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The Spanish Tax Audit Plan for 2022 announces tax audits focused on beneficial ownership

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    On 31 January 2022 a resolution, dated 26 January 2022, of the Spanish Tax Administration Agency, was published in the Spanish Official Gazette approving the general guidelines of the Annual Tax and Customs Audit Plan for 2022 (the "Spanish Tax Audit Plan 2022").

    We highlight below the main actions - some new and others reiterative - that the Spanish Tax Audit Plan 2022 foresees for this year, especially in the area of international taxation.

    As a novelty:

    • Tax audits to check whether the non-resident recipients of Spanish-sourced dividends, interest or royalties qualify as the beneficial owner of such income, with the aim of preventing an abusive use of EU legislation.
    • Reinforcement of the control on shell companies (entities with nil or low economic activity) whose main reason of existence is to take undue advantage of tax deductions and other tax benefits, in line with the recently proposed ATAD 3 Directive.
    • Application of anti-abuse rules such as those addressed to limiting the deductibility of financial expenses, anti-hybrid rules and those addressed to avoid the abuse of tax treaties.
    • New 360ยบ strategy for the automatic review of transfer pricing policies of multinational groups.
    • Review of the correct declaration of the liquidation proceeds paid to shareholders of a company as a result of its dissolution and liquidation.
    • Reiteration of tax audits in those cases where previous processes have not led to a modification in the taxpayer conduct.

    As in previous years:

    • Preferential attention to taxpayers who have pending carry-forward tax losses and other tax credits pending application in the CIT.
    • Tax audits focused on the correct application of anti-tax haven rules and on the identification of structures that unduly benefit from the low taxation of non-cooperative jurisdictions or preferential regimes.
    • Identification of non-declared permanent establishments.
    • Control over CIT and VAT groups, specially focused on the composition of these groups.
    • Control over transactions carried out with virtual currencies and crypto-assets.
    • Continuity in the use of the virtual visit system in tax audits.
    • Increasing the number of in-person visits by tax inspectors to the places where economic activity is carried out, including visits to places where a large number of entities are domiciled.
    • Control of tax refund claims.

    Should you need any further clarification or additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us.