Tax amnesty uncovers assets worth €40bn held outside Spain

tax on foreign assets spainThe head of the Spanish Tax authority (AEAT) Santiago Menéndez has announced that more than 130,000 tax residents in Spain (including 1500 companies) have declared ownership of more than 87,000 assets worth a total of more than €40bn worth of assets held outside Spain as a result of the recent amnesty that required any foreign assets held by Spanish tax residents to be declared or face a fine of 150% of the asset value if later discovered by Hacienda.

The deadline for declaring the existence of any assets was the end of April this year and related to any money or other assets such as property or rights over property, shares, insurance policies, or income held abroad. The relevant date for the purposes of ownership of the assets was up to December 31st 2012.

 

Penalties

Anyone discovered to have not declared ownership of any such assets may be  liable for an offence of non-disclosure of assets abroad with a maximum penalty of 150% of the value of such asset and furthermore any income derived from any such asset undeclared will be imputed to have been obtained for a period of four years. So, if you are discovered to have undisclosed income from abroad, you will face a marginal rate of income tax of up to 52% on any such income.

In many cases the failure to disclose such an asset may be considered a felony and will carry a fine of €5,000 for each individual offence, with a minimum of €10,000.

At a meeting of the Organisation of Inspectors of Taxes, the Tax Chief said that there was no way that the existence of such assets would have been uncovered without such an amnesty. Almost 350 requests for information and embargo have now been sent to foreign authorities in respect of the assets that have been declared.

All tax residents in Spain must in future complete form 720 during the first quarter of each year in respect of assets and income obtained from assets held abroad during the previous year.

 

  Image by Grant Cochrane

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