On October 29th, AmChamSpain held a fiscal forum to discuss the updates provided by the last modification of the Convention to avoid Double Taxation between the United States and Spain and prevent tax evasion.
The opening of the seminar was starred by Jaime Malet, Chairman of AmChamSpain, Alain Cuenca, General Director of the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Christy Agor, Economic Counselor of the US Embassy in Spain. Mr. Malet mentioned the years of effort the Chamber has invested in leading this process, which since 2006 has been one of the driving forces of this modification.
He also thanked the involvement of the representatives of different law firms that formed the working group within the AmChamSpain Fiscal Committee to achieve the amendment of this Agreement: Baker & McKenzie, Cuatrecasas, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Garrigues, KPMG, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Uría Menéndez. “With the ratification of the Protocol for the modification of the Double Taxation Agreement, years of blockade are left behind, allowing companies to increase their internationalization plans” stated Christy Agor, the Economic Counselor of the US embassy in Spain.
Luis Manuel Viñuales, Partner of Garrigues and Ana Fernández-Daza, Minister of Finance of the Embassy of Spain in the US, reviewed the context of international taxation and the process of ratification and signature of the Protocol. In addition, Férnandez-Daza pointed out the important role of companies in obtaining their ratification, among them, he mentioned Iberdrola, Banco Santander, Consentino, Gestamp and the Acerinox Group.
In the first panel on the benefits provided by the modifications of the Agreement to avoid Double Taxation, the updates regarding dividends and interests were discussed, as well as the advantages it offers to companies’ branches, transparent entities, pension funds and REITs. This panel was attended by tax experts from PricewaterhouseCoopers, Uría Menéndez, Baker McKenzie, KPMG, BBVA, Procter & Gamble and the Acerinox Group.
In the second panel, the challenges for the application of the Agreement were addressed. It mainly focused on the mandatory arbitration clause, the tests mentioned in the article 17th and the compatibility – or in the case of ‘BITs’ (Bilateral Investment Treaties), incompatibility – with US law. Cuatrecasas, EY, and Deloitte shared their observations while Elena de las Morenas, Deputy Director of International Taxation of the Ministry of Finance and representatives of 3M and Iberdrola shared practical advice for private companies.
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