Through the goodwill tax deduction, Spain offers the possibility to annually deduct 5% of the goodwill’s value, (1% for tax periods starting from 2012 to 2015) from the Corporate income tax result, even though goodwill cannot be amortized under Spanish Gaap.
The Spanish tax reform that has entered into force as of Jan. 01, 2015, has maintained this tax allowance for goodwill generated as a consequence of an asset deal. It also provides for a transitory regime with respect to goodwill arising from mergers carried out prior to Jan. 01, 2015 and to portfolio interests acquired prior to such date.
Let’s see more of what the goodwill tax deduction is about in relation to asset deals.
✔Under Spanish Gaap, the goodwill tax deduction is not amortized but its deterioration must be checked on an annual basis.
✔From the Spanish Corporate income tax view-point, we must distinguish between:
A. Goodwill amortization deriving from an asset deal is tax deductible, subject to the following conditions, for fiscal years starting:
- Prior to Jan. 01, 2105, the tax deduction was conditioned to the allocation of the amount deducted to an unavailable reserve. Goodwill acquired from another group company did not qualify for this deduction.
- As of Jan. 01, 2015, goodwill is tax-deductible irrespective of whether or not it has been acquired from another group company. The allocation to an unavailable reserve is no longer required.
B. Accounting deterioration:
- Prior to Jan. 01, 2105, the Spanish regulations did not provide for any limitation, in so far as it could be justified for accounting purposes. Only the General Directorate of taxes had interpreted that if the intangible asset was deteriorated in a given fiscal year, then the tax amortization practiced in prior years should be adjusted.
- As of Jan. 01, 2015: the possibility to deduct accounting deterioration no longer applies.
✔ Consequently, while the requirements to deduct tax amortization have been relaxed as from Jan. 01, 2015, the accounting deterioration has been restricted as it will only have tax effects in fiscal years starting prior to Jan. 01, 2015.
✔ This change in the regulations is of particular importance when taking care of the tax closing of fiscal year 2014, as it may imply our last chance to fiscally deduct the accounting deterioration of this intangible asset,