THE “COMPLIANCE OFFICER” FOR COMPANIES
All companies in Spain, no matter their size, number of employees, will have to hire a “Compliance Officer” or appoint a person in the company to provide this legal service.
This new thing in Spain came over from Common Law countries, such as the United Kingdom or USA, as this system has been implemented there for some years now. Despite it is quite unknown here in Spain, since 1st July 2015, as New Criminal Code came into force, all companies new to be updated and comply with Criminal Code and Corporate legislation.
Compliance Officer merges as a person in charge to supervise and control all the daily legal activities of the company, its employees, in order to prevent major offences to be committed whether by employees or employees on behalf of the company.
As above mentioned, this measure has affected all companies located in Spain, including Ltd, Inc. Or even self employed people who run a business. In small companies, the Compliance Officer might be an employee, being the accountand or administrative recommendable, but having to report to an external lawyer to check if the company comply with the Laws. In bigger companies, the Compliance Officer ust be an external body, preferebly a qualified and certified Lawyer-compliance officer, member of the Law Society and any Compliance Association based in Spain.
This Compliance Officer body became mandatory due to some changes in the Criminal Code and Anti Money Laundering Laws enacted in 2010.
The main tasks will be the following:
Offer legal planning and advice in regards to General Compliance.
Coordinate the different business sectors of the company.
Supervise accountancy and turnover.
Teach employees in order to prevent and avoid offence commission.
Issue a report every month or quarterly with the CEO or Director.
Establish and set a prevention of economical offence scheme/protocol
Set a direct report of offences in case of any suspicion.
Section 31 bis of the new Criminal Code entered this new and crucial job and obligation for businesses in Spain. Along this section we can find the responsibilities in which companies and their administrators may incurr. If the company, or its administrator or manager, or even an employee committ a fraud or money laundering or forgery, among others, the consequence and Sentence which the company may face could be, depending on the amount and responsilibity involved, the temporary closure of the company premises and offices and trading prohibition; the definite closure and liquidation of the business; an economical sanction and fine of thousands of Euros or over a million Euro.
At Bufete Padilla, we have and provide this compliance officer service to self employed people, to small businesses, mid size companies and big ones since July 2015, so any queries you may have don’t hesitate in asking us without any commitment.
Five things Spain’s ‛gag law’ will stop you doing from today.
The countdown has ended. The government’s new Citizen Safety Law went into effect on Wednesday despite widespread rejection from opposition parties and many sections of society.
“Demonstrations will be freer because they will be protected from violent elements,” claims the ruling Popular Party (PP).
But the opposition accuses the government of creating “a police state” because law enforcement officers will have the power to hand out administrative sanctions that were, until now, the sole preserve of judges.
The following are five things that will be limited by the new “gag law,” as its critics call it.
Demonstrating near Congress and the Senate
The law considers an offense any “serious perturbation of citizen security” in front of Congress, the Senate or regional assemblies, even if the legislature is not in session at the time. “But what constitutes perturbing citizen security?” wonders Greenpeace, denouncing that this decision will now be in the “arbitrary” hands of the police. This measure was introduced at the time when social protest movements such as Surround Congress arose in Spain.
Taking photographs of police officers
Video cameras have become commonplace at protests in recent years. And social networks are being used to disseminate recordings that have captured police abuse on more than one occasion, and have later been used as evidence against officers. This will be harder starting on July 1, as the Citizen Safety Law imposes penalties on “the unauthorized use of images or personal or professional information” about police officers “that could endanger their personal safety or that of their families, of protected facilities or endanger the success of a police operation.” Amnesty International has complained about this, noting that journalists and other individuals’ private recordings have occasionally helped report the use of excessive force by the police.
-Stopping a home eviction
“In the name of citizen security, the new legislation bans and criminalizes such common practices as stopping a home eviction,” says PAH, a support association for home loan borrowers in trouble. The PP once went so far as to suggest ties between PAH and the Basque terrorist group ETA. The new law will make PAH’s actions harder, as the police will be able to sanction individuals who “obstruct any authority, public employee or official corporation in the exercise of administrative or judicial agreements or resolutions.”
-Protesting from above
As per the new legislation, police officers may slap fines on anyone found “climbing buildings or monuments without authorization when there is a clear risk of damage to persons or goods.” This article seems tailor-made to stop the kind of public campaigns staged by Greenpeace, this organization notes. “In this case, the offense is committed without the need for disturbing the peace or harming citizen security,” notes a Greenpeace release. It will be enough for the police to consider that “a risk” exists.
-Peaceful resistance and sit-ins
The new law means the end of peaceful resistance, say non-profit groups. The police will be able to fine anyone who refuses to break up gatherings and demonstrations in public places after “the relevant authority” has ordered it.
-Fines of €100 to €600,000
Under the new law, minor offenses will carry fines of €100 to €600, while serious offenses are sanctioned with penalties of €601 to €30,000 and very serious offenses between €30,001 and €600,000.
THE GENERAL TAXES OFFICE THOUGHTS ON NEW IHT SCHEME
The whole legal system in Spain was waiting for the thoughts and opinion regarding the new appliction of the former illegal IHT of one of the most important Institution or Office, and this is the General Taxes Office (hereinafter DGT).
DGT issued a Resolution after a consultation made last 18th February 2015 by a Spanish Resident who was going to inherit according to a Grant of Probate issued by German Succession Laws as the death occurred in this country where the deceased made his last Will and Testament.
According to the Resolution, the Spanish resident could apply same IHT rules of the region where this person lived, as if the Probate was issued in Spain.
The last 3rd September 2014, as I have previously commented in other articles in our website, the EU Court issued a Resolution which changed completely the IHT application rules in Spain, as this Resolution literally stated that the Spanish Government was not complying with the freedom of capital rules within the EU territory and was discriminating in fiscal terms between residents and non residents in Spain.
This EU mandatory and important Resolution made Spain Government to amend the IHT law in force since 1987 and some other laws in force since 2004 and 2006. This amendment was made through the 26/2014 Act introducing a new Aditional Section which established that EU residents or nin residents in Spain should be treated equally with no discrimination at all in IHT terms, notwithstanding the residence was such territory or if assets were located in such region.
Therefore, successions or donations in which the inhertitor or donator was non resident in Spanish territory, or if succession had to do with any asset located out of Spain, for example, as in the case above mentioned dated in February 2015, which the inheritor was resident in Spain but probate and rights to inherit came from Germany, so as the deceased passed away and granted his Last Will in that Country, in this particular case the Spanish Inheritor could choose to apply the ITH law of the region where most assets where located, or if there were no assets in Spain, which was the case, he could apply the law of his residence luckylly with all the reductions and allowances, but having to submit his IHT Form to Madrid’s Non Resident IHT office eitherway.