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News on 2017 Annual Accounts: the Obligation to Include Information on the Beneficial Owner of the Company

Salvador Balcells i Iranzo's picture
Published: 18/05/18 - Country: Spain
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The main news on the annual accounts for the year 2017 results from the Directive (EU) 2015/849 of the European Parliament and the European Council of May 20, 2015 intended to prevent the use of the financial system for money laundering or financing of terrorism. Although it was already provided for in Article 4.2 b) and c) of Law 10/2010, of April 28 on the prevention of money laundering and the financing of terrorism and developed in Article 8 of its Regulations, approved by the Royal Decree 304/2014, of May 5, the Directive of the European Union focuses on a new form in which the so-called "identification of the beneficial owner of the company" must be stated.

What is meant by ‘beneficial owner’?

In general, the term "beneficial owner" refers to any individual or group of individuals who ultimately holds or controls, directly or indirectly, a percentage higher than 25% of the share capital or voting rights of a legal entity, or who by other means, either directly or indirectly, controls the management of it."

If there is no individual who holds or controls a percentage exceeding 25% of the share capital or voting rights, then the Directors or the persons responsible for the entity's management must be identified. 

If the control is exercised indirectly through a legal entity, then said entity shall be identified. 

Who is required to provide this information in the annual accounts?

All legal entities with registered office in Spain that file their accounts with the Companies Registry (including SMEs) have the obligation to identify their beneficial owner, except for those companies listed on a market governed by Article 3.6 a) i) of the Directive and Article 9.4 of Law 10/2010, on the prevention of money laundering and financing of terrorism.

Where must this information be entered?

There is a new page in the standard form in which the identifying data of those individuals with an interest higher than 25% in the share capital must be indicated. In case of indirect control, the companies involved in the chain of control must be identified.

Since when does this obligation exist?

The new obligation applies to the annual accounts 2017.

However, those companies having approved their annual accounts for the year 2017 and having filed them with the competent Companies Registry before the entry into force of this order (March 28, 2017), will not have to re-submit them.

In subsequent years this new information should only be provided if there have been changes concerning the beneficial owner.

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Salvador Balcells i Iranzo's picture

One of the things Mr. Balcells like most about his job is when you get a safe, legal and fair tax situation for the sake of the taxpayer's tranquility and economy, both in previous structuring and planning, and when certain criteria have to be defended before Tax administration.

As a lawyer, he always try to put himself in the place of the one who asks for advice, so that all the options or alternatives that are considered as solutions, are those that would adopt at a personal level if the interested party is himself.