“Plusvalia” tax, Facebook and others; round up of recent Spanish legal issues
Spanish Courts have passed a few rulings in the past couple of weeks that are certainly noteworthy, the most important of which has made it fast to the headlines: the definitive challenge to the incomprehensible “plusvalia” tax, a levy that inexplicably is demanded by local authorities irrespective of whether property owners make, or not, a profit when selling.
According to a recent ruling by the Spanish Constitutional Tribunal, it is in unconstitutional to “tax not just a potential economic capacity but specifically, one that is fictitious, virtual or inexistent.”
The Constitutional Tribunal has ordered the legal definition of the plusvalia tax to be altered to embody the constitution principle of “economic capacity” to reflect that “only where a sale is conducted with profit can this tax be imposed on sellers”, allowing tax payers to “expose with all available evidence a situation where there is no increase in the value”.
Already several Courts have ordered Town Halls to reimburse this tax to property sellers who sold well below the price when they bought, a scenario that thousands could benefit from.
Two rulings should make many think twice before posting: the Provincial Audience in Pontevedra (Galicia) has ordered a father to seek consent from his ex before uploading children’s photos on the site.
For its part, the Supreme Court has fined an online newspaper with fifteen thousand Euros for publishing Facebook personal photos taken from an account that was public. According to the high Court, the publication of photos in an open public account is for the purpose of sharing with third parties, but not for mass media consumption. But whereas the Court deemed the right to one’s personal image was effectively interfered with, this was not applicable to the right to privacy or dignity of the claimant.
Supreme Court tells lawyers to write less
The Civil Section of the Supreme Court has ordered lawyers to not exceed 25 pages in their appeal writs, and to use Times New Roman font size 12. According to the magistrates, excessively long writs are unnecessary and hinder the institutional function of this Tribunal. Failing to observe these norms can cause the claimant to lose his right to appeal!