Agreement signed with the CERMI and the ONCE foundation
In Madrid on 25th March 2004, Mr Salvador Ruiz Gallud, party of the first part, Director General of the National Agency of Tax Administration (hereinafter referred to as the Tax Agency), by virtue of the powers bestowed by the Chairmanship of the Tax Agency in its Resolution of 24th June 1999 (Official State Gazette of 9th July),
and, parties of the second part, Mr Carlos Rubén Fernández Gutiérrez, General Secretary of the Spanish Committee of Representatives of People with Disabilities (hereinafter referred to as CERMI), acting in the name and on behalf of said Committee, by virtue of Article 18 of its Statutes and Articles 16 and 17 of its Rules of Procedure, and Mr Alberto Durán López, Executive Vice-President of the ONCE Foundation for the Cooperation and Social Integration of People with Disabilities (hereinafter referred to as the ONCE Foundation),
That on 18th October 1999, the Tax Agency, CERMI and the ONCE Foundation signed a Collaboration Agreement that has served as a foundation for initiatives of mutual interest.
That in 2003, declared the "European Year of People with Disabilities" by a Council Decision adopted on 3rd December 2001, the Tax Agency created a plan to assist people with disabilities, carrying out diverse initiatives with the collaboration of CERMI and the ONCE Foundation.
The experience gained during this European Year inspired the parties of both parts to deem it advisable to work toward drafting a Collaboration Agreement to support and drive future initiatives aimed at attaining equal opportunities and assistance for people with disabilities, in order to provide them with up-to-date information on their rights in addition to support and advice regarding their tax obligations.
The present Agreement gives consideration to the principles arising out of Act 51/2003 of 2nd December on equal opportunities, non-discrimination and universal accessibility for people with disabilities.
Additionally, Article 92 of General Tax Act 58/2003 of 17th December 2003 addresses social collaboration, stipulating that "in particular, said collaboration may materialise through agreements between the Tax Agency and other government bodies, private organisations or institutions or organisations representing social, labour-related, business or professional sectors or interests". This Act continues the regulation of social collaboration in tax administration set forth under Article 6 of the General Tax Act of 28th December 1963.
It should be noted that people with disabilities and their relatives comprise a numerous group of taxpayers that have dealings with the Tax Agency. This makes it desirable to promote accords such as this Agreement with institutions such as CERMI and the ONCE Foundation, which represent so many of these taxpayers.
The parties of both parts believe that signing this Collaboration Agreement is desirable, in the public interest and in the interest of people with disabilities, and they declare that they have the legal capacity necessary to formalise this Agreement. Consequently,
THE PARTIES AGREE
ONE. - OBJECTIVE AND PRINCIPLES OF THE AGREEMENT
The objective of this Agreement is to assist people with disabilties, in order to achieve equal opportunities in the exercise of their rights and in compliance with their tax obligations.This assistance will extend to their relatives and representatives, as well as to any Associations they may belong to.
The principles that govern this Agreement are those set forth in Act 51/2003 of 2nd December on equal opportunities, non-discrimination and universal accessibility for people with disabilities, insofar as these may be applied in accordance with existing tax regulations.
TWO. - DUTIES OF THE PARTIES
The Agreement obliges the parties to collaborate with each other to the extent that is necessary in order to best achieve the ends pursued by said Agreement.
Breach of the respective duties assumed under this Agreement by any of the parties shall entitle the party or parties of the other part to demand termination of the Agreement, subject to a prior hearing by the Collaboration and Communication Commission that is created under this Agreement.
The ONCE Foundation may, without any consequent changes to its liability with respect to compliance with its obligations, order the performance of any actions it is entitled to carry out under this Agreement and under its specific implementing agreements. Such orders may be given both to its special purpose vehicle Fundosa Grupo, S.A. and to any of the other companies belonging to the Fundosa Group, unless The Tax agency expressly indicates otherwise.The ONCE Foundation shall notify the Tax Agency's sole interlocutor of such an occurrence before the performance of said action begins.
THREE. - CONTENT
The content of this Agreement shall be implemented through initiatives approved by the Collaboration and Communication Commission and, particularly, through the following initiatives.
Necessary Information and Assistance Plan
The Tax Agency will draft the plan for the assistance of people with disabilities each year before 31st January.The content of the plan will take into account information provided to the Tax Agency by CERMI and the ONCE Foundation regarding the problems or needs of people with disabilities as regards exercising their rights and complying with their tax obligations.
To familiarise people with disabilities with their rights and tax obligations, the Tax Agency shall use electronic, computing and telematic formats or techniques to promote their awareness, posting this information on its web page in an accessible format.Should any problems or difficulties impede this, the Tax Agency shall notify the Collaboration and Communication Commission.
CERMI and the ONCE Foundation shall post links to the Tax Agency's web page on their own web pages, and inform their members as to how to access this information.Similarly, and under the specific implementing agreements executed by the parties within the framework of this Agreement, CERMI and the ONCE Foundation shall provide the Tax Agency with the technical means in their possession or that they distribute in order to ensure that its web page is accessible.
CERMI and the ONCE Foundation shall promote the use of web-based technology among their members in their interactions with the Tax Agency.
Information and Assistance to People with Disabilities
CERMI and the ONCE Foundaion shall collaborate with the Tax Agency on initiatives involving the provision of information and assistance to promote compliance with tax obligations or the exercise by disabled people of their rights.
These initiatives shall be determined in informative talks, which may be held by Tax Agency staff either at the Tax Agency's offices or at the offices of the Associations, as is agreed.One of these talks shall address Personal Income Tax, and shall preferably be held during the yearly Income Tax return campaign.
Similarly, a focus will be placed on, among other initiatives, promoting the use of telephone information hotlines and the appointment service offering sign language interpreters, or visits by Tax Agency staff to the offices of the Associations to help with the compilation of tax returns if members of said Associations are not able to visit the Branches or Offices of the Tax Agency.
When its technical means so permit, the Tax Agency will adapt the ways in which it interacts with people with disabilities in order to suit their individual needs.
CERMI and the ONCE Foundation undertake to inform, assist and advise the Tax Agency on, among other issues, technical developments, tools and standards, either existing or newly available, which may have a bearing on the Tax Agency's ability to provide better service to people with disabilities.
The taxpayer's calendar and telephone numbers offering assistance shall be posted on the Tax Agency's web page in an accessible format.
CERMI and the ONCE Foundation shall provide information, through their publications, web pages or other means, on the assistance and information services available to people with disabilities or to the Associations themselves.
The Tax Agency shall create and publish, during the yearly Income Tax campaign, an information leaflet in both paper and electronic format on the main regulations applicable to people with disabilities.In turn, the ONCE Foundation will convert said leaflet into Braille or another equally accessible format.
The Tax Agency will distribute the leaflets through its Branches and Offices.Likewise, it will provide as many copies as necessary to CERMI in order that these can be distributed by as many means as CERMI deems necessary to reach the largest number of people with disabilities.
The leaflet shall state that it has been created by the Tax Agency, and it shall bear the CERMI and the ONCE Foundation logos.
Disability and Taxation Conference
The Collaboration and Communication Commission shall encourage the organisation of a conference on disability and taxation, particularly if changes have been made to tax regulations that affect disabled people.
CERMI and the ONCE Foundation shall present the Tax Agency with a list of problems or issues that are of interest to the Associations, and the Tax Agency will then take a decision as to the participants in the conference and what is needed to organise it.Both CERMI and the ONCE Foundation shall spread information on the conference throughout their Associations.
Publications, Magazines and Media
CERMI and the ONCE Foundation shall provide non-advertising space to the Tax Agency in their publications, magazines and media in order that it may display or broadcast information on tax regulations affecting people with disabilities, and spread awareness on the information and assistance services that it has implemented.
Support at a Regional Level
CERMI and the ONCE Foundation shall drive regional coordination and collaboration by the Associations with the Offices of the Tax Agency in the execution of the initiatives that form the content of this Agreement.
The Tax Agency shall continue to carry out the initiatives it has already begun to bring its buildings up to minimum standards of accessibility by people with disabilities.Insofar as it is possible, the list of accessible buildings, with corresponding details on their degree of accessibility, shall be posted on the Tax Agency's web page.The Collaboration and Communication Commission shall provide information on the accessibility of the Tax Agency's buildings.
Tax Administration Regulations
When the Tax Agency determines that a certain tax administration regulation affects people with disabilities, it may request relevant suggestions from CERMI and the ONCE Foundation in order to facilitate the exercise by disabled people of their rights as well as compliance with their tax obligations.
Likewise, and without prejudice to the above stipulation, should CERMI and the ONCE Foundation be aware of the existance of a tax administration policy initiative that may affect people with disabilties, both Associations may, with sufficient notice, transmit their suggestions and outline their stance to the Tax Agency in order that it may consider and study this information.
Providing Information on the Collaboration Initiative
As a general rule, the parties shall display their respective distinguishing signs, corporate names or logos in any type of meeting, conference or seminar, as well as on publications, projects or activities involving the public arising out of the collaboration framework established under this Agreement.
FOUR. - COLLABORATION AND COMMUNICATION COMMISSION
A Collaboration and Communication Commission shall be created, on the basis of parity, formed by eight members. Four of these shall represent the Tax Agency, two shall represent CERMI and two shall represent the ONCE Foundation.
The Director General of the Tax Agency shall appoint the Director of the Department of Organisation, Planning and Institutional Relations to the Commission, who shall act as its President, as well as a representative from the Tax Administration Department and another representative from the Tax Information Department.
The representatives of CERMI and the ONCE Foundation shall be appointed by their respective governing bodies.
Prior to the first meeting of this Commission, the parties must notify the President in writing as to the names of their representatives on the Commission.
The Commission, which shall be convened by its President, shall meet for the first time within three months following the day on which this Agreement is signed. After this it shall meet ordinarily once a year in the final quarter, and extraordinarily whenever necessary at the request of any of the signatories to this Agreement.
The Commission may assess, where appropriate, the advisability of keeping minutes of the meetings.
The Commission will be in charge of the following:
Driving and tracking collaboration and cooperation between the parties of both parts in the execution of this Agreement, aiming to ensure effective implementation of the content of the initiatives outlined in the Section Three of this Agreement and promoting the signing by all parties of any specific implementing agreements that may be necessary for this purpose.
Evaluating the results obtained.
Resolving any incidences or disputes which may arise as to the interpretation and execution of the Agreement.
Similarly, members of the Commission shall provide each other with information and make any appropriate suggestions to improve administration of the taxes applicable to people with disabilities.
Before the Commission's first meeting is held, single interlocutors shall be appointed from among its members to represent the Tax Agency, CERMI and the ONCE Foundation.These interlocutors will drive the initiatives agreed by the Commission.
FIVE. - EXPENSES
Each party shall bear its own expenses resulting from compliance with the duties undertaken in this Agreement.
SIX. - APPLICABLE LEGAL REGIME
This Agreement is entered into in accordance with the provisions concerning social collaboration in tax administration set forth in Article 96 of General Tax Act 230/1963 of 28th December.Nevertheless, once General Tax Act 58/2003 of 17th December enters into force, it will be the provisions of Article 92 regarding social collaboration that are applicable.
SEVEN. - ENTRY INTO FORCE
This Agreement replaces that of 18th October 1999 for collaboration between the Tax Agency and the Spanish Committee of Representatives of People with Disabilities and the ONCE Foundation for the Cooperation and Social Integration of People with Disabilities.
The Agreement will enter into force the day after the day on which it is signed, and will have a term of one year following this date, automatically renewable for identical periods of time except where otherwise indicated by any of the parties at least two months prior to the end of the Agreement's initial term or that of any of its extensions.
On behalf of the Tax Agency
On behalf of the Spanish Committee of Representatives of People with Disabilities
On behalf of the ONCE Foundation for the Cooperation and Social Integration of People with Disabilities