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A study by Oxfam has revealed that Spanish businesses have 810 subsidiaries in territories with lower tax rates
16.03.15 - 11:02 -
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Spanish companies increase their presence in tax havens
The Cayman Islands are considered a tax haven by Oxfam. :: R. C.
Large Spanish companies are increasingly opening subsidiaries in tax havens, this is according to a two-year study carried out by Oxfam.
It reveals that companies in the Ibex had 810 subsidiaries in 2013, 44 per cent more than the year before. The companies with the biggest presence abroad were ArcelorMittal, with 58 per cent of its subsidiaries in tax havens and Banco Santander with 19 per cent.
But it is necessary to establish what Oxfam considers a tax haven, because many of the locations do not coincide with those named by the OECD or Spanish tax authorities.
For example, Oxfam includes both Ireland and Holland as tax havens because of their fiscal rules. However, Hacienda doesn’t agree.
According to the OECD, tax havens don’t even exist because all its members, except for one small Pacific island, have signed treaties.
Oxfam considers a tax haven to be a territory with low or zero taxation, with advantages for non-residents and with a lack of transparency rules that allows account holders to remain anonymous.
On this basis, Oxfam stipulates that the US state of Delaware, the British Channel Islands, Panama and Luxembourg, among others, are tax havens.
Delaware is the territory with the most subsidiaries of Spanish companies: 350 of the total 810. Santander has 62 there, while 58 belong to Iberdrola and 55 to ACS.
In its audit report, Santander stated it only had subsidiaries in offshore territories such as the Isle of Man or the Cayman Islands, but the amount will be reduced as a result of treaties that have been signed.