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The Spanish Lawyer Online
The Spanish Lawyer Online

Antonio Flores’ Blog

Thoughts about laws and regulations which affect foreigners in Spain


Archive for May, 2014

Wincham International Limited: Legal Notice

May 16th, 2014

It is hereby informed to the public at large that on the 14/11/2013 the Directorate General for Taxation (DGT), by means of Tax Binding Consultation V3350-13, concluded that a scheme consisting on transferring Spanish property to a UK-based company, with the purpose of avoiding Spanish Inheritance Taxes (IHT), is not legal.

The following statement has been issued by the DGT:

“In relation to the tax scheme consisting in legally transferring a property to a UK-based company, with the sole purpose of avoiding IHT in Spain through relocation of the taxation of the shares of the said company to the UK, there cannot be a favourable response by this Tax Department in relation to the lawfulness of the scheme. Only via the appropriate inspection procedures will the Tax Office be able to establish whether the scheme conforms to the law or, as the case may be, infringe it in which case, the Tax Office will be able to regularize the anomaly by initiating the required procedures to combat tax fraud.”

This publication of this notice is a response to the offering made by a number of service providers (SP), most notably Wincham International Limited, who are promising that Spanish IHT can be legally avoided by transferring a Spanish property into a UK Private Limited company.

Please be advised that until the DGT does not officially rule otherwise, the employment of the above scheme to avoid Spanish IHT could be deemed tax evasion and, where the unpaid tax exceeds €120,000, a criminal offence.

Lawbird Legal Services already warned the public against this scheme twice, in January 2010 and in December 2010. There was no response from Wincham other than a vague statement indicating that over the years, they had attended very happy clients who were successful in avoiding IH taxes…legally.

Finally, please be warned that Wincham are advertising their services/products extensively, offering one-to-one appointments with potential customers in several Costa del Sol venues.

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Spanish Police Forces’ Operations Protocols

May 12th, 2014

Most people are aware that a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) is an arrest warrant valid throughout all member states of the European Union. Once issued, it requires another member state to arrest and transfer a criminal suspect or sentenced person to the issuing state so that the person can be put on trial or complete a detention period.

Spain, being part of the EU, is no exception when applying foreign EAWs in all its territory. But there are other types of warrants that are largely unknown and yet are used by Spanish Police Forces regularly. This the list they use, with the associated protocol code:

  • Code 1/ Ascertainment of Domicile and Whereabouts: applied when a person is being sought after to notify them, officially, of impending legal action. This warrant can mature and become an arrest warrant.
  • Code 2/ Search, Arrest and Attendance: applied when a person has allegedly committed a serious offence or a defendant has not turned up when requested to do so, either by the Police or the Courts. It is commonly known as ‘arrest warrant’.
  • Code 3/ Search, Arrest and Imprisonment: applied when a person has been convicted but later absconds.
  • Code 4/ Prohibition to leave the country: applied to persons that are subject to legal action or minors, where there is risk of parental child abduction.
  • Code 5/ Prohibition to enter the country: applied to non-EU citizens that have an entry ban.
  • Code 6/ Protection of a person: applied to people under 18 years of age or incapables.
  • Code 7/ Specific surveillance: applied to people that have a residence ban in a specific area, or are being investigated, and it includes verifying the origin, destination, itinerary, belongings, habitual domicile and identity documentation.
  • Code 8/ Discreet surveillance: without attracting attention, gather as much evidence on the suspect (as above).
  • Code 9/ Search and Arrest for Extradition: commonly carried out in cooperation with the Interpol Service or the ‘Sirene Office’. The arrested person is take to Court who will decide on the merits of the case.

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