Baker & McKenzie holds briefings on new Spanish voluntary disclosure program
2 May 2012
Global, May 2 2012 – On May 1 and May 2, Baker & McKenzie in Switzerland held briefings in Geneva and Zurich on the new Spanish Voluntary Disclosure Initiative.
Presenting were Luis Briones, Managing Partner of Baker & McKenzie in Madrid, and Esteban Raventos, Managing Partner of Baker & McKenzie in Barcelona.
"In the last days of March, the Spanish Government approved Royal Decree-Law 12/2012, which includes a tax amnesty program in Spain. Until November 30, 2012, individuals and corporate taxpayers will be able voluntarily to disclose unreported income or assets by paying a special 10% levy on the amount or acquisition value, with no criminal or administrative penalties, surcharges or interest,” said Mr. Raventos.
He further stated, “Spain's only precedents in similar procedures were back in 1984 and 1991, however they involved the obligation to repatriate unreported income and invest it in Public Debt. This new program does not require the repatriation of assets and they can be maintained and managed outside Spain.”
Mr. Briones commented, “During the last few years, in the context of the international pressure on tax havens, the increase in exchange of information between tax authorities in different jurisdictions, and the move towards tax transparency and exchange of information, the Spanish tax authorities have noticed a substantial increase in voluntary disclosures by taxpayers under the ordinary procedure, which remains in place and may be even more favorable in many cases than the new tax amnesty program. Now, taxpayers have two different routes to become tax compliant, the traditional voluntary disclosure procedure and the tax amnesty and they should be sure to obtain the appropriate advice to see which is the best alternative to secure their position.”
Stephanie Jarrett, head of the Baker & McKenzie Wealth Management Practice in Geneva said, “At this stage, there is a lot of uncertainty about some relevant aspects of the new tax amnesty, however we are in close contact with the authorities and we expect that some relevant aspects will be clarified in the next few weeks.”
Marnin Michaels, head of the Baker & McKenzie Wealth Management Practice in Zurich said, “It is important to note that the Spanish Government has already announced some new relevant anti-avoidance measures that will be adopted later this year. Some of them are focused on increasing the tax penalties for unreported assets and others to extend, indefinitely, the status of the limitation period for such unreported assets. The pressure to become tax compliant is huge and the moment to think about it is right now."
Baker & McKenzie in both Switzerland and Spain have among the largest Wealth Management practices in their respective countries.
For any questions about this press release, please contact:
Stephanie Jarrett (
+41 22 707 9821)
Marnin Michaels (
+41 44 384 1208)
Luis Briones (
+34 91 230 46 16)
Esteban Raventos (
+34 93 2060843)