Joaquín Sabina has received one last setback in his struggle with the Treasury. The National Court has dismissed his appeal against a settlement of 2.5 million for not correctly declaring his copyright more than a decade ago. In 2019, he already lost a series of lawsuits against the Tax Agency. His agent stated that he did not want to comment on the sentence.

On January 27, 2017, the Administrative Economic Court of Madrid dismissed Sabina’s claim against the Treasury Inspectorate, which sanctioned her for her income tax returns in 2008, 2009 and 2010, something that was ratified by the Central Administrative Economic Court two years after. Then, the singer turned to the National Court, which on April 13, again rejected his claims.

The Court reviews Sabina’s relations with three companies in which her family also participates: Fine Ultramarinos, Relatores and El pan de mis Niñas. In them she manages a sailboat, old books, two properties in Madrid and one in Rota and, above all, her copyright.

According to the sentence, “the plaintiff had assigned to the companies Relatores and El Pan de mis Niñas the copyright of his work and of the one he would compose in the future and for this assignment he did not receive any amount according to his tax returns.”

Tax persecution of artists

In recent years, the Treasury has persecuted journalists, singers, television presenters, lawyers and doctors who used companies with hardly any means to pay less to the Treasury. Simplifying, companies pay around 25% corporate tax, and income tax on high incomes, 45%. But the Tax Agency, in a criterion that has been endorsed by the courts, accepts these companies as long as they have the means and that they carry out the operations at market price. In other words, Sabina can transfer her copyright to her company but at a market price, not for free.

He knows in depth all the sides of the coin.

In 2008, 2009 and 2010, the three companies declared income of 2.25 million, 2.74 million and 7.58 million. The sentence highlights that all the income came from Sabina’s activities, “carrying out galas, royalties national record sales, collaborations in the press…”, and the free transfer of copyright. But that in reality they offered a “very personal service” of the singer. That is the term that justice often uses when it agrees with the Treasury. He considers that the companies do not contribute anything to the management and that they are only an instrument to swindle money from the treasury.

It is not the first time that Sabina runs into the Tax Agency. The sentence itself relates that it is resolving an issue “practically identical to the one that has been formulated and resolved by the contentious-administrative chamber of the Madrid TSJ”, which between the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019 knocked down the artist’s claims. The judges conclude: “By virtue of the principles of unity of doctrine and legal certainty, it is appropriate to reach the same dismissal conclusion.”

Sabina tried to separate herself from one of the companies on the grounds that she had actually transferred the shares 20 years ago. But the Superior Court of Justice of Madrid considered “that the alleged facts appear implausible.” “It is not plausible that someone who has a minority interest (less than 25%) in the capital of a company (Fine Grocers) receives 65,000 euros from the company as a salary for providing work that has generated income for the company of 7,091,940.68 euros in 2010″.

Sabina’s defense tries to at least annul the sanction imposed by the Treasury. He alleges that “regularized in a reasonable interpretation of legality.” A decade ago, the use of these companies was very common, and Sabina was advised by the Nummaria law firm, which has led Ana Duato and Imanol Arias to have criminal proceedings before the National Court.

Sabina announced in 2014 that the Treasury had required the payment of four million euros. In 2019, the SGAE came to denounce Sabina and other authors before the Prosecutor for Economic Crimes for dealing with their copyright, but the public ministry did not see a crime and sent the case to the Treasury. The singer has announced a farewell tour of the stage next year.

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