25 September, 2017

3 tax changes for 2018 to keep in mind in Spain

Despite it is too early to conclude on most of these changes up until the texts are definitive, it is strongly recommendable that the final texts resolve the recurring problems that taxpayers face when complying with taxes.

The end of our holydays reminds us of several developments of tax changes, whose evolution is worth knowing well in advance. The deadline for the accomplishment of formal reporting obligations may enter into force imminently, in January 2018. A future harmonization of the taxes currently transferred to the Spanish regions (Comunidades Autónomas), such as Inheritance or Wealth tax is currently under study.

With respect to this latter change, on July 26 a report prepared by an Experts’ Committee was presented to the Spanish Government so that it can analyse it and determine which of its proposals may finally be adopted by the Spanish tax system.

✔ A Ministerial Order in draft anticipates the filing deadline of several tax returns to the month of January, such as the following ones affecting a greater number of taxpayers:

  • Form 184 (Annual tax return for companies qualified as flow through entities); and,
  • Form 347 (Annual tax return of transactions with third parties).

It is expected that this change will affect fiscal year 2017, and that these tax returns will need to be filed in January 2018. These changes are based on the need to standardize the filing period for the reporting tax returns and improve the quality of fiscal data. However, there are several reporting obligations already coinciding in the month of January of each year. Hence, this change would concentrate in excess the taxpayers’ obligations at the beginning of the year.

✔ Another change still in draft relates to the change of the VAT rules, to facilitate the adoption of the new SII system for the electronic keeping of the VAT Registry books. Such would be the case of the authorization, by the Spanish Tax Office, to eliminate part of the information that is currently mandatory to be kept in the VAT registry books or to facilitate invoices’ summary registries when the administrative or commercial practices within a certain business segment justify it.

✔ Last but not least, there could be changes on the horizon as a result of the Experts’ Report on the Regional financing model that recommends, after analysing the taxes transferred to the Spanish Comunidades Autónomas:

  • Harmonizing the taxable basis of such taxes, limiting the regulatory powers of the regions to the tax rates as well as to tax credits or reliefs;
  • Updating the rules of certain taxes and establishing exemptions State wide, in the area of Inheritance and Wealth tax.

Despite it is too early to conclude on most of these changes up until the texts are definitive, it is strongly recommendable that the final texts resolve the recurring problems that taxpayers face when complying with taxes.


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