Andorra: rigor and commitment to the European cause
In recent weeks, some sensationalist media in the neighboring country of the south, have taken advantage of the news regarding the relocation to Andorra of a famous figure of the digital and entertainment world, to charge against our country and against said individual, for being “unsupportive” and for renouncing to contribute with the payment of his taxes for his country’s needs.
Based on this news, our media have also entered into a debate that has been expanded with statements from Spanish politicians and governors who advocated for the inclusion of Andorra into the list of the countries considered as a “tax haven” with respect to the Spanish tax regulations, and the subsequent reaction of the Andorran Authorities defending so rightly the impeccable evolution of our country in the tax homologation with Europe and in the decisive bet for transparency and exchange of tax information in perfect alignment with the OECD and the EU.
However, the fact is that the Trade Union of Technicians of the Spanish Ministry of Finance has reiterated in its will of introducing into the list of “tax havens” countries that are considered as having “low taxation” such as Ireland, Luxembourg, The Czech Republic and Cyprus, in addition to Andorra, an approach that is far from the reality we live in our country, with a tax pressure of 26.5%, which is higher than in many EU countries. In fact, in recent years we have signed 24 agreements for the exchange of tax information and 8 agreements to avoid double taxation, plus those that are in an advanced state of negotiation. This would not be if it were not for the rigor, the commitment and the transparency of Andorra.
Andorra is not only a fiscally competitive country, but it also has a lot to do with key factors such as the quality of the health system, considered as one of the best in the world by The Lancet, the natural environment, the education offer and the public safety with one of the lowest crime rates in the world.
The Spanish Trade Union abovementioned refers to the damage caused by certain multinationals to the public purse of some European States, but obviously, Andorra cannot be compared to any of the countries that have historically hosted these companies, as our case is different and infinitely tiny and insignificant. In fact, one only has to compare the interests of large companies in Ireland or Luxembourg to understand the unjustified grievance that is intended to be done to Andorra. We will see how the discussion ends within the EU, but Andorra must be left out of such debate because, beyond the approval and commitment in the European context, we have never given up our fiscal sovereignty, which results in a system of taxation and collection tailored to the structure and needs of our State.
A very well-known figure of the digital world made it very clear a few days ago on a television program, by stating that, after living in Andorra for 5 years, and even if his country of origin lowered its taxation at the Andorran level, he would not go back because he has found peace, stability, health, and an incomparable environment here. And this is the only reality that must be considered by those who analyze or judge our country when evaluating it. We are a small and vulnerable country but at the same time with virtues that make it unique. That is why more and more citizens of the world, tired of living in big cities with big problems, are looking for an oasis of peace and harmony like Andorra, a country that those who know it fall in love with.
Augé Legal & Fiscal