Brussels requires the Spanish government to reduce fines for not declaring assets abroad

The EU has thoroughly examined the regulations of the Anti-Fraud Act 2012 on the declaration of property abroad and has sent an opinion to Spain in which it requests that it amend the regulations on the obligation to report the assets in the abroad for residents with more than 50,000 euros outside Spain in assets such as accounts, real estate or shares.

What Brussels criticizes is not the fact of having to report obligatorily on the goods abroad, if not the hard punitive regime that accompanies it. We should note that the undeclared income abroad, or declared out of time, are recognized as a capital gain unjustified and receive a penalty of 150%. This happens even when the goods come from periods already prescribed. Brussels considers disproportionate this aspect and already in 2015 urged advisers and lawyers to inform of cases in which Hacienda applied this sanction.

The Spanish Government has now a period of two months to submit allegations.
The EU understands that fines discriminate between citizens with assets abroad and those who have their assets in Spain. Fines are much higher than sanctions applied in a purely national context, which is why the rules may discourage businesses and individuals from investing in or moving within the single market. Therefore, these provisions are discriminatory. The fine applies regardless of whether the asset has been included in other statements such as personal income tax or wealth tax.

Last November, the European Union opened disciplinary proceedings against Spain and gave a period of two months to Hacienda for submit observations. The response of the Spanish administration has not been satisfactory and the European Commission has now sent a reasoned opinion requiring Spain to amend and reduce the penalty regime that accompanies the obligation to declare assets abroad in a period of two months.

In the event that a satisfactory response is not received within two months, the Commission may refer Spain to the Court of Justice of the European Union.


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