The Treasury will launch almost 6,600 tax investigations this year to detect undeclared activities


A headquarters of the Tax Agency.

The Government expects that 6,591 investigations will be carried out in the tax area during this year to detect undeclared activities. Taking action is part of your plan to prevent and combat fraud and tax evasion. This is stated in the annex published by the European Commission on the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan of Spain, in which the Executive of Pedro Sánchez also plans for this year to increase the number of members of the Tax Agency to 26,320. The aim is to reach a workforce of dimensions closer to those that have been usual throughout its history, in which it has almost always had more than 27,000 employees, reaching maximums of around 28,000.

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The Tax Agency staff has been reduced compared to that available before the 2008 economic crisis. This situation has occurred as a result of the combination of two factors: on the one hand, the high average age of the staff, with the consequent the scenario of retirements in the coming years, and, on the other, the difficulties in hiring new staff after successive years with reduced public job offers.

In addition, within the objectives set by the Executive for this year in terms of tackling tax fraud, it is included to increase and optimize the use of computer systems in international cooperation to fight against tax fraud and evasion.

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To improve compliance with tax obligations, in particular of taxpayers who appear in the registry as foreign taxpayers, the Tax Agency will carry out a project that will use new information on taxpayers obtained in accordance with various international standards. These include the Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and the Common Reporting Standard (CRS).

The objective of the project will be that the tax data of at least 85% of registered foreign taxpayers from whom the Tax Agency has received information in 2019 have been identified and verified, so that they can be used for risk analysis at the latest on December 31, 2021.

In addition, the establishment of a cooperative model is proposed, with the aim of improving the relations of the Tax Agency with its stakeholders, such as large companies, SMEs, self-employed workers and relevant associations, as well as with the judicial system, as a means to achieve greater compliance with tax obligations. On this matter, the Tax Agency will execute in 2021 a project aimed at promoting the disclosure by multinational companies of information about their operations, which the Executive hopes may have repercussions on the taxation of these companies.

With regard to taxpayers, the Agency aims to improve cooperation and increase compliance through the preparation of 20 transparency reports in 2021. “Cooperation with judges, prosecutors and courts is expected to increase by increasing the investigations in the tax field ”, remarks the Executive.

Fraud

Within this component, it is also stipulated that the Tax Agency must present in the last quarter of 2023 an evaluation report on the law to combat tax fraud, which has already been approved by the Congress of Deputies, proposing, in view of its results, the maintenance of the measures included, their modification or deletion. However, before this date, in the last quarter of 2022, a provisional evaluation of the effects of the Anti-Fraud Law will be carried out by the Tax Agency. The objectives of this reform are to strengthen the rules against tax avoidance practices that directly affect the functioning of the internal market, as well as to modify direct and indirect taxes, certain local government taxes and the regulation of games of chance.

The reform introduces changes in the regulations aimed at establishing parameters of tax justice and facilitating actions aimed at preventing and combating fraud by strengthening tax control. Within the plan, the Government has set itself the objective of improving assistance to taxpayers and, to this end, it believes that a key element of the Tax Agency’s Strategic Plan for 2020-2023 is to improve the services provided to taxpayers through greater use of electronic platforms (the so-called ADI, Comprehensive Digital Administration).

The reform consists of the provision of new services to facilitate the processing of corporate tax, personal income tax and the imposition of VAT. The new services will include the improvement of communication methods, technical assistance services and consultation of user data and assistance in relation to tax returns and their processing.

It is planned that the implementation of these services will be carried out progressively in three phases during the period 2021-2023, with the aim that more and more clients choose to use electronic services instead of going to their local tax offices. With these measures, the Agency aims to make it easier for taxpayers to comply with the tax code and, in this way, increase tax revenues. To this end, a reinforcement of the assistance provided to taxpayers is foreseen as of this year, with an improvement in the face of Web Companies and access to it for at least 1,666,123 taxpayers and Web Income for 1,779,505 taxpayers.

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