Spain – tax measures in response to COVID-19

14 March 2020, The Spanish Government published its RD 463/2020 whereby it officially declares the “State of Alarm” for managing the sanitary crisis in all the territory of the country. Initial duration of 15 calendar days (can be extended if necessary).

It means:

1) AUTOMATIC SUSPENSION OF ALL JUDICIAL TERMS AND DEADLINES

Terms and deadlines in connection with all Judicial Procedures substantiated before Spanish Courts for all jurisdictions (including the contentious-administrative courts in charge of all tax matters) are automatically SUSPENDED/INTERRUPTED as from 14 March 2020. Terms and deadlines will be restarted as soon as the State of Alarm is declared ended.

2) AUTOMATIC SUSPENSION OF ALL ADMINISTRATIVE TERMS AND DEADLINES

Terms and deadlines in connection with all Administrative Procedures (including all tax procedures) are automatically SUSPENDED/INTERRUPTED as from 14 March 2020. Terms and deadlines will be restarted as soon as the State of Alarm is declared ended.

It seems as if this measure does NOT affect to the filing of tax returns (including VAT returns), e.g. February VAT return still to be submitted by next 30 March. For automatic tax deferral available for SMEs and professionals please refer to my previous e-mail sent last Friday.

3) AUTOMATIC SUSPENSION OF LIMITATION PERIODS

Statute of limitations and deadlines for exercising whatever actions or rights are automatically SUSPENDED as from 14 March while in force the “State of Alarm”.

It seems as if this could affect, e.g. the 4 years term in order to excercise the right to deduct input VAT quotas even though the deadline for filing VAT returns is not deemed interrupted (see above), or the 9 months term in order to apply for a non-residents VAT refund under Directive 2008/9/CE. We will carefully follow up any further guidance/clarifiaction by the STA on this particular topic.

4) CUSTOMS TRAFFIC

Customs Authorities will adopt whatever measures are needed in order to guarantee customs traffic in all entry and border check-points at ports and airports. In this particular respect, priority will be given to essential goods reason why customs procedures in connection with the rest of the goods (not deemed essential) may suffer delays.

Image Source: http://unsplash.com

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