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Spanish standard UNE 19602 on tax compliance published

28/02/2019

  • Este estándar, que ha despertado una gran expectación, ayuda a las organizaciones a prevenir y gestionar adecuadamente los riesgos tributarios. La UNE 19602 establece los requisitos que deben cumplir las empresas para desarrollar un sistema de gestión de compliance tributario eficaz.
  • Entre otros requisitos, la norma indica que las empresas deben disponer de una política de compliance tributario aprobada por los órganos de gobierno que minimice riesgos, fijar controles financieros y no financieros o abrir canales de comunicación de incumplimiento de los requisitos.
  • La UNE 19602, elaborada con la participación y el consenso de destacados expertos representativos de los diferentes grupos de interés del ámbito del compliance tributario, será certificable por una tercera parte independiente, contribuyendo a generar confianza ante todas las partes.

28 February 2019. The Spanish Association for Standardisation-UNE, has published the much-awaited standard UNE 19602 today, on Tax compliance management systems. Requirements and guidelines for use.

This standard, which compiles the best practices, establishes the requirements and guidelines to adopt, implement, maintain and continually improve an effective tax compliance management system in organisations. 

The objective of UNE 19602 is to help organisations to prevent and effectively manage tax risks through a culture of compliance.

The publication of this standard, developed within the Spanish standardisation organisation, culminates the work of almost two years performed by notable experts who represent different stakeholders in the scope of tax compliance, and is the result of a consensus among all parties involved. UNE 19602, which has raised major expectations among organisations, is another case of success in which technical standards provide an effective response to the main challenges of organisations.

The standard establishes a comprehensive frame of reference that allows organisations to establish a tax compliance management system that is in line with the requirements of all Spanish standards. Furthermore, the standard has a 'High-Level' structure, which is common to all international ISO standards on management systems, which means it can be integrated with other systems; for example, with the indications of Standard UNE 19601 on criminal compliance, or UNE-ISO 37001 on anti-bribery.

Among others requirements, UNE 19602 establishes that organisations must: 

  • have a tax compliance policy approved by the governing bodies that minimises exposure to tax risks.
  • train and raise awareness among organisation employees regarding the tax risks identified.
  • establish financial and non-financial controls on their processes, or even other entities.
  • establish communication channels to report breaches or justified suspicions of requirement breaches, ensuring that the informant does not suffer any reprisals.

This Standard has been elaborated within the UNE Standardisation technical subcommittee, CTN 165/SC4 on Tax Compliance, with the participation of experts from 32 organisations in the field of tax compliance; among others, these include companies, regional and local administrations, associations of professionals in the sector, NGOs, law firms, consultants and universities. The standards are elaborated under the principles of openness, transparency and consensus. 

This standard will be certifiable by an independent third party, which is a way to ensure that it is applied effectively. The certification could constitute a fundamental element of evidence to prove the will of the organisation to the Administration or Courts, and its use of best practices to meet obligations, and avoid sanctions, whether administrative or criminal. Certification of this standard helps to build assurance among all stakeholders.

This UNE standard is applicable to any organisations, regardless of their type, size, characteristics or activity, in the private and public sectors, for or not for profit.