Sometimes it is advisable to send a written enquiry to the Administration, which can be binding, on one or more aspects of applying taxes. Our office can advise you or make any queries on your behalf. We also advise you on the advisability of making a consultation.
Concerning these consultations, briefly, taxpayers can ask the Tax Administration about the tax scheme, classification or qualification that apply in each case within the period established for the exercise of rights, filing of statements or self-assessments or the fulfilment of other tax obligations. These written consultations are addressed to the appropriate body, which can answer queries from the bodies of the Tax Administration, which has powers to make decisions on tax, proposals, and interpretations. Although the time limit for the Administration to answer the consultation is six months from its presentation, failure to reply within that time limit does not imply acceptance of the criteria expressed in the consultation.
The advantage of submitting these consultations and obtaining an answer from the Administration is that these replies have binding effects on the tax administration bodies and entities responsible for applying taxes in their relationship with the taxpayer. Therefore, provided the law or jurisprudence applicable to the case is not amended, the Administration will apply the criteria expressed in the reply, provided that the consultation had been submitted before the end of the period established for the exercise of rights, the presentation of declarations or self-assessments or the fulfilment of other tax obligations. The circumstances, background and other data contained in the consultation paper have not changed. Finally, concerning the criterion of the Administration, where the response to the consultation incorporates a change of administrative standards, the competent body must motivate such change.
In addition, the Tax Administration bodies responsible for applying the taxes will use the criteria contained in the written tax consultations to any taxpayer, where similar matters are concerned; that is, there is an identity between the facts and circumstances of that obligation and those included in response to the consultation.
Regarding State authority, the Spanish Directorate of Tax responds to the consultations referred to in this subsection. In the regions, these are vested in the same bodies of the Regional Tax Administrations.
The Administration may require the taxpayer to provide such documentation or information as it deems necessary to prepare its response and, on the other hand, it may also request reports that are considered to be relevant to the formation of the criterion applied to the case raised from other management centres and agencies.
Since the replies are for information only, no appeal can be brought against them if the taxpayer does not agree. However, the Administration’s replies are not binding on the taxpayer, so that the taxpayer may act per his judgement and, if the Administration brings an administrative procedure against the taxpayer based on a written reply, the taxpayer can appeal against the administrative decision issued in application of the criteria expressed in answers to written consultations.