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Spanish Penalties On Overseas Undeclared Assets Challenged

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The European Commission has called on Spain to lower the penalties it applies to taxpayers who fail to report assets held abroad.

The Commission said that while Spain has the right to require taxpayers to provide its authorities with information on certain assets held in EU or European Economic Area states, the fines charged for failure to comply are "disproportionate."

It noted that fines are far higher than penalties applied for undeclared domestic assets and expressed concern that the rules may deter businesses and private individuals from investing or moving across borders in the EU Single Market.

The Commission's request takes the form of a reasoned opinion. If Spain does not respond to the Commission's satisfaction within two months, the Commission may refer the Spanish authorities to the Court of Justice.