We are fighting tax evasion says Gibraltar’s Picardo

LAST UPDATED: 14 May, 2013 @ 19:54
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We are fighting tax evasion says Gibraltar’s Picardo

By Rebecca Maguire

GIBRALTAR has promised to help Spain uncover any suspected tax evasion on the Rock.

Chief Minister Fabian Picardo insisted that he was prepared to give out information of any Spanish tax evaders if necessary.

Defending the Rock’s reputation during a lecture on the 300th anniversary of the Treaty of Utrecht in Sevilla, he stressed that Gibraltar fully complied with EU and international regulations on money laundering and tax evasion.

He explained, “The fact Gibraltar is on the white list tells you it is not a tax haven.”

He continued: “We have shown a readiness to help Spain to identify possible tax evasion on the Rock, but we have not had a single request for data from the Spanish authorities.”

Since the beginning of 2013, Gibraltar has been part of a multilateral agreement to share tax information between E.U. members.

But the Spanish government does not believe the system is effective, so the fight against tax fraud is high on the agenda of the next European summit on May 22.

Spanish Finance Minister Cristobal Montoro recently announced the creation of a government working group to focus specifically on Spanish tax evasion in Gibraltar.

He believes the problem is costing Spain hundreds of millions of euros every year.

However, according to the Chief Minister, “The world regards Gibraltar as a fully compliant financial services jurisdiction much as Frankfurt, London, Paris or Madrid and it is only Spain that continues to beat Gibraltar with the label of tax haven for its own nefarious purposes.”

Gibraltar’s corporate tax is now 10%, compared with Spain’s 30%, but Picardo cited Ireland as another EU country with similar corporation tax levels to Gibraltar.

59 COMMENTS

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  1. Once again Naria/Maria

    1. How can Gibraltar be a “secrecy jurisdiction” when it is part of the EU and subject to EU laws?
    2. How can Gibraltar be offshore when it is part of the EU and not a separate jurisdiction?
    3. Name any Gibraltar registered company which sells any financial product which is allows the evasion of Spanish tax or which is illegal in Spain. Please provide specific examples of the products in question, not just generic names.
    4. Please provide more details of the trickster now facing charges in a criminal court. Which court, what charges?
    5. Can you give even a single specific example of a “convoluted tax dodging scheme” operated out of Gibraltar? And can you explain exactly how the “scheme” allows tax to be evaded.

    Oh, so I must not judge others by my own lack of ethics and morality? I always ask for a factura and always pay with IVA included. However even my gestor here in Spain asks me if I want to pay “con IVA o sin IVA”. What you don’t seem to perceive is that corruption and tax EVASION is a way of life in Spain, and it’s not just the plumbers taking cash-in-hand. It happens at every level, all the way to the top. All the more ironic when you make unsubstantiated allegations about corruption and tax evasion in Gibraltar which until now you have not backed up with any facts.

    Since you ask so respectfully, as you only seem able to trot out the same old fabrications that Franco and his side-kick Castiella used to trot out about Gibraltar this would place you very squarely in the facha camp.

  2. Once again Mr Roberts –

    FACT: There are more than 30,000 “companies” registered on Gibraltar many of them an integral part of a complex web of shell subsidiaries and blind trusts (with no known beneficial owners) secretly/illegally engaged in disguising/concealing undeclared assets for those with sufficient “capital” to afford these” confidential services”.

    FACT: The Ministerio de Hacienda y Administraciones Públicas is aware that many Spanish tax residents are party to a tax fraud, a crime which costs Spain many hundreds of millions of euros a year. and a reason why the Spanish Finance Minister, Cristobal Montoro, has created a special investigative unit to focus specifically on Spanish tax evasion based in Gibraltar.

    FACT: Tax evasion is a criminal offence and as you have certain knowledge that your gestor is engaged in criminal activity and to avoid facing charges of conspiring in crime, you are now bound by law to report him/them to the Hacienda without delay.

    FACT: El Caudillo, Generalísimo Francisco Franco Bahamonde died almost forty years ago yet you appear to hold him responsible for making tax EVASION “a way of life in Spain May I suggest that it is your corrupt friends in the quasi-communist, incompetent PSOE who are largely to blame and that the right-wing PP are now making a determined effort to bring these criminals to justice and save the Spanish economy.

    FACT: When criminal proceedings are underway they become sub judice and the publication of material relating to such proceedings comprises contempt of court, a crime which is punishable by a fine of unlimited amount and/or imprisonment for up to two years. Third party costs orders may also be awarded against the media organization, enabling the courts to recover the costs of any trial aborted as a result of the prejudicial reportin.

    Finally: Perhaps you should reconsider your laiser faire attitude towards tax regulations and begin to understand exactly why, if counties like Spain are to stand any chance of achieving economic recovery, places like Gibraltar should now be required to comply with the law.

  3. Naria,

    What about those envelopes full of EU money (funded by the UK) being funnelled directly into the pockets of Spanish ministers including the PM himself?

    The last thing EU and OECD compliant Gibraltar needs is pontification from a random pseudo economist/diplomat like you. You have yet to provide a single shred of evidence to back up your fascist PP rhetoric.

    Gibraltar is not a tax haven. We have low taxes because we can afford and remain well within all EU, IMF and OECD recommendations and directives. It doesnt take a genius to research and work that out.

  4. @Naria/Maria

    So there are 30,000 companies registered in Gibraltar? That’s the number the Spanish press bandy about, although ABC makes it 80,000. I’m not sure how you think it is a fact though? Do you have any way of backing that number up? I doubt it. For a small sum you can access the Gibraltar register and see for yourself. Let us know how many companies there are and how many of them are active…

    It is impossible to register a company or trust in Gibraltar which has “no known beneficial owner”. Try this, and let us know if you succeed!

    You obviously don’t understand what a blind trust is. It simply means a trust where the beneficiary has no knowledge of what assets are held in trust on their behalf. The trustees are still obliged to declare these assets and any income they generate to the tax office and the beneficiaries are also obliged to declare any income or asset distributions they receive from the trust. I fail to see how that could be a tax dodge.

    Why has Hacienda set up a special working group for Gibraltar? What difference will it make if Hacienda is not allowed to request information directly from Gibraltar anyway? It won’t make a blind bit of difference… This special group is nothing more than a cynical political move, so that Montoro is seen to be doing something. Spain already has all the necessary tools at its disposal to request information about the funds and assets held in Gibrlatar by Spanish residents, but the only problem is that Spain would have to deal directly with the Gibraltarian authorities and Spain doesn’t want to do that. More than twenty other jurisdictions don’t have this problem…

    I don’t see where I linked endemic tax evasion in Spain with Franco? I’m pretty certain it was around long before he was. If I was to report every person who offered to take my payment “con o sin IVA”, I’d have little time to do anything else! And I really don’t understand why you think the PP is any cleaner than PSOE? Barcenas, Gürtel, Fabra… They are as bad as each other and what is common to both is the corruption, which is endemic in Spain, and reaches from top to bottom and back again.

    You really are making things up about not being able to give details about a court case. It is perfectly legal to report that a case is happening, in which court, who the accused is and what they are being charged with. Unless of course it was a secret trial (and you wouldn’t know about it anyway)…

    I don’t have a laissez-faire towards tax regulation. I believe everyone should contribute what they are legally obliged to and not a cent more, I believe politicians should then spend that money responsibly and not wastefully. If Spain is ever to recover then the Spanish need to start paying ALL their taxes and the Spanish politicians need to start managing Spain properly. Gibraltar is not the cause of Spain’s problems. Spain is the cause of Spain’s problems.

    Gibraltar complies with the law.

  5. It is a curious phenomenon that whenever left-wing/liberal, nancy-pancy, pseudo-ocommies find they are either losing an argument, or encounter anyone who disagrees with their jaundiced views they resort to labelling people as “fascists”.

    Were life that simple ….

  6. @ Naria Jones

    You have obviously completely run out of propaganda to spout. I expected at least some artificial psuedo statistics, the old defamatory Gibraltar `tax haven` one liner and a pinch of ye old medieval sovereignty fantasy.

    Seems your acute `Gibraltitis` sydrome is on the mend.

    Welcome back to reality.

    :)

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