Tax Agency demanding €24,000 from pensioner for giving painting classes

Woman was called in by the mayor to replace the regular instructor, and made under €2,000

Tax authorities will withhold as much as €24,000 from this woman's pension for giving an arts class.
Tax authorities will withhold as much as €24,000 from this woman's pension for giving an arts class.

Spain’s Tax Agency is demanding €24,000 from a retired teacher for giving occasional painting lessons that earned her under €2,000.

The woman was called in by the mayor of the Albacete village of Ossa de Montiel (population 2,500) to replace the regular instructor, who was ill.

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The two-hour weekly classes took place for two years at the local community center, known as Universidad Popular because of its continuing education workshops. The substitute teacher made between €50 and €91 a month from the activity.

Tax authorities say that she was not entitled to her pension payment during that time, as she was in employment, and have been withholding €636 from her monthly checks since November 2014. This penalty will be enforced for two more years.

Center director Francisco Alfaro says that he consulted with the Tax Agency before hiring the retired teacher, and was told that it wouldn’t be a problem because of the low monthly wages.

Yet this woman has now had to turn to the courts in the hope that  the decision against her will be revoked.

English version by Susana Urra.

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