A recent press release from the Consejo General del Poder Judicial (General Council for the Judiciary) reports an interesting ruling of the Spanish Supreme Court. The decision, of 19 June 2012, ratifies the one of the previous instance according the registration in a Spanish Land Registry of a deed of sale of an immovable located in Spain, notarized by a German Notary. Taking into account the rules of private international law the Supreme Court confirms the validity of the foreign deed in Spain as a basis for a Registry record.
In the instant case litigation arose from the sale of an apartment in Tenerife, which was acquired undivided by two German citizens. One of them sold his share to a third party with the consent of the other; the transfer was formalized by a German notary and the acquirer sought to have it recorded in the Land Registry of Puerto de la Cruz. The registrar refused, considering that the German document lacked full legal force in Spain; his decision was upheld by the General Directorate for Registries and Notaries, but rejected on appeal both by the Court of First Instance and the Audiencia Provincial, as well as by the Supreme Court.
According to the Supreme Court, a decision such as the one taken by the registrar and supported by the General Directorate cannot be approved under the current understanding of the freedom to provide services at the European Union level; also, to require the involvement of a Spanish Notary would mean an unjustified limitation to the freedom of transfer of goods. Article 1462 of the Spanish Civil Code, which applies in the case, equates issuing of a public deed with delivery of the sold thing; the provision does not require that the deed be granted by a Spanish Notary public, therefore a formally valid deed granted by a foreign Notary will have the same effect (in terms of equation with delivery) as one notarized in Spain. The Supreme Court believes that this interpretation matches the EU tendency to avoid duplication of formal requirements, once they have been fulfilled in a member State for a purpose identical or similar to that required in the State where the act thus documented aims to produce effects. To back this opinion the Court leans on the Commission’s Green Paper of December 14, 2010 entitled “Less bureaucracy for citizens: promoting free movement of public documents and recognition of the effects of civil status records”; on the consistency of the understanding with the Spanish regulation on foreign investments, which does not require that contracts be notarized by a Spanish Notary; and on Article 323 of the Spanish Civil Procedure Act, which accords full evidential effect to public documents formalized abroad when comparable to the Spanish “escritura pública” in as far as the role of the Notary is concerned, regardless of the formal differences.
Two members of the Court do nevertheless dissent with the idea that Article 1462 Civil Code allows for the same treatment to be granted to Spanish and foreign deeds, as, according to the provision, equation between the public deed and the delivery of the sold asset is excluded when the deed states (or it can easily be inferred) otherwise. In this regard, the differences between the German and the Spanish systems for the conveyance of ownership justifies the need for the intervention of Spanish Notaries: only they can safeguard the essential rules of the legal transfer of property that governs our country, which is that of título y modo (grounds of acquisition followed by the traditio or delivery)
The average tax burden on earnings in OECD countries continues to rise
Published in OECD Tax News – 25/04/2012
25/04/012 – The average tax and social security burden on employment incomes increased in 26 out of 34 OECD countries in 2011 according to the new OECD Taxing Wages publication. Tax payers in Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal and the Slovak Republic were among those hit with the largest increases. Those in New Zealand and the United States saw their tax burden fall. In Hungary, the average single worker without children was faced with the largest increase in the tax wedge, but for families with children, it fell.
In most countries the higher overall tax burden was due to personal income tax, rather than increased Social Security Contributions. Only 5 countries raised their statutory tax rates on average earnings. In most cases the rise in the tax burden was due to a higher proportion of earnings being subject to tax because the value of tax free allowances and tax credits fell relative to earnings. In a few countries including the Czech Republic, Hungary and Ireland they were actually reduced in nominal terms.
Taxing Wages provides nationally comparative details about the taxation of employment incomes and the associated costs to employers for different household types and at different earnings levels. These are the key factors in determining the incentives both for individuals to seek work and for businesses to hire workers. Continue Reading
As reported by Grant Thornton, the Obama administration submitted a budget proposal on Feb. 13 with well over 100 proposed tax provisions that would result in trillions of dollars of revenue changes. The tax platform in the budget proposal is largely an amalgamation of provisions from earlier legislative initiatives and previous budgets, but it does include several new proposals affecting high-income individuals and multinational taxpayers.
The most significant new position may be the President’s call to return the top dividend tax rate to 39.6%. Last year’s budget proposed preserving the equivalent treatment of capital gains and qualified dividends, with the top rate for both increasing from a 15% rate to just 20%.
As reported by professor Nicolas Zambrana a new draft bill has been submitted to the Ecuadorian Parliament explicitly stating that “no legal validity will be given in Ecuador to financial arrangements made to acquire the property of houses (viviendas) in Spain and the judicial acts which may have been derived from such arrangements because the latter have been made under conditions of illegality and fraud”.
Another paragraph of this draft bill introduces criminal sanctions for those responsible of entities which try to seize property for this reason in Ecuador (http://www.librered.net/?p=13006). Continue Reading
The UK and London will remain the world’s leading international and Islamic financial centres, said British Ambassador Iain Lindsay at a UK roundtable discussion at the WIBC.
‘Islamic finance, like every other type of financial activity, benefits from the UK’s combination of experience, variety of skills, geographic location, infrastructure, transparency and openness,’ he said.’ The UK recognises the tremendous opportunities that Islamic financial services have to offer. Continue Reading
Since opening our offices in Qatar we cannot but share the momentum that the region poses for Private Equity.
As reported by the CFH Group, the Private Equity in the MENA region can be summarized as follows:
A. Market / Motivation:
1. Interest from International Players: Many international groups are considering the GCC for potential investments owing to:
– Loss of momentum in other parts of the world (like the EU).
– Relatively robust economies of the GCC.
– Generous budgets as a result of oil revenues.
– A high growth potential in relatively underserved markets. Continue Reading
The latest report from the Barclays Wealth Insights series – The Transfer of Trust: Wealth and Succession in a Changing World said that high net worth individuals (HNWIs) in the Middle East showed the highest levels of trust in their children to manage and protect their wealth.
Based on a global survey of more than 2,000 high net worth individuals, the report provides an in-depth examination of wealthy individuals’ attitudes toward wealth transfer and succession planning, as well as offering an insight into what the future holds for the next generation. It also looks at how wealth in many cases can act as a double-edged sword, leading to distrust and conflict. Continue Reading
Legal aid could be removed from areas such as divorce and child support if the Legal Aid bill goes through parliament. Proposed changes will remove whole areas from the scheme, leaving many people little choice but to go it alone. In a recent article by Jon Robins in the Guardian, he outlines some questions that you should ask yourself before presenting your own case. Continue Reading
According to the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD), foreign direct investment in Spain has tripled in 1 year, increasing by 177% to 25,000 million dollars.
The annual UNCTAD World Investment Report for 2010 has seen Spain rise to 14th place in the ranking for last year’s inward foreign investment, and is testament to the fact that the Spanish economy is beginning to recover since its fall in 2009.
Amongst other positive developments highlighted in the report is the fact that the global economy is gaining strength, with emerging countries increasing their direct investment to a record level in 2010.
Although global FDI flows are still around 15% lower than recorded before the financial crisis, foreign investment grew by 5% around the world to 1.24 billion dollars in 2010. The document acknowledges China alongside Russia and India has having become strong investors.
UNCTAD forecasts that FDI flows are expected to continue to grow in 2011 to 1.4 or 1.6 billion dollars. This increase should continue through 2012 and 2013, when flows could reach 1.9 billion dollars.
This could be a sign that investor confidence is coming back and hopefully heralds the beginning of a global recovery.