Seizure of cash by customs services in Spanish territory

Asset sizure by tax authorities in Spain

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If you are travelling abroad and want to take your money with you in cash, you can do so. But if the amount is equal to or greater than 10,000 euros, you will have to file a declaration with customs otherwise tax authority will seize your money. This procedure is done beforehand by filling out the S-1 form of the Tax Agency.

This procedure is compulsory in all European Union countries. If you are travelling to other countries, it is advisable to present this declaration even if the amount being transferred is less than 10,000 euros.

EU countries set their limits.

In 2007, a European Parliament regulation on the prevention of money laundering came into force. This regulation obliged all EU member states to set up customs controls. From then on, the limit of cash that travellers can carry without presenting a customs declaration was set at 10,000 euros. Until the entry into force of this regulation, the limit in Spain was 6,000 euros, an amount established in 1993.

UP to 10,000 euros without declaring.

If you are travelling abroad and want to take your money with you in cash, you can do so. Whether you are travelling with euros or with the currency of another country, the limit is 10,000 euros or equivalent. Above this amount, you will have to submit a declaration to the customs services.

Spain also sets a limit for the entry of undeclared capital. The figure is the same: 10,000 euros. If you come from another country and want to enter Spanish territory with cash, the amount cannot exceed this figure. Otherwise, you will have to request a declaration in the country of origin.

Cheques are considered cash as well!!

In addition to banknotes and coins in legal circulation, Article 2 of Regulation 1889/2005 of the European Parliament specifies what is meant by ‘cash’. If you are travelling with cheques, remember that they are considered to be cash for this purpose. From 10,000 euros upwards, you will have to declare them when leaving Spain or any other EU country.

S1- form

Download, fill in and send the Tax Agency’s S-1 form.

If you are carrying more than 10,000 euros in cash, you must download and fill in the AEAT form S-1. Complete all sections 1 to 6 with the required information. The data in section 2 should only be completed if the bearer of the means of payment and the owner of the means of payment are different persons. If the owner of the funds is a legal entity, please indicate the tax identification code.

If you are leaving a country that does not have customs services and you are transporting more than 10,000 euros in cash, you must make the prior declaration six days in advance. This procedure is carried out online at the State Tax Administration Agency (Agencia Estatal de Administración Tributaria).

Origin and destination of funds

It is important to specify the purpose for which the money is being transported: business, tourism, etc.

You will also need to state the airline and flight number you will be using to travel. If you are travelling by car, indicate the registration number and model. If you are travelling by boat, the name and the nameplate. If you are going to use a private flight, you will need the type of aircraft and the identification number.

In the section corresponding to the means of payment, indicate the type of goods you are going to transport: cash, bank cheque, electronic means or others. You must also specify the origin and destination of the means of transport.

Section 7 will be completed by the credit institution that receives the declaration and which will justify the economic movement carried out. The last section will be completed by the corresponding customs service when you arrive at your destination.

Very important: Asser seizure!!

If you do not declare, your goods may be seized.

If you do not declare them and you exceed the total amount of 10,000 euros, the authorities may retain your money and investigate where it came from. The omission of the document or the lack of veracity of the document will result in the seizure of the money being transported. They can also fine you from 600 euros up to half of the economic content of the means of payment used.

If the customs services consider that there is a clear intention to conceal the information on the means of payment, they can seize all of them.

Check the regulations of the country of destination beforehand.

Although Spanish and European legislation prevents you from leaving EU territory with more than 10,000 euros, it is sometimes advisable to declare a significant amount even if it does not exceed 10,000 euros.

Check with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the requirements of the destination country. In some cases, you may be required to demonstrate sufficient financial means. In others, you may not be able to bring a large amount of money. In some countries, they won’t even let you leave with a national currency.

How can a lawyer secure your assets

  • If you have had a cash seizure problem at customs, Lexidy Law Boutique can help you with this.

Some written submissions will have to be made, providing the more documents the better, justifying the lawful origin of the funds:

  • If possible, the origin of the funds.
  • Date when the cash was withdrawn, branch, bank and person. Proof of withdrawal of funds.
  • Certificate of ownership of the account (was it a company/personal account?).
  • Statement of account movements (if we can prove that it is an account used exclusively for commercial transactions, the better).
  • If the money was transferred from other accounts, we will need to provide the statements of movements of those accounts as well.

I.- First step: preparation and presentation of the first pleading. Here we take care of the injured party’s representation and provide data for communications as well as other relevant information. 

II.- Second step: preparation and presentation of the second pleading. Here we prepare a brief taking into account what the administration says, what we have said so far and add additional allegations against the formal sanction proposal.

III.-Last step: the administration transfers the funds to the account after imposing a fine.

The letter must be signed by the holder of the funds. (An electronic or scanned signature would be sufficient). 

The other possibility to defend the interest is that he grants a power of attorney in our name. (An electronic or scanned signature would be sufficient).

Our lawyers always do our utmost to ensure that you receive the minimum penalty and recover the maximum amount possible.

  • The penalties provided for in Law 10/2010 are as follows:

“Article 56 Penalties for very serious infringements

1. The following penalties may be imposed for very serious infringements:

a) A fine, the minimum amount of which shall be 150,000 euros and the maximum amount of which shall be up to the greater of 10 per cent of the total annual turnover of the obliged party, twice the economic content of the transaction, five times the amount of the profits derived from the infringement, where such profits can be determined, or 10,000,000 euros.

b) Public reprimand.

c) In the case of entities subject to administrative authorisation to operate, temporary suspension or revocation of such authorisation.

The sanction provided for in letter a), which must be mandatory in all cases, shall be imposed simultaneously with any of those provided for in letters b) or c).

2. If the sanctioned obliged entity is a parent undertaking or a subsidiary of a parent undertaking which is required to draw up consolidated financial accounts in accordance with Article 22 of Directive 2013/34/EU, the total turnover to be considered for the calculation of the maximum sanction to be imposed shall be the total annual turnover or the corresponding rate of income, in accordance with the relevant Accounting Directives, according to the most recent available consolidated account approved by the management body of the parent undertaking.

3. In addition to the penalty to be imposed on the obliged person for the commission of very serious infringements, one or more of the following penalties may be imposed on those who, in the same administrative or management positions, were responsible for the infringement:

a) A fine of between 60,000 and 10,000,000 euros for each one of them.

b) Removal from office, with disqualification from holding administrative or management positions in any of the entities subject to this law for a maximum period of ten years.

c) Public reprimand.

The sanction provided for in letter a), which must be mandatory in all cases, may be applied simultaneously with any of those provided for in letters b) or c).

4. In all cases, the penalties imposed shall be accompanied by a request to the offender to put an end to the conduct and to refrain from repeating it.

5. Where the imposition of a public warning sanction is agreed and it is determined that the sanction may undermine an ongoing investigation or jeopardise the stability of financial markets, the deciding authority may:

  • delay publication until such time as the reasons which justified the suspension cease to exist;
  • decide not to publish the sanction definitively, where the stability of the financial markets cannot be ensured.Article 57 Penalties for serious infringements.

1. The following penalties may be imposed for the commission of serious infringements:

  • A fine, the minimum amount of which shall be 60,000 euros and the maximum amount of which may be up to the greater of the following figures: 10 per cent of the total annual turnover of the obliged party, the amount of the economic content of the transaction, plus 50 per cent, three times the amount of the profits derived from the infringement, where such profits can be determined, or 5,000,000 euros. For the purposes of calculating the annual turnover, the provisions of Article 56.2 shall apply.
  • Public reprimand.
  • Private reprimand.
  • In the case of entities subject to administrative authorisation to operate, temporary suspension thereof.

The sanction provided for in letter a), which must be mandatory in all cases, shall be imposed simultaneously with one of those provided for in letters b) to d).

2. In addition to the sanction to be imposed on the obliged party for the commission of serious infringements, the following sanctions may be imposed on those who, exercising administrative or management positions in the same, or the function of external expert, were responsible for the infringement:

  • Fine to each of them for a minimum amount of 3,000 euros and a maximum of up to 5,000,000 euros.
  • Public reprimand.
  • Private reprimand.
  • Removal from office, with disqualification from holding administrative or management positions in any entity subject to this law for a maximum term of five years.

The sanction provided for in letter a), which must be mandatory in all cases, shall be imposed simultaneously with any of those provided for in letters b) to d).

3. In the event of failure to comply with the obligation to make the declaration provided for in Article 34, the following penalties shall be imposed:

a) Fine, the minimum amount of which shall be 600 euros and the maximum amount of which may be up to 50 per cent of the value of the means of payment used.

b) Public reprimand.

c) Private warning.

The sanction provided for in point a), which must be mandatory in all cases, shall be imposed simultaneously with one of those provided for in points b) or c).

4. In all cases, the penalties imposed shall be accompanied by an injunction to the offender to cease and desist from repeating the conduct.

5. Where the imposition of a public warning sanction is agreed and it is determined that the sanction may undermine an ongoing investigation or jeopardise the stability of financial markets, the deciding authority may:

  • Delay publication until such time as the reasons which justified the suspension cease to exist;
  • Decide not to publish the sanction definitively, where the stability of financial markets cannot be ensured.

Article 58 Penalties for minor infringements

The following penalties may be imposed for minor infringements:

  • Private reprimand.
  • A fine of up to 60,000 euros.

These penalties may be accompanied by an injunction to the offender to put an end to his conduct and to refrain from repeating it.”

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