Spain's government approved a bill Friday aimed at cracking down on tax evasion, capping cash transactions at 2,500 euros ($3,140) with limited exceptions.
The measure, which covers cash transactions among companies, or between individuals and companies or professionals, also requires that bank accounts and assets held abroad be reported to the Spanish tax authorities, Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said at a press conference after the weekly Cabinet meeting.
She said the bill is aimed at ensuring all Spaniards meet their tax obligations.
To ensure the government can collect back taxes, the bill will allow authorities to accelerate precautionary measures that ensure companies or individuals under investigation for tax fraud cannot avoid their burden by declaring bankruptcy or transferring assets.
Fines of between 1,000 euros ($1,250) and 600,000 euros ($753,850) will be levied on those who fail to comply with tax inspections.
Spain's government is facing a sharp drop in tax revenues amid a double-dip recession and a sky-high unemployment rate of nearly 25 percent, while borrowing costs on credit markets have risen to levels economists say are unsustainable.
The country's economy has been battered in recent years by the global recession and the collapse of a massive real-estate bubble, which has left banks saddled with toxic property assets.
Nearly half of Spaniards under 25 are jobless and tens of thousands of families have been evicted from their homes after falling behind on their mortgages. EFE