Javier Hurtado, Director of the Tax Inspection Department of the Spanish Tax Agency, opened the event and welcomed the attendees. He took the opportunity to emphasise the importance of improving compliance with reporting obligations, and to ensure that checks carried out by financial institutions help to make the system more transparent for the Spanish Tax Agency. Then, Javier Tello, Counsel of Pérez-Llorca’s Tax practice, opened the first discussion panel on the ‘New Levies on Financial Institutions’. Well-known figures from the sector took part in the panel, including Juan de Villota, Director of Tax Advice at CECA and Cecabank; Manuel García, Director of Tax Consultancy at Caixabank; and Carmen Alonso, Head of International and Financial Tax Matters at Grupo Banco Santander.
The speakers addressed the potential changes to taxation in the sector, such as the implementation of a minimum rate of corporate income tax, the introduction of a tax on financial transactions and the widening of tax bases, which, in their opinion, has become the main focus of the sector.
Fernando Hornillos, Chief Inspector of the Financial Sector at the DCGC, closed the panel by giving the Spanish Tax Agency’s opinion on the possible new levies in the financial sector.
After a brief pause for coffee, Clara Jiménez, Partner of Pérez-Llorca’s Tax practice, moderated the second discussion panel. Prestigious tax experts from the financial sector participated in the discussion panel entitled ‘Fiscal Challenges and Opportunities for Financial Institutions’, such as José María Vallejo, Tax Director at BBVA; Juan José Lagares, Tax Director at Bankia; Carlos Lázaro, Tax Director at Banco Sabadell; and Carmen González, Director of the Income Tax Area of the Spanish Banking Association (La Asociación Española de Banca, AEB). The speakers highlighted the challenges involved in existing in a global environment and the digital economy, and, in particular, adapting to a quickly evolving and ever more complex regulatory framework, as well as the importance of putting systems in place to monitor tax risks in financial institutions. Other subjects covered include the recent Directive on Tax Intermediaries (DAC6) and the negative impact that applying VAT to financial services may have on the sector.
Jesús Gascón, Director General of the Spanish Tax Agency, brought the event to a close by outlining the difficulties encountered by the Spanish Tax Agency in the face of contemporary phenomena such as the globalisation and digitalisation of the banking sector, which force the Tax Authorities to adapt to these new developments.