Deadline for the submission of the second return on assets and rights located abroad
March 31 marks the deadline for the submission of form 720 for 2013, which poses certain added difficulties when compared to 2012, although there is always the possibility that, once the figures have been totted up, there is nothing to declare. Thus, it should be borne in mind that there are two thresholds below which there is no need to submit a return: (i) a threshold that rules out the need to declare each type of asset, of €50,000; and (ii) a second threshold whereby, once an asset type has been recorded in the 2012 form, it need not be included in the 2013 form unless its value has been increased by more than €20,000 (the law refers to increases rather than variations!).
But watch out! There are no quantitative thresholds in the case of assets with respect to which, during the year in question, there is no longer an obligation to submit a return (e.g., if an account of €55,000 was declared in 2012 and canceled in 2013, the canceled account will have to be declared even if the balance now stands at €49,000).
Elsewhere, it should also not be forgotten that the form can also be avoided where any of the qualitative exceptions provided for in the legislation are met. For instance, there is no need to declare any assets duly accounted for or notified to the Spanish tax authorities by the relevant financial institutions.
Where reference is made to “asset types”, this covers each of the categories defined in the legislation: (a) accounts at financial institutions, (b) securities, rights, insurance and income, and (c) real estate and any rights thereover. These assets must be declared by their owners and beneficial owners (as well, in the case of bank accounts, as their representatives, authorized parties or beneficiaries, or whoever holds powers of disposal over such accounts).
The biggest complication arising in the 2013 return derives precisely from the obligation to declare each and every one of the assets held in 2012 (and which were declared) and no longer held in 2013, above all in the case of a securities portfolio. The State Tax Agency appears to have accepted that, where everything is reinvested in assets recorded in the form, there is no need to include that circumstance. However, it has also stated that, where such divestments must be declared, this must be done by date of divestment.
To conclude, it should not be forgotten that, although we are dealing with a formal declaration, any failure to submit the return or any incomplete, inaccurate or late submission or submission by means other than electronic, IT or telematic means, will give rise to the application of a highly onerous disciplinary regime.
Garrigues Tax Department