Interview José María López
This month we would like to introduce you to our Fiscal partner, José María López. He began his professional career as a business consultant, mainly in the economic-financial and controlling areas. During his time as a consultant, he has developed extensive experience in the organization of economic-financial departments, both in family businesses and in multinational groups. Experience that he has later completed with advice in the field of taxation.
Currently, as an expert in comprehensive advice to SMEs, both in the tax and economic-financial areas, and with extensive experience in tax planning and optimisation of company structures, how does 2020 look for small and medium-sized enterprises, and what tax challenges will they have to overcome?
Nowadays, companies are facing a more complex scenario in the tax field. On the one hand, the different Administrations (the State, the Autonomous Communities and the City Councils) are increasing the tax burden: new taxes, more restrictive regulations and an increase in checks and inspections by the different Tax Agencies. And on the other hand, the increase in formal obligations (presentation of taxes and informative declarations) that companies must comply with, both in terms of content and immediacy. For many SMEs it may be difficult to counteract this increased tax burden, which is why it is increasingly necessary to be able to rely on a good external collaborator who can give them this more specialised vision and help them comply with the abundant tax regulations.
As far as the Government’s inspection work is concerned, the Guidelines for the Tax Control Plan for 2020 have recently been published. Can you tell us anything new about them?
The Guidelines of the Taxation Control Plan of the Tax Agency include the main lines of action to prevent and fight against fraud to be carried out by the Tax Administration. For the year 2020, in addition to reinforcing the actions developed in previous years, new areas of action are incorporated in the inspection, which we briefly comment on in this month’s AddNEWS.
In addition to the actions themselves, a fact that I believe is interesting to highlight is the important weight that the Administration is giving more and more to the development of computer systems and tools and the use of new technologies. All of this has a double objective. On the one hand, to make new resources and tools available to taxpayers that enable them to carry out procedures more quickly and efficiently, such as the creation of virtual assistants to help them comply with certain taxes, the consolidation of the mobile application for tax returns, etc.
Secondly, to develop big data technology as a basic tool for detecting risk structures or actions, and to improve the planning processes for inspections and the detection of risk groups. In other words, the Treasury has more and more information from taxpayers – both individuals and companies – and is developing the necessary tools to be able to exploit this data. There is no doubt that this desire to modernise the Tax Administration is transforming tax consultancy and our role as advisors to companies.
After more than 25 years in the profession, do you think that the technology factor is also having an effect on business and its taxation?
There is no doubt that all the technological changes are influencing the nature of business and companies. Many startups that are born today base their business precisely on these technological advances and move in a globalised environment, and taxation is also adapting to this new environment.
For many of these new companies, it can also be a differentiating element from the competition to take advantage of tax benefits allowed by the regulations: such as the application of the Patent-box; the deductions of R+D+i in the Corporate Tax; the deductions in the Income Tax for new partners-investors; the planning of efficient corporate structures; the registration in the monthly VAT refund registry, etc.
The correct application of these tax advantages can help some startups to consolidate in the market, and that is why a good planning and knowing in detail what tax advantages a company can implement depending on its activity, both in the Corporate Tax and in the VAT, as well as in relation to the rest of the taxes.
What should companies take into consideration to face the future with fiscal security and peace of mind?
I always tell my clients that paying taxes is not a problem. If a company makes a profit, it is logical that it pays taxes. The key is to pay the right taxes, do things right and be aware of what risks are taken and when.
The daily dynamics of a company or business often involves the need to carry out operations quickly and efficiently, and the entrepreneur often forgets that in his business he has a partner (Treasury) who, although not present when the operation is carried out, often after a while comes to ask for explanations, and also wants his share of the “profit”.
That is why it is important for the entrepreneur to know how to anticipate and also consider the tax aspect of the operations or business that he carries out. But there is only one medicine: to be correctly informed.
José María is responsible for the coordination of this monthly AddNEWS newsletter. He has also participated as a speaker in various conferences and seminars on matters related to business taxation, especially in the tourism and real estate sectors and the tax system for professional and asset-holding companies.