On 1 January 2016, regulations on the automatic exchange of information between tax authorities in EU countries shall come into force

Written on 21 Dec 2015

Within the framework of the EU legislation adopted in order to combat cross-border tax evasion and tax fraud, the EU Council adopted Directive 2014/107/UE on the automatic exchange of tax information on financial accounts, whose entrance into force will take place on the upcoming 1 January 2016.

Aware of the problem posed by cross-border tax fraud, evasion and the resulting reduction in national tax income, the importance of an automatic exchange of information as an effective means of combatting this issue has been recognised internationally (G-20 and G-8) and by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

In this context, the Council of the EU adopted Directive 2014/14 of 9 December modifying Directive 2011/16/UE on the enforceability of the automatic exchange of information in the field of taxation whose entry into force for countries within the EU, with the exception of Austria, will take place on 1 January 2016.

At a national level and for the incorporation into national law of this Directive as well as the multiple agreements on the exchange of information entered into by the Spanish Government, on 13 November 2015 Royal Decree 1021/2015 was approved by which the obligation to identify the tax residence of persons with ownership or control of certain financial accounts and to report on said persons in the field of mutual assistance is established.

This regulation requires financial institutions to file an informative statement when the persons who hold ownership or control of financial accounts are tax residents in:

  1. Another member state of the European Union or any other country or jurisdiction with which the EU has concluded an agreement under which the state or jurisdiction must provide the information specified in that regulation. 
  2. Another country or jurisdiction in which the Multilateral Agreement between Competent Authorities on the Automatic Exchange of Financial Accounts Information has taken affect and with which exists reciprocity in the exchange of information. 
  3. Any other country or jurisdiction with which Spain has entered into an agreement under with the country or jurisdiction must provide the information specified in this regulation.

Regarding the information to be provided, it is expressly requested that the following is communicated:

  • Name and surnames or company name or full name, home address, country or countries or jurisdictions of residence and the Tax Identification Number of all persons subject to transmission of information of the accountholder. 
  • Bank account number.
  • Name and tax identification number of the financial institution required to communicate the information.
  • The balance or value of the account at the end of the calendar year in question.
  • In the event of a custody account:
  1. The total gross amount by way of interest, the total gross amount of dividends and the total gross amount by way of other incomes generated in connection with the assets deposited in the account, paid or recorded in each case in the account or in connection therewith, during the calendar year.
  2. The total gross revenue derived from the sale or depreciation of financial assets paid or recorded in the account during the calendar year in which the financial institution required to communicate information acts as a custodian, broker, designated agent or as representative appointed in any other capacity of the account holder.
  • In the case of a deposit account, the total gross amount of interest paid or recorded in the account during the calendar year.

As can be seen, the establishment of this annual informative statement, the content of which is consistent with that established by other Member States, shall ensure the exchange of tax information necessary for the determination, settlement and collection of tax debts.