Thursday, 23 May 2024
BusinessTreasury puts foreign e-commerce companies in focus

Treasury puts foreign e-commerce companies in focus

The Tax Agency, dependent on the Ministry of Finance, published its annual Tax Control Plan this Thursday in the Official State Gazette. This document establishes the priorities in the inspection and sanctioning actions of the agency and places among them greater control for electronic commerce companies that are based abroad but operate in Spain.

Specifically, the Tax Agency points to companies that are formally registered in Spain and are liable for VAT on the sales they make here, but are not established in Spanish territory. In this way, it is they and not the platforms on which they sell who must declare and pay the tax. However, the fact that they are not in Spain “makes it difficult to correctly verify their sales for tax purposes,” as the agency points out in a statement.

Now, the Treasury intends to expand control over these companies, creating a new information obligation that affects the platforms themselves. Added to this will be control of cross-border payment activity flows through payment service providers. This will take time and depends on the international exchange of this information, so in the meantime it will implement a plan that includes a census review of foreign sellers to verify formal compliance with obligations, contrasting the imported volumes with the declared figures.

The plan presented by the Tax Agency this Thursday is more extensive and focuses on other sectors and taxpayers in which it sees a risk of activities contrary to tax obligations. For example, large assets. The agency explains in the document registered in the BOE that “the existence of extremely harmful conduct” for the Public Treasury has been revealed in activities such as the simulation of tax residence abroad to have lower tax pressure.

Added to this is now a greater fence on the opposite path. Foreign taxpayers who move to Spain and spend more than half of the fiscal year (183 days) in the country, which would require them to pay personal income tax. However, the Tax Agency has confirmed that there are large assets that continue to declare only for the Tax on Non-Resident Individuals, instead of for all of their worldwide income. However, the agency recognizes the complexity of these investigations and the need to consume large amounts of resources to do so.

Other fields are added, such as the abusive use of companies to hide income from natural persons. Or a greater siege on the digital economy and neobanks. Regarding the latter, the agency points out that they are increasing their activity in Spain without necessarily being based in the country. The agency wants to control whether these types of platforms can cause evasion or fraud schemes by those who use their collection services.

New taxpayer service systems are also set as objectives. The agency intends to deepen an integrated model, both in person and remotely, so that it is the citizen themselves who chooses how to deal with the administration. Among other aspects, a new telephone service system will be launched. In addition, work will be carried out to facilitate and improve the language so that they are more accessible to citizens.

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