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Second “State aid” project public presentation session

Adapting to changing circumstances is a must for progress in all human activities. In recent months, the pandemic has prevented us from presenting our projects to all those wishing to attend in person, but we have grown used to online sessions, allowing greater adaptability and more efficient time management.

In line with this cultural change -which is difficult to “reverse”- and given the broad variety and relevance of the matters addressed in the last book published by the Tax and Competitiveness Foundation (FIC) – “Las ayudas de Estado en el ámbito tributario: Experiencia española y contexto actual” (State aid in relation to taxes: Spanish experience and current context)- three presentation sessions have been projected in association with three important institutions involved in tax matters.

The second milestone, on 14 October, was a session organised in collaboration with the Spanish Confederation of Business Organisations (CEOE). Although it was essentially an online event, the speakers were allowed to attend in person and the agenda was as follows:

  • 16:00h – Formal presentation by Pilar González de Frutos, Vice-Chair of the CEOE and Chair of its Fiscal Committee, and Ginés Navarro, the FIC’s General Manager.
  • 16:20h – 1st speaker – Selectivity in general tax measures: financial goodwill (Miguel Muñoz – PwC)
  • 16:40 – 2nd speaker – Administrative discretion and choice of state aid beneficiaries (Patricia Vidal / Uría Menéndez)
  • 17:00h – Moderator: Elena de Casso (Director of Contentious Matters in Banco Santander’s Tax Advisory Service); Participants: Manuel Santaella (Head of the Tax Advisory Service at the Directorate General for Taxation/Finance Ministry) and the two speakers.

The recent judgement by the EU Court of Justice on tax goodwill was an unavoidable point of reference for the speakers and during the discussion, but this permitted a review of matters of interest mentioned by the two speakers and a reflection on general aspects of state aid rules, their evolution and future prospects, beginning with the peculiarities of two files that have had a huge impact on Spanish businesses: financial goodwill and shipbuilding tax leases.

During the discussion, besides the moderator’s questions, there was time for questions from the online audience and comments by the project coordinator Rafael Calvo (Garrigues), who also attended the session.

A little after 6 p.m., Bernardo Soto, the Secretary of the CEOE’s Tax Committee, brought the session to an end, drawing attention to the importance of researching and discussing tax matters at a time such as the present, when a Tax Reform is in the planning stage.