CENTRAL government sub-delegate Andres Garcia Lorca recently met representatives from ASALER.
The association has assisted returned emigrant workers since 1999, helping with practical issues and advising on rejoining the labour market and reintegrating into Spanish life.
There are now between 19,000 and 20,000 returnees now living in Almeria Province, ASALER’s president Angeles Martinez told Garcia Lorca who was accompanied by Juan Ramon Fernandez, the sub-delegation’s Labour and Immigration chief.
Earlier this year ASALER assisted returned workers who receive foreign pensions and were unaware that they should have declared these to the tax authority Hacienda.
Having failed to make tax returns between 2008 and 2012 they were warned they would have to pay and in some cases could face fines of up to €30,000.
The Treasury subsequently announced a ‘mini-amnesty.’ This enabled the pensioners to regularise their situation without paying fines or interest although Angeles Martinez questioned use of the word ‘amnesty.’
The pensioners had originally received incorrect information from Hacienda, she claimed.
Problems are threatening to raise their heads again in Almeria where pensioners demonstrated last month in the city centre. Despite all the promises that they would receive official help in regularising their tax situation, they had not been given sufficient time or assistance, they complained.
Their biggest concern was the current difficulty in making appointments to discuss their problems with Hacienda officials, they said.