THOUSANDS of expats are on Spain’s ‘hit list’, accused of cheating the property tax system.

Expat property purchases in Spain over the last four years are being scrutinised in relation to Spain’s equivalent of stamp duty.

Authorities suspect that thousands deliberately dodged the tax – the Impuesto de Transmisiones Patrimoniales (ITP) – when buying homes.

ITP is a percentage of the house’s value – 7% on average, although it varies by region – paid to the government when a property is bought.

By artificially reducing their properties’ values in documents, buyers were able to dramatically reduce tax owed.

Authorities are reassessing deals from the last four years to determine the true value of the property compared to the declared price.

Those found guilty will have to pay the difference.