Opinion: United against "tax evasion" youtuber

The recent controversy over famous Spanish streamers living in Andorra opens a new debate.

Rubius, Spanish youtuber

In recent days, youtubers with residence in Spain have decided to move to Andorra. / Photo: YT-Rubius Z

LatinAmerican Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández

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Leer en español: Opinión: Unidos contra la "evasión fiscal" youtuber

In addition to the painful and difficult consequences that the Coronavirus has brought to Spain, the Iberian country opens a new debate on Social Networks: the payment of taxes for Spanish citizens residing in another country.

Recently, there have been several cases of YouTubers and Spanish streamers who have decided to move or have already been living in neighboring Andorra for some time. The problem of the matter is that they are doing it, explicitly, to pay less taxes on their earnings. Characters like Vegeta777, Willyrex, and El Rubius are on the list.

And it is that the micro-state that is located on the border between Spain and France, charges much fewer taxes than its neighbors. for example, the Spanish Treasury can collect up to 45% of the income, while the principality, only 15%. With a similar quality of life and geographic and cultural proximity, it is not surprising that changing residences is a bad idea.

However, a common employee, a waiter, or a secretary does not have the facility to live in a tax haven and continue to keep their job in Madrid, Barcelona, Bogotá, Mexico, Buenos Aires or Lima.

But YouTubers have a different life. They are dedicated to making content, often from their own homes, and may have a residence outside the country. But it is important to clarify something, what they do is not illegal. It is completely accepted (in the law) that any citizen changes residence and therefore begins to pay taxes in the place where he lives. But, apart from the legal debate, there is the ethical debate.

Nobody likes to pay taxes, that is obvious, and less if this represents almost 50% of all your earnings. However, avoiding your obligations when you make millions of dollars a year (the most conservative figures estimate that all these content creators produce more than 3 or 4 million euros a year) is simply a selfish attitude and shows little interest in living in a caring community, a basic principle of coexistence.

If people with millionaire income do not contribute, all this weight falls on the middle class, the hardest hit, and only this will be the one that supports the apparatus that will continue to directly or indirectly protect those emigrants who no longer contribute. and their families who still remain in Spain.

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A debate on corruption has also emerged. Some advocates of the practice of moving out of the country to pay fewer taxes argue that they would happily pay 50% of their income if they knew that this money would go to the right place and not get lost in corruption and in the pockets of politicians. But a tweeter said it well, because they move, pay their 15% and the remaining 30% that they should pay to the State and that I know if it will "go" to corruption, donate it to Spanish foundations or anywhere else so that they put it to better use.

They have also said that now their role as celebrities does not give them peace to live in Spain and that they prefer a quieter place where they can go to eat something at a restaurant without being surrounded by people who ask them and demand photos or greetings. But this is no stranger to any other celebrity and not everyone has changed their countries in search of anonymity. Enough with the victimization, the reason is obvious and they have already made it public.

What could be the solution?

Enough of supporting these legal behaviors that in the end end up covering up tax evasion. If it is true that they prefer a life away from fame, help them. It is true that in general they receive their income from the transmissions of their videos or from sponsorships linked to their popularity within the Hispanic community (important to clarify). The majority, if not all of its audience, is Spanish-speaking, now it would be appropriate for all the countries where their audiences live to begin to sanction these channels that are produced from tax havens. It will not persecute them, but it will persecute any Twitch or Youtube channel that tries to evade its obligations.

Because this is a problem that begins in Spain, but it will not be long before several other Latin streamers decide to look for other tax havens on some paradise island in the Caribbean.

We as an audience must "cancel" those personalities who forget their civic duty and thus affect their pockets. And the United Governments must begin to prosecute and sanction these behaviors (not allow the reproduction of videos produced from a tax haven).

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