The European Commission has decided to refer Spain to the Court of Justice of the European Union to ensure that the Spanish legislation on taxation of investments in non-resident companies complies with EU law.
Under the Spanish provisions, the tax treatment for foreign-sourced dividends (i.e. dividends distributed by a non-resident company to a Spanish company) is more burdensome than the one applied to domestic-sourced dividends (i.e. dividends distributed by companies resident in Spain). As a result, a Spanish company which invests in a non-resident company must fulfil more conditions (e.g. volume of income, level of shareholder participation) than for a domestic investment if it wants to benefit from the tax advantage. In other cases, the tax advantage foreseen for domestic-sourced dividends is not available for foreign-sourced dividends.