On January 27, 2017, the general guidelines of the 2017 Tax and Customs Control Plan have been published in the Official Bulletin of the State by the Directorate General of Spanish Tax Administration.

Amongst the main action lines of the Plan, the intensification of the investigation of an individual’s wealth stands out in particular. The State Tax Agency will contrast the information derived from the Net Wealth Tax returns, Form 720 “Information return on assets and rights held abroad” and Form 750 “Special tax return” (used to regularize undeclared assets during the 2012 tax amnesty process). These will also be compared with the data obtained through the existing international automatic exchange of information mechanisms (FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act), CRS (Common Reporting Standard), etc.).

In addition, the Tax Agency will develop new Information Technology tools for:

  • The analysis of risks, based on changes in personal wealth or capital flows;
  • The use of interposed entities to channel remunerations generated by individuals;
  • Manifestations of economic capacity inconsistent with the Individual’s Income Tax returns; and
  • Ownership and taxation of assets abroad.

Based on these analyses, monitoring and follow-up work will be developed on the identified tax risk situations.

Within the context of the collection, analysis and processing of information regarding the black market economy, the most noteworthy change in the Guidelines is the Anticipated Electronic VAT Reporting System. Under this System taxpayers who meet certain statutory requirements are required to provide the Tax Agency with copies of their VAT invoices and any further supporting records. In addition, the Tax Agency will intensify their current strategy of ‘on-site’ auditing in seeking to regularize non-reported income.

Furthermore, actions will be implemented against the aggressive tax planning practice of multinationals and companies with cross-border operations. This will attend to the risk areas identified by the OECD’s BEPS (Base Erosion and Profit Shifting) Actions. Special attention will be paid to international groups engaged in the digital economy business.

On a separate issue, models for Corporate Tax Risk Assessments will be developed by the State Tax Agency based on the following information:

  • From 2017, Tax Rulings by the tax authorities of other European Members, shared in application of the Directive for the Exchange of Tax Rulings; and
  • From 2018, “Country by Country” reports prepared by the companies themselves, in which they provide the details of activities of the groups in the different countries in which they have a presence and of the taxes paid in each of them.

Lastly, the 2017 Customs Control Plan foresees control actions in the field of, amongst others:

  • Excise taxes;
  • Environmental taxes; and
  • Customs control.

These actions are in addition to establishing measures to foster the collaboration between the State Tax Agency and the Tax Agencies of the different Autonomous Regions. This is with particular reference to the control of the taxes for which the Autonomous Regions have responsibility.