aquest article no està traduït al català; es mostra la seva versió en anglès
On what it's like to have the tax people extort a small fortune from you.
CATALONIA TODAY – SECTION: LONG-TERM RESIDENT - ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTEEN
In the year of our Lord 2005, I earned 5,000 euros from a company that for some reason never sent me an invoice to confirm the payment. Three years later, the Spanish Inland Revenue (called 'Hisenda' – and other words - in Catalan) discovered I hadn't declared those 5,000 euros (not having had the invoices to hand) and instantly insisted that I not only pay the tax due, but also accumulated interest and assorted fines to a total tune of – what a coincidence – 5,000 euros. An easy enough oversight has just put me in debt for the next two years.
I can't even console myself by imagining I've involuntarily done my mite towards improving the state of the local hospitals and schools, given that Catalonia surrenders nearly 10% of its income tax to central government: too much to allow serious investment in its own public services. With the exception, it then struck me, of the Catalan police. The Mossos d'Esquadra get more expensively equipped with each year that passes. So much so, indeed, that when a Swiss food critic disappeared this June after doing a runner from the El Bulli restaurant in Roses, the Mossos didn't hesitate to jump into a costly helicopter and, fearing the worst, scoured the area in search of his corpse (which they didn't find, the critic having absconded to Geneva, alive and gobbling). Last week, the cost of this futile operation was revealed to be – as you might have guessed – exactly 5,000 euros. The money has to come from somewhere and I wouldn't be at all surprised if it's coming from me. If so, I hope those policemen enjoyed their ride. And that a certain Swiss gourmet chokes to within an inch of his life over his next three rosette meal.