PANAMA PAPERS

Tax Agency to investigate Spaniards named in Panama Papers leak

Individuals who failed to declare their offshore companies could face hefty fines

The Mossack Fonseca company headquarters in Panama.
The Mossack Fonseca company headquarters in Panama.RODRIGO ARANGUA / AFP

Spanish tax authorities will investigate the nationals whose names show up in the so-called “Panama Papers,” a massive leak of insider files detailing offshore financial dealings by hundreds of individuals, including current and former world leaders.

Spain’s Tax Agency said it is already analyzing information revealing that Pilar de Borbón, older sister of former Spanish King Juan Carlos, and Barça soccer club’s star player Leo Messi, held companies in Panama.

Panama ranks 16th on the list of countries where Spaniards keep their assets

Film-making brothers Pedro and Agustín Almodóvar, who also show up in the leaked files, said on Monday that they are up to date with their tax payments and that they will not be making any statements in connection with the Panama Papers.

Also named in the Panama Papers is Micaela Domecq Solís-Beaumont, wife of EU climate action commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete, who was Spain’s agriculture minister for several years.

Tax authorities say they are cross-referencing this information with foreign asset statements filed by the individuals under scrutiny. This mandatory filing contemplates tough sanctions for failure to declare wealth kept abroad – including fines of $10,000 for every omitted piece of information and up to 150% of undeclared assets.

As a result, if any of the individuals who show up in the Panama Papers have failed to declare their offshore companies, they could face million-euro fines.

Panama ranks 16th on the list of countries where Spaniards keep their assets, according to information gathered by the tax authorities over the last three years.

Spanish taxpayers declared over €1.1 billion in assets in Panama, where there are accounts containing €52.2 million owned by Spaniards, and another €75.2 million in shares or stakes in collective investment vehicles. A further €34 million were held in real state and other property titles.

English version by Susana Urra.

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