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TAX REFORMS TO INCLUDE PUBLICATION OF DEBTORS

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The Council of Ministers has submitted the Reform of the General Tax Act to parliament.

The list will include taxpayers with outstanding debts and penalties in excess of one million euros. The government also analysed the regulation to allow personal data to be published on those convicted of tax offences.

Furthermore, it presented the future Highway Act, which will prevent land from being reclassified during the planning stage of new roads.

The Council of Ministers has submitted the Reform of the General Tax Act to parliament. The three principal aims of the new legislation are to step up the fight against fraud, reduce conflicts and increase legal certainty, explained the Minister for the Treasury and the Public Administration Services, Cristóbal Montoro.

One of the main new aspects of the text is the publication of the list of taxpayers with outstanding debts and sanctions in excess of one million euros. Cristóbal Montoro pointed out that, following the recommendation made by the Council of State, the list will not contain tax debts and sanctions that are deferred or suspended.

Interested parties will be granted a plea phase prior to publication, and any final decision can be challenged through the administrative courts.

The government plans to publish the first list of debtors in the fourth quarter of the year to include those in this situation as at 31 July 2015.

Fight against tax fraud

Another noteworthy measure in the field of the fight against fraud is the "anti-abuse regulation" – a new tax offence that seeks to penalise actions or business transactions carried out with intent to defraud, which are substantially similar to others already classified previously as abusive by the public administration for going against public criteria.

Furthermore, the law extends the powers for investigation and verification – the deadline for verifying tax bases, tax payable or deductions will be extended to ten years – steps up actions by tax administration bodies and strengthens the system for offences and penalties to combat smuggling.

With the aim of increasing legal certainty, the draft law sets new deadlines for inspection proceedings: a longer time period is established (18 months in general and 27 months for particularly complex cases), while limiting the grounds for suspending the calculation of this period and removing delays not attributable to the public authorities. It also contains measures to speed up actions by the financial-administrative courts, such as boosting electronic procedures.

In order to reduce conflicts in this area, the new legislation extends the powers of the tax authorities to hand down interpretive or explanatory provisions and those who adhere to these criteria are exempt from any form of liability deriving therefrom.

List of tax evaders

On a complementary basis, the Council of Ministers analysed the Draft Constitutional Law regulating access to information contained in rulings on tax fraud. The text will now be forwarded for analysis by the General Council of the Judiciary.

Cristóbal Montoro remarked that the government has also followed the recommendation of the Council of State on this issue which deals with publishing the personal details of those found guilty of offences against the Treasury (including insolvency offences and smuggling to the detriment of the Treasury). This will apply to all sentences following the entry into force of the new law.

The minister specified that the publication of sentences will not be in full, but only those aspects that are strictly necessary to disclose the tax offence, thus guaranteeing the fundamental rights to honour and privacy, as well as protection of personal data.

According to Cristóbal Montoro, as a result of these initiatives, the government is meeting its commitment to publish the list of debtors and list of tax evaders while modernising procedures "to help improve relations between the public authorities and the taxpay

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/47031/

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