Eye in the sky spots IBI cheats

The message is clear: if you fail to declare upgrades to your property, you will be found out

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Acting finance minister Cristobal Montero is on the lookout for tax evaders (Photo: EPA)

GONE are the days when a home extension or a new swimming pool were conveniently “forgotten” when it came to paying IBI, the local urban tax collected by town halls. Now, the authorities are using 21st century technology to find those suffering such lapses of memory and the results are staggering.

Since 2014, the Spanish Land Registry, part of the Finance Ministry, has been carrying out a massive survey of municipalities in Spain with around 4,430 already covered in an effort to detect those who have been cheating the system. Last week, the ministry announced that images captured by satellites and drones have so far identified 1.69 million properties for which the appropriate IBI has not been paid.

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