Spanish taxation possibly in breach of the EEA Agreement

Spanish taxation possibly in breach of the EEA Agreement

Following a complaint to the European Commission filed by LOGOS, the European Commission published in the beginning of March, as part of its infringement decisions where the Commission is pursuing legal actions against EU member states, a decision to send a letter of formal notice to Spain requesting it to ensure equal treatment of capital gains from shares for taxpayers resident in Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein.

After analysis by the tax law and EU/EEA law experts at LOGOS, the complaint was initially filed under Spanish law as the capital gains of an Icelandic company were subject to Spanish taxation where such gains would have been exempt had they been derived by either a Spanish company or an EU resident company.  LOGOS maintained that this was a breach of the relevant provisions of the EEA Agreement and, judging from the letter of formal notice the Commission shares that view.  This can be of interest for any ltd. companies in the three EFTA states party to the EEA agreement that have been taxed in Spain on capital gains from Spanish shares.

This is one of the very few cases where the European Commission has expressed its views on a breach by an EU State of EU/EEA Agreement that applies only to the three EFTA States Iceland.

For more information on this matter please contact Jon Elvar Gudmundsson