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EXPLAINED: What are Spain’s new rules and limits on cash payments?

Spain has recently lowered the limit on cash payments people can make down to only €1,000. Here are the new rules, who it will affect the most and the penalties you need to know about.

EXPLAINED: What are Spain's new rules and limits on cash payments?
Spain has reduced the amount you're allowed to pay for in cash. Image: Image: moerschy / Pixabay

What are the new rules and are there any exceptions?

The Spanish government recently introduced a new Anti-Fraud Law, which establishes a limit on the amount you’re allowed to pay in cash.

The previous limit was €2,500, but now this has been reduced to only €1,000. This means all amounts above €1,000 will have to be paid by card. 

Spain’s official state bulletin states: “Operations in which any of the intervening parties act as an entrepreneur or professional, with an amount equal to or greater than €1,000 or its equivalent in a foreign currency, cannot be paid in cash.”

The measure affects Spanish companies and the amount you can pay in shops or for professional services. For payments between individuals residing in Spain, the limit remains at €2,500.

For tourists, a cash limit of €10,000 on transactions remains in force.

Who is it aimed at and who will it affect?

The new legislation seeks to limit cash payments of large amounts of money, to make it harder for people to work without declaring their income and to stop money laundering.

It is primarily aimed at the self-employed and small businesses that are not required to present an income balance and where cash flow is continuous and hard to keep track of. It aims to flush out those who are not declaring cash payments and are trying to create an underground economy. 

What are the consequences for cash payments greater than €1,000?

Failure to comply with the new rules is considered serious, and fines will be imposed. 

The government has established a penalty of 25 percent of the payment for both parties – the payer and recipient. But, in the event that one of the two parties denounces this, they will not have to pay the penalty. In addition, a 50 percent reduction will be offered for paying the fine in a timely manner without claims.

What is the EU limit on cash payments and is it the same?

On June 3rd, 2021, the European Union brought in a new rule to say that all travellers who enter or leave with €10,000 or more in cash will be obliged to declare it. New elements have also been added to the definition of cash to include gold coins and other gold products.

Mairead McGuinness, EU Commissioner for Financial Services, stated that the €10,000 limit is “high enough not to call into question the euro as legal tender or affect financial inclusion” and “low enough to make it harder for criminals to launder large sums of cash”. 

Later on July 20th, the European Commission proposed the creation of a new body to fight money laundering. The new proposal also establishes stricter regulations on cryptocurrencies and a ban on cash transactions exceeding €10,000.

Currently, there is no established EU-wide limit on cash payments. Previously in 2018, the European Commission agreed not to impose limits on cash payments because it said that “limiting cash would not prevent the financing of terrorism and would be considered a violation of the personal freedom of Europeans. Although it could be useful to fight against black money, its effectiveness would not be accurately quantified”.  

What are the cash limits in other EU countries?

Spain now has one of the lowest cash payment limits within the EU, but other countries have also established similar limits.

In 2020 Italy set the limit at €2,000 and will reduce it to a cash limit of €1,000 in 2022. In France, there has been a limit of €1,000 for residents since 2015 and €15,000 for non-residents. In Belgium, there has been a limit of €3,000 since 2014, and in Greece the limit is €1,500.

In Germany, there is no limit, but consumers who want to pay more than €10,000 are required to declare the transaction.

READ ALSO – Coronavirus: How safe is it to pay in cash in Spain?

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LIFE IN SPAIN

What to do about insects and other pests in your home in Spain?

Bugs and insects can sometimes be a problem in Spanish homes, particularly during the summer months. Here's what to do if you get an infestation and how to prevent them from happening.

What to do about insects and other pests in your home in Spain?

Fruit flies buzzing around the bins, cockroaches in the kitchen and ants invading your food cupboards can be a common sight in your Spanish home, more often than not in summer.

But what can you do when insects invade your home? 

What types of pests are common in Spain?

Bugs and insects that commonly invade homes in Spain include fruit flies, ants, stink bugs, cockroaches, pantry moths, plaster bagworms and mosquitoes.

Those who have pets may also have a problem with your animals bringing fleas and ticks into the home too.

READ ALSO: Ticks are proliferating in Spain: How to avoid them and protect yourself

These can cause a nuisance, not only flying around your home and biting you (in the case of mosquitoes, fleas and ticks), but they can get into your food and lay eggs in your cupboards.

How can I get rid of bugs in my home?

One of the most important ways you can keep insects and other bugs out of your home is to eliminate food sources.

This means always doing the washing up as soon as you’ve finished eating so there are no scraps laying around, sweeping kitchens and dining rooms regularly and putting opened food items in the fridge instead of the cupboards.

You also need to make sure you regularly empty your rubbish bin and that there are no gaps between the lid and the bin that flies can get in through.

Dusting, hoovering and general regular cleaning will also keep other insects at bay such as plaster bagworms and moths that lay larvae on your walls and ceiling.

Those with pets should make sure that animals are treated with flea and tick protection and combed through with special flea combs to make sure bugs are not stuck in their fur.

Summer can of course be very hot in Spain, with temperatures regularly in the high 30°Cs or even low 40°Cs in some parts of Andalusia and other regions, meaning that windows and doors are often left open to ensure a breeze. Unfortunately, this means that your home is more accessible to insects too.

If you can, get a fly screen for your doors and windows, so you can leave them open, but no bugs can get in. These fine mesh screens can be bought from hardware or home stores such as Leroy Merlin and can simply be lifted into place when you need them.

If you can’t get screens installed, then consider planting certain plants on windowsills or balconies. Lavender, basil, lemongrass and mint are all natural insect repellents.

Electric fly swats, ant traps and sticky paper can also all help eliminate pests in your home. 

READ ALSO: What venomous species are there in Spain?

Insecticides

When the situation becomes worse, simple everyday cleaning won’t suffice and you may need to use insecticides to kill the infestation. There are many different brands in Spain. Both Protect Home and Compo have several different products you can use.

If you don’t want to use chemical insecticides, natural ones made from white vinegar, citrus plants, or peppermint oil can also work.

Pest control

If the situation becomes completely out of control and you find that insects are not only entering your home but that they are breeding there too, it’s time to call in the professionals. Pest control services are available across Spain.

The first step is to check your home insurance to see if they will cover this service. If they won’t, they may be able to suggest a company that can help.

Otherwise, a quick Google search for ‘Control de plagas’ (pest control) and then your area should provide you with plenty of options.

According to the home website Habitissimo, pest control services in Spain can range from €80 up to €2,000 depending on the type of infestation you have, how serious the problem is and how big your property is. On average it will cost you around €267.

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