YOUR wedding day is supposed to be the happiest day of your life, but it can be quite taxing.
In the case of one Spanish couple, that became quite literally true when inspectors from the tax office turned up as uninvited guests at their reception and demanded they hand over cash that was destined to pay for the meal.
And to make it worse the debt owed had nothing to do with the couple themselves but rather with the catering company, which was organising the nuptials in the city of Badajoz (Extremadura).
The day had started well enough with a beautiful ceremony and family and guests coming from as far afield as the UK and Madrid. But things were soon to take a turn for the worse for the unnamed couple as their happiest day became the wedding from hell.
One hundred guests had just sat down to enjoy the meal when the bride asked two of her cousins to accompany her to a private room to help her adjust her beautiful but bulky dress.
On entering she was confronted by two men with a laptop computer. One asked her to come in, showed her his ID and allegedly said: “We’re from the Inland Revenue. We’ve come to embargo your wedding.”
The groom was called, and the duo initially ‘played along’ thinking it was some kind of prank.
But slowly it dawned on them that it was not – and that is how the nightmare started.
At first the couple thought the inspectors were looking for ‘black money’ payments or investigating the gifts, but they weren’t. It had nothing to do with the couple – the inspectors wanted them to hand over the money set aside for the reception because their catering company owed cash to the Inland Revenue.
The inspectors refused to leave and discuss the matter on a weekday, as the bride and groom asked.
Although the couple themselves were in the clear, their wedding celebrations were badly affected. By the time the bride and groom had finished talking to the inspectors the meal was finished. They had missed their own wedding lunch.
There was no Champagne toast and everyone missed out on the cake too. Waiters hadn’t served it as the ‘happy couple’ was not present.
“Well at least we can enjoy the dance though,” thought the bride. That thought went out of the window when she was called from the dance by two more unwelcome guests. Guardia Civil officers – called by the tax inspectors – wanted to have a word. They at least seemed more sympathetic and soon left, but by this time the bride had just about had enough.
The groom said: “You’re full of happiness and they put you in hell.” To make matters even worse, no one could get the air conditioning to work, leaving everyone sweltering in 43 degrees Celsius heat. The sound system for the video system was malfunctioning as well, so they couldn’t view the film of the ceremony either.
Now the couple has hired a lawyer to sue the tax office (Hacienda) for “moral damages”.
The groom said: “I do not understand the aggressiveness of going to the wedding, talking to us, calling the Guardia Civil. They could have notified us, as they did later in writing and by email, that we should not pay the company because they wanted us to make the payment directly to the Treasury as creditors. We lost services, not to mention moral damages.”