Double Taxation Relief Manual: Guidance by country: Spain: Dividends
The Spanish tax deducted from dividends paid by a Spanish company at the agreement rate of 15 per cent (10 per cent where the recipient is a United Kingdom company controlling, directly or indirectly, at least 10 per cent of the voting power in the Spanish company - but see the final paragraph below) qualifies for credit as a direct tax (see INTM164010(c)). A reduction to the above rates is not given where the dividend is effectively connected with (see INTM153110 fifth sub-paragraph) a business carried on by the recipient through a permanent establishment in Spain.
Where the recipient of the dividend is a United Kingdom company controlling, directly or indirectly, at least 10 per cent of the voting power in the Spanish company paying the dividend, relief is also due for the underlying tax (see INTM164010(d)) (Article 24(l)(b)).
Although the agreement provides a 10 per cent rate of source state taxation in respect of direct investors, the EC Parent and Subsidiary Directive bars the imposition of withholding taxes on dividends paid by a company resident in one Member State of the Community to a company resident in another Member State, where the company receiving the dividend holds a minimum of 25 per cent of the capital of the company paying the dividend. The level of capital required to obtain the 0% rate is reduced to 20 per cent from 1 January 2005, 15% from 1 January 2007 and 10% from 1 January 2009.
The Directive overrides any provision made for withholding tax in the relevant bilateral treaty (see INTM164030).