Two elections have taken place in Spain in the past 12 months and neither has produced a workable parliamentary majority, meaning that the future of fiscal reforms undertaken in the jurisdiction in the aftermath of the 2007-2008 financial crisis is in jeopardy. The uncertainty resulting from the political situation has made for an uncomfortable year for Spanish taxpayers wishing to plan ahead.
But, for many, the key battlegrounds of the election will be replayed when further elections are held in late 2016 or early 2017.
Advisers in Spain are aware that the entire direction of the fiscal reforms could be reversed if opposition left-wing parties assume power: "If the government remains the same, obviously there will not be reforms," one adviser said. "However, if a leftist party gains power than we may see changes in this area, but at this point it is too early to say which party will emerge successful."
Advisers suspect that Spain's flagship holding regime, Entidades de Tenencia de Valores Extranjeros (ETVE), may be amended or scrapped entirely due to what some see as recurrent abuse of the structures, whereby non-EU resident companies are able to be exempt from taxation on qualified foreign source dividends and capital gains. The structures are available to any non-EU company but in practice are favoured as an EU entry point by multinational groups based in Spanish speaking (usually South American) countries.
While there may be some tinkering with the exact terms of the legislation, or clarifications made by the tax authority, advisers believe that they will remain an option at least for the foreseeable future. "There have been certain conversations by the Spanish revenue with certain multinationals about ETVEs, the tax authorities have stated that they believe some structures to have been abusive," said Rafael Fuster of Uria Menendez. "But the problem at this point is not with the structures per se but with the abuse of the structures."
The tax authorities have been taking the opportunity to examine in more detail the tax affairs of large companies. Several multinationals have been raided recently, most notably Google.
"The structure used by Google and similar multinationals is relatively simple," said Jósé Ramón Vizcaíno of Dentons. "They provide services from a foreign platform [in this case, from Ireland to Spanish clients] so they report these profits directly in the country of residence of the platform."
"This country offers low taxation rates over these profits so they minimise the corporate taxation on these profits," he continued. The next step consists of moving these profits to low-tax jurisdictions or directly to tax havens. At the end, they are hardly taxed in the source country.
This is one of the key issues driving the OECD's BEPS programme, which Spain has been quick to adopt, along with the EU directives which are ultimately aimed at the same target: making it more difficult for taxpayers to legally shift profits to low-tax jurisdictions.
The willingness of the Spanish authorities to aggressively target multinationals which it believes are not paying their fair share can be explained in a number of ways. "There is a combination of factors, a political concern and an economic concern, they have lost revenues which they may have otherwise had, and they may also want to close the gaps in the law that do exist, to prevent base erosion and profit shifting," said Vizcaino.
One adviser said: "The tax authorities in Spain need to show that they are capable of acting against the companies who occupy some kind of monopoly position, they can almost do what they want because of the monopoly position they do not suffer from a reputational risk and the perception may be that they are untouchable."
Plaza Pablo Ruiz Picasso, 1
28020 Madrid, Spain
Tel: +34 91 582 09 00
Fax: +34 91 514 51 80
Luis Fernando Guerra
About the firm:
Deloitte Abogados is a tax and legal advisory firm with over 40 years of experience, and is one of the most recognised firms in the Spanish legal arena. The firm is among the 10 legal and tax advisory firms in Spain by revenue (this year Deloitte Spain has grown by 6,58 percent despite the complex economic environment). Besides, it has the distinct feature of being part of the network of Deloitte member firms. At present, 731 professionals, of whom 50 are partners, work at Deloitte Abogados, providing advice to a large number of Spanish companies, and located in 20 offices distributed throughout the country. Specifically, the Tax department of Deloitte Abogados is composed of more than 400 professionals led by 33 partners. Luis Fernando Guerra, managing partner of the entire Law Firm, is a globally recognised tax advisor specialising in the financial sector.
As a multidisciplinary firm, the main business of our Tax department covers all matters connected with tax advice. Through Deloitte's multidisciplinary teams, which operate at both national and international level, we seek to identify trends and areas where we can be of better service to our clients. This is particularly relevant in this age of total tax transparency.
As more and more pressure is placed on companies and their boards of directors in the area of taxation, it is that we help them keep up with business trends and understand how those trends link in with trends in taxations.
The pillars of Deloitte Abogados' success are:
As a result of the leading role that Deloitte Abogados is currently playing as tax advisor, it has been awarded as the Best Spanish Transfer Pricing Firm in the last European Tax Awards by ITR. There, it also received the Best Consumer Tax Deal of the Year for the merging of three different Coke bottlers into Coca-Cola European Partners. Besides, Deloitte Abogados is also past winner in the Transfer Pricing category (2009, 2010, 2012) and in Tax Firm of the Year 2014. In 2015 Deloitte Abogados was awarded Best Tax Advisor in the Financial Services (Deal of the Year) and the Banking sector (Deal of the Year) also from ITR.
Additionally, as a firm forming part of the Deloitte worldwide network of member firms, the Firm offers a multidisciplinary approach and established specialisation in international taxation. Deloitte Spain leverages the international network of Deloitte member firms present in over 150 countries and encompassing over 25,000 tax professionals to advise Spanish businesses in all tax-related matters beyond our borders.
Other offices in Spain
A Coruña, Alicante, Barcelona, Bilbao, Granada, Huesca, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Málaga, Mallorca, Murcia, Oviedo, Pamplona, San Sebastián, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Sevilla, Valencia, Valladolid, Vigo and Zaragoza.
Plaza Pablo Ruiz Picasso, 1
Tel: +34 915 727 200
Mediterranean Regional Tax Leader
Country Tax Leader
Tel: +34 915 727 482
Tax Market Leader
Tel: +34 915 727 485
Business Tax Services
Tel: +34 91572 74 14
Víctor Gómez de la Cruz
Tel: +34 915 727 385
Tel: +34 915 727 408
Global Compliance and Reporting
Tel: +34 915 72 77 17
Tel: +34 915 727 889
Tel: +34 915 727 421
Tel: +34 915 727 485
Email: ramon.palacinsotillos @es.ey.com
International Tax Services Core
Tel: +34 915 727 570
Tax Accounting and Risk Advisory Services (TARAS)
Juan Angel Cobo de Guzmán
Tel: +34 915 727 443
Tel: +34 915 727 383
People Advisory Services (PAS)
Tel: +34 915 674 077
Operating Model Effectiveness
Tel: +34 915 7272 93
Felix Plasencia Sanchez
Tel: +34 915 727 504
28001 Madrid, Spain
Tel: +34 91 514 52 00
Fax: +34 91 399 24 08
Executive Chairman and Managing Partner: Fernando Vives
Senior Partner: Ricardo Gómez
Head of Tax: Eduardo Abad
Number of professionals: 1,410
*As of 31 December 2015
Other Offices in Spain:
A Coruña, Alicante, Barcelona, Bilbao, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Logroño, Málaga, Murcia, Oviedo, Palma de Mallorca, Pamplona, San Sebastián, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Sevilla, Valencia, Valladolid, Vigo, Vitoria, Zaragoza.
Other Offices Worldwide:
Bogota, Brussels, Casablanca, Lima, Lisbon, London, Mexico City, New York, Oporto, Pekin, Santiago de Chile, Shanghai, São Paulo, Warsaw.
Garrigues belongs to and is a founder member of Taxand, the first global organisation providing access to over 2,000 leading tax advisors and more than 400 partners across nearly 50 countries.
Tax practice areas:
Juan Reig, Eduardo Abad
Ramón Tejada, Eduardo Abad
Juan Reig, Juan Luis Zayas, Gonzalo Gallardo
José Manuel Vázquez, Juan Luis Zayas
Human Capital Services
Salvador Espinosa de los Monteros, Eduardo Gómez de Salazar
Eduardo Abad, Jorge Moreira
Angel Calleja, Luis M. Viñuales, Vicente Bootello
Ramón Tejada, Jorge Moreira
Mergers & Acquisitions
Ricardo Gómez, Juan Luis Zayas, Pilar Navalón
Luis Guerreiro, Juan Reig
Ignacio Guerra, Luis Manuel Viñuales, Jose M. Vázquez
Ignacio Guerra, Abelardo Delgado, Eduardo Gardeta, Esther Zamarriego
Ángel Calleja, Mario Ortega
Value Added Tax
Tax Corporate Governance
Ricardo Gómez, José Vicente Iglesias
EU Tax Law
Languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish.
Edificio Torre Europa
Pº de la Castellana, 259 C
Tel: +34 91 456 34 00
Managing Partner KPMG Abogados
Senior Partner KPMG Abogados
Over 750 professionals in 12 main Spanish cities
Corporate Tax Services
Julio César García, Itziar Galindo, Jesús Delgado, Fernando Marcos, Nicolás Sierra, Leopoldo Delgado
Customs and Indirect Tax
Natalia Pastor, Juan José Blanco
Global Transfer Pricing
Montserrat Trapé, Vicente Durán
International Corporate Tax
Carolina del Campo, Jose Antonio Tortosa, Carlos Heredia
Merger & Acquisitions
Carlos Marin, Joaquim Torruella
Outsourcing & Compliance
Miguel Arias, Marc Basomba
Miguel Arias, Sergio Gonzalez Anta
EU Tax Law and Tax Litigation
Julio César García
Uría Menéndez – Proença de Carvalho Edifício Rodrigo Uría
Rua Duque de Palmela, 23
Tel: +351 21 030 86 00
Fax: +351 21 030 86 01
Contact: Filipe Romão, Marta Pontes
Rua do Campo Alegre, 830 - 3º /sala 12
Tel: +351 22 030 86 00
Fax: +351 22 030 86 01
Contact: Miguel Durham Agrellos
Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, Valencia, London, Brussels, Frankfurt, New York, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Lima, Santiago de Chile, Bogotá, São Paulo, Beijing.
Rafael Fuster Tozer, Jesús López Tello, Rafael García Llaneza, Guillermo Canalejo Lasarte, Víctor Viana Barral, Miguel T. Cremades Schulz, Gloria Marín Benítez
Avenida Diagonal, 514
Tel: +34 93 416 51 00
Fax:+34 93 416 51 11
Luis Viñuales, Carlos Durán and Miguel Morales
Bilbao, Valencia, London, Brussels, Lisbon, Porto, Frankfurt, New York, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Lima, Santiago de Chile, Bogotá, São Paulo, Beijing.
|Corporate Income Tax||25%||A|
|Capital Gains Tax||0%||19%||B|
|Net Operating Losses (years)|
|Carryforward||0||Without time limit F|
|Royalties from, for example, patents, know-how||0%||24%|
|Branch Remittance Tax||0%||19%|
Allen & Overy in Spain is led by Carlos Albinana a well-respected tax professional with more than 20 years of experience working on domestic and international tax issues for a range of clients. The team deals with a range of issues but are noted for work in international taxation, M&A, investment fund management, transactional tax, capital markets and asset finance.
The firm advises large and small domestic and international privately and publicly held companies from a range of industries, notably banking and finance, energy, insurance, manufacturing, retail, and TMT, among others.
Altalex in Spain has strong experience in advising private clients, family businesses and high net-worth individuals, as well as being particularly strong when it comes to advising firms involved in technology.
The firm offers both legal and tax support, particularly to medium-sized enterprises, multinational companies and Spanish holdings from the real estate and tourism industries.
In June 2016, the Barcelona-based firm hired Maria Manzano as a partner and opened an office in Madrid.
Arco Abogados is led by Francisco Franch who heads a team which includes five partners and 28 other fee earners, of whom eight cover indirect tax, 10 corporate tax, seven tax disputes and litigation, and eight who cover tax compliance and accounting.
The team advises domestic and international clients on a range of tax and transfer pricing issues. Notable industries include hospitality and tourism, FMCG, financial services, manufacturing, healthcare and pharmaceuticals as well as energy and utilities, among other sectors. The firm is the Spanish member of WTS Alliance.
Ashurst in Spain is led by Eduardo Gracia who leads a team of two partners and six other tax professionals. Five team members cover indirect tax, five cover corporate tax, three cover tax disputes and one covers tax compliance and accounting.
The firm is particularly strong when advising clients in the financial services sector, but it also advises clients in manufacturing, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, FMCG and TMT as well as transport and education.
Ashurst in Spain prides itself on being a tax department in a position to provide comprehensive tax advice to national and international corporations that covers everything from structuring to audit support and litigation services.
Baker & McKenzie in Spain is led by Rogrigo Ogea, who leads a specialised team involved in financial services, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, energy, real estate and private equity.
Professionals at the firm are praised for their ability in preparing for tax inspections and audits, as well as their expertise in corporate taxation, customs, domestic and international tax legislation and the intersection between the two.
Baker Tilly in Spain is particularly strong advising domestic and international clients of all kinds on the tax and legal aspects of corporate and individual tax, accounting, international tax, indirect tax, tax litigation support, double tax mitigation and advice on EU rulings. It is particularly active advising pharmaceutical companies.
Clifford Chance in Spain's tax practice is led by Pablo Serrano de Haro. The firm offers clients a range of tax services, notably corporate tax, M&A and joint-venture tax, cross-border transactions, corporate restructuring, demergers, initial public offerings (IPOs) and secondary offerings, private equity, transfer pricing and indirect tax.
The firm advises clients from a range of industries but notable ones include the financial services, retail, manufacturing and FMCG sectors.
Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira in Spain is led by Alejandro Escoda, who leads a tax team comprised of 46 partners and 215 other professionals, 50 of whom cover indirect tax, 120 of whom cover corporate tax, 25 of whom cover tax disputes and litigation and 20 of whom cover tax compliance and accounting. Clients include world-leading and well-recognised Spanish and international companies and multinationals.
The firm's clients are drawn from a wide range of industries, including financial services, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), healthcare and pharmaceuticals, hospitality and tourism, technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) and manufacturing.
The firm combines a large tax and fiscal practice with the ability to provide in-depth and tailored tax advice on a variety of complex tax matters. Through its work with high-calibre multinational groups, the firm has an intimate knowledge of the most efficient tax structures to minimise the legal and reputational risk to their clients. Aside from this, the firm is well-connected internationally and has the ability to work effectively across borders to deliver top-quality tax advice that takes full account of its clients changing needs and business circumstances.
Deloitte Abogados in Spain is led by Luis Fernando Guerra, who leads a team of 51 partners and 224 other tax professionals to deliver a tax service that is well regarded in the Spanish market. The firm has 22 people working in the area of VAT and indirect tax, 132 who are competent in the area of corporate tax, nine who specialise in tax disputes and litigation proceedings and 61 who cover tax compliance and accounting.
This year saw the firm engaged in a number of impressive and complex tax deals encompassing a wide range of tax and corporate issues, the firm advises clients primarily in the financial services, FMCG, hospitality and tourism, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, TMT and manufacturing sectors.
A key contact at the firm is Brian Leonard, a partner in Deloitte based in Madrid, who has 18 years' experience of advising clients in Spain on a host of domestic and international tax issues. Leonard worked for Deloitte in Glasgow, UK, before moving to Spain 18 years ago.
At Dentons in Spain a key contact is José Ramón Vizcaino head of and counsel of the tax department. He concentrates on tax advisory services to Spanish and foreign companies in relation to direct and indirect taxation. Vizcaino has 10 years of experience advising on corporate and M&A tax, tax planning in domestic and cross-border activities. He has advised in a number of sectors, in particular, energy, telecoms, private equity and investment funds.
He leads a team of five other tax professionals all of whom are competent to advise in indirect tax including VAT as well as corporate tax, with two being competent to advise on tax disputes and litigation and two on tax compliance and accounting.
DLA Piper in Spain's tax practice is led by Carlos Rodríguez, a professional with more than 20 years of experience advising domestic and international privately- and publicly-held companies and multinational groups on a range of tax and legal issues.
DLA Piper is particularly strong in matters relating to Spanish and international tax legislation, which complements its support in client compliance, conducted thorough reviews and investigations of corporate structures from a tax perspective, and tax litigation.
EY in Spain is led by Federico Linares, who heads a team of 555 tax professionals and 35 partners. This year the team was engaged in advising a client on the tax implications of the sale of part of the business using the new law on Spanish Corporate Income Tax.
The team at EY works with a range of clients from industries including information technology, education, energy and utilities, financial services, FMCG, hospitality and tourism, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, TMT, transport including aerospace, among others.
A key contact at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in Spain is Silvia Paternai, who heads the firm's global tax practice and is based in Madrid. The firm primarily works on matters related to corporate tax, international tax planning, transactional tax, spin-offs, joint ventures, initial public offerings (IPOs), equity and debt capital markets, securitisations and tax litigation.
The firm represents clients from a range of industries, but the primary focus as with Freshfields worldwide, is in the financial services sector.
Garrigues, Taxand Spain is led by well-respected tax partner Eduardo Abad, who leads a team which includes 89 partners and 336 other professionals at one of the most respected tax legal departments in Spain.
This year saw the firm engaged in a number of high-value, complex and innovative tax structuring cases. The firm is particularly active in the financial services, telecoms and IT, energy, oil and gas, private equity, real estate and retail sectors amongst many others. The firm offers a full range of international and domestic tax consultancy advice and is well spoken of by its peers in Spain.
Gómez-Acebo & Pombo is particularly active advising clients in the financial services, consumer, oil and gas, insurance, infrastructure and energy sectors. Professionals at the firm are highly competent in several key areas of tax and clients value them for their expertise and experience in M&A, transactional tax, corporate tax and tax litigation.
GTA Villamagna Abogados in Spain is led by well-respected tax professional Felipe Alonso, who leads a team covering indirect tax, corporate tax and tax disputes, and litigation on which the firm is particularly strong.
The firm has clients from a wide range of sectors but is noted for matters related to banks, commercial & professional services, financial services and insurance, and industrial engineering.
Hogan Lovells advises clients primarily in the media, banking, insurance, finance, real estate, hospitality, private equity, energy and aerospace industries. The tax team is competent and experienced in several areas of taxation and has multi-disciplinary abilities including debt structuring, financing and accounting, corporate and personal income tax, and tax planning for cross-border transactions.
KPMG Abogados is led by managing partner Maria José Aguilo, a well-respected tax professional who leads a team with broad tax, legal and economic expertise and proficiency in Spanish tax law. The firm helps clients in compliance with their corporate tax obligations, including those related to R&D, patent box management and implementing tax-efficient structures.
Landwell is the Spanish iteration of PwC. The firm assists clients from a range of industries on matters relating to transfer pricing, VAT and indirect taxes, local and regional taxation, tax litigation and disputes.
Its clients include domestic and international companies, individuals and multinationals and the team is competent to deal with a wide range of tax, accounting and audit functions.
Latham & Watkins in Spain's tax practice is led by Jordi Domínguez, a well-respected tax professional who works with two other colleagues in Madrid and dozens more throughout Europe to assist clients on a range of tax and transfer pricing issues. The Madrid associates are involved in advising Latham & Watkins clients worldwide who require advice on their obligations under Spanish law. Likewise, they involve tax associates across the world when Spanish clients need tax advice on a specific jurisdiction.
The team is recognised in tax and across the corporate law practice area and regarded by its peers in Spain.
Linklaters in Spain's tax department is led by Javier García-Pita. The team focuses on corporate tax, with a particular emphasis on international tax planning, corporate finance, and the tax aspects of capital markets and the tax implications of M&A.
The firm combines tax advisory and structuring advice, with a well-respected litigation and dispute resolution service as well as covering international tax and the tax implications of investment vehicles.
érez-Llorca in Spain assists clients in a wide range of tax and legal issues from a number of industries including insurance, leisure and tourism, private equity, transport and logistics, banking and financial services, energy and natural resources, infrastructure, real estate, and TMT amongst others. The firm offers services in all areas of taxation including direct and indirect taxation, international tax, tax structuring, global compliance, transactional tax, tax controversy, wealth management.
Ramón y Cajal Abogados' practice can advise clients including small and large domestic and international publicly- and privately-held companies on a range of tax issues including corporate tax planning for mergers, demergers, share exchanges and non-monetary contributions, through to intricate activities relating to group restructuring, local taxation, VAT and customs, transfer pricing and tax controversy.
Simmons & Simmons tax advisers are active in a number of areas but are particularly noted for their abilities in: asset management and investment funds; private equity including support in distressed debt fund management; banking; infrastructure and construction; and technology, media and telecommunications. The firm provides a full range of tax services, with a focus in M&A and private equity.
Uría Menéndez in Spain is an extremely well spoken of tax practice which is led by Rafael Fuster, who, along with 12 other partners and 40 other tax professionals, leads a team that advises clients, including high-calibre multinational groups on a range of complex tax legal matters.
Key industries for the firm include, financial services, energy and utilities, information technology, manufacturing, FMCG, healthcare and pharmaceuticals. Uría Menéndez is proud of its capability in offering stand-alone tax services as well as tax services in support of other business areas, giving it the ability to offer tax services to clients in radically differing circumstances and tailoring its services to their clients' specific needs.
Ventura Garcés & López-Ibor in Spain offers a wide range of services including M&A, planning, litigation, audits and tax-efficient structuring for cross-border transactions. Advisers at the firm boast experience in international tax and corporate law and wide range of in-depth knowledge across several business sectors. A key contact at the firm is Lourdes Pérez-Luque the head of the tax department.
|Tier 1 - Spain|
|Cuatrecasas, Goncalves Pereira|
|Garrigues, Taxand Spain|
|Tier 2 - Spain|
|Baker & McKenzie|
|Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer|
|Latham & Watkins|
|Tier 3 - Spain|
|Allen & Overy|
|Gómez-Acebo & Pombo|
|Ramón y Cajol Abogados|
|Tier 4 - Spain|
|Simmons & Simmons|
|Ventura Garcés & López-Ibor|