Jesús Gascón, Director General of the State Tax Agency (AEAT): “Following approval of UNE standard 19602, companies must be more transparent in their tax strategies”
Garrigues and Lefebvre are working together to provide training on tax compliance, a new procedure seeking the best implementation of tax risk management systems.
As a precursor to the March 12, 2019 Conference on Tax Compliance and Best Practices, organized by the legal publishing house Lefebvre, on February 12 Garrigues hosted a session titled “UNE standard 19602 and the State Tax Agency”. During the session, approval of the new standard, which had completed its public consultation phase, was announced. The standard will be formally published in the coming weeks.
The session organized by Lefebvre and Garrigues featured participation by Jesús Gascón Catalán, Director General of the State Tax Agency; Paloma García, Director of Standardization and Stakeholder Programs at UNE; Begoña García-Rozado, Iberdrola’s Global Tax Director of Legal Services; Javier Martín, IDEO Legal partner and Director of the Conference on Tax Compliance and Best Practices; José Vicente Iglesias, partner with Garrigues’ Tax Department; and Ricardo Gómez, senior partner at Garrigues.
During the session, Ricardo Gómez stated that “our society wants assurances that large corporations and taxpayers correctly address all matters before them, and, in particular, deal appropriately with their taxes.” “We all play a role in these efforts, including the State Tax Agency”, he emphasized.
Jesús Gascón Catalán, Director General of the State Tax Agency, raised the question of whether transparency and legal certainty should be a two-way street between taxpayers and the tax authorities. He added that when the standard is applied correctly, it can be used to help classify taxpayers’ risk level.
Mr. Gascón believes that “moves toward greater transparency are inevitable. From the side of the tax authorities, we must work harder to explain the results we are achieving and the criteria we use. Companies, in turn, must be more transparent with respect to their tax strategies”, concluded the State Tax Agency’s Director General.
UNE standard 19602 and tax compliance
UNE standard 19602 represents a further step toward tax compliance, following the issue of UNE standard 19601 in 2016. During the session, Javier Martín, partner at IDEO Legal and Director of the Conference on Tax Compliance and Best Practice, confirmed that standard 19602 had been approved, stating: “The committee that prepared the standard had the greatest amount of participants and was the best qualified. This standard has received the most input during the public consultation phase. It covers procedures on tax risks and obligations that, once implemented and when enforcement proceedings are underway, will provide us with a line of defense.”
For Paloma García, Director of Standardization and Stakeholder Programs at UNE, the new standard “will help reduce tax risk and the conduct giving rise to such risk. Moreover, if something fails, we will be able to identify the cause. Companies will now have one more way to generate trust vis-à-vis the tax authorities.”
Juan Pujol, chairman and CEO of Grupo Lefebvre, is convinced that the standard will change the current landscape: “We trust that this new UNE standard 19602 will spur better reaction among the professional community,” he concluded.