Monday, April 8, 2013

Catalonia's ANC prepares for fiscal disobedience

Originally published in Vilaweb, 8 April 2013

The ANC [Assemblea Nacional de Catalunya, Catalan National Assembly] is sending out instructions on "fiscal sovereignty" for income and VAT tax.

They are beginning a campaign which coincides with tax season

The Catalan National Assembly's (ANC) campaign, which coincides with the period of submitting tax returns underway now, foresees a mobilization of fiscal disobedience. They are planning to hold a meeting on “fiscal sovereignty” in the coming days, but today sent out pamphlets with practical information on fiscal sovereignty when filing an income tax or VAT return.

Montserrat Mata, a member of the ANC committee that is working on this matter, explained that if this year there have been around a hundred fiscal protesters, and they have not received any paperwork from the Spanish state, the entity believes that it can now understake a similar campaign. To do so, they will spread the word through the media with the aim of explaining to people how to exercise their fiscal sovereignty and to encourage them to join the movement and make it as large as possible. “This only makes sense if there are a lot of us.” The ANC accepts the challenge of mobilizing the people in such a manner, “which is more serious and which may be more risky.” But up to this point, there is not yet any risk. The only thing that could happen, says Mata, is that the Spanish government react by changing the laws so as not to permit the fiscal disobedience as it does now.

The pamphlet on income tax, for example, explains that Spain follows a "one window" rule which means one can pay taxes in any agency of the state. Since the Catalan Revenue Service has an agreement with the Spanish Revenue Service, the ANC pamphlet says paying through the Catalan Revenue Service is completely legal.

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