Tax Newsletter - February 2020 | Legislation

Spain - 

Spanish tax agency to access database of General Council of Notaries

The February 15 edition of the Official State Gazette published the Decision of February 5, 2020, by the Planning and Institutional Relations Service Directorate attached to AEAT, publishing the contract with the General Council of Notaries in relation to the supply of information.

Under this contract, signed on February 3, 2020, AEAT will have access to the information contained in the notaries’ database of real property owners. It also allows AEAT to receive periodical information on certain transactions or groups of transactions contained in the unified electronic index for notaries and to have direct and individual remote access to this index. Additionally it allows specific requests for information to be made to notaries.

Lastly, the tax agency and the General Council of Notaries have signed a second agreement setting out a general framework for collaboration concerning the terms and conditions on which notaries will be able to carry out steps with the agency on behalf of parties with tax obligations that have used their services.


Transposed directives on quick fixes (VAT), dispute resolution, distribution of insurance, and occupational pension funds

The February 5, 2020 edition of the Official State Gazette published Royal Decree-Law 3/2020, of February 4, 2020 on urgent measures transposing various EU directives:

(a) In relation to VAT it transposes Council Directive (EU ) 2018/1910, of 4 December 2018, and Council Directive (EU) 2019/475 of 18 February 2019, both supplementing the provisions in Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1912 of 4 December 2018. See our VAT Commentary dated February 10, 2020 with an analysis of the amendments in this field.

(b) It also transposes Council Directive (EU) 2017/1852 of 10 October 2017 on tax dispute resolution mechanisms in the European Union. See our Alert dated February 5, 2020 on this subject.

(c) Besides transposing Directive (EU) 2016/2341 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 December 2016 on the activities and supervision of institutions for occupational retirement provision, discussed in our Commentary dated February 20, 2020 on this transposition.

(d) And the other directive it transposes is Directive (EU) 2016/97 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 January 2016 on insurance distribution, summarized in our Commentary dated February 19, 2020.

Other tax amendments are introduced related to pension plans and funds. Namely:

  • An exemption from transfer and stamp tax is allowed for the creation, the dissolution and amendments consisting of increases and decreases in pension funds as defined in the revised Pensions Plans and Funds Law, approved by Legislative Royal Decree 1/2002, of November 29, 2002.
  • For personal income tax purposes, it is provided that the amounts received in the cases defined in article 8.8 of the revised Pensions Plans and Funds Law (long-term unemployment or serious illness and early withdrawals from pension plans in the individual system associated with contributions made at least ten years before) will have the same tax treatment as pension plan benefits.

Lastly, the February 29, 2020 edition of the Official State Gazette published the Decision of February 20, 2020, by the Spanish parliament (lower house), ordering publication of the resolution to confirm this Royal Decree-Law 3/2020.


Brexit UK’s withdrawal from the European Union takes effect

On January 31 the UK's withdrawal from the EU took effect and a transition period began until December 31 this year, in which EU law will continue to be applicable in relationships with the United Kingdom, while waiting for a future agreement setting out the conditions governing bilateral relationships from that date onwards. 

The key implications of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU (including those relating to tax) for companies were discussed in our article dated January 31, see this article for further information.