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The two ministers underlined that the reform not only seeks to compensate the sacrifices made by the people, but also to strengthen economic growth

The government has presented the tax reform which provides for a reduction in the tax brackets and rates of Personal Income Tax (Spanish acronym: IRPF) for all taxpayers and a reduction in the maximum rate of Corporate Income Tax to 25% by 2016. VAT will not be raised.

The Council of Ministers analysed a report on the Draft Tax Reform Bill, with the aim of designing clearer and fairer taxes. The reform will result in a GDP increase of 0.55% in the period 2015-2016.

On Monday, the text will be published on the webpage of the Ministry of the Treasury and Public Administration Services, which will be submitted to the regional governments and to the different social stakeholders at which time a period of public consultation will be initiated. Following this process, the government will approve its submission to Parliament with a view to it entering into force in January 2015.

The Vice-President of the Government, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, highlighted that this is a structural reform which seeks to reduce taxes for all on a general basis: for workers, companies and families. "The reforms adopted over the last two and a half years have enabled us to tackle the path to recovery. Now is the time for consolidation".

Along the same lines, the Minister for the Treasury and the Public Administration Services, Cristóbal Montoro, pointed out that "the time has come to reduce taxation for everyone and the Spanish people will now be compensated for the efforts they have had to make".

The two ministers underlined that the reform not only seeks to compensate the sacrifices made by the people, but also to strengthen economic growth, stimulate savings and investment through a modern tax system that fosters job creation. "We will reduce tax on employment significantly and we will reduce the so-called ‘fiscal gap’, which is too wide in Spain", said Cristóbal Montoro.

The Minister for the Treasury pointed out that the reform seeks to foster entrepreneurialism and enhance the Spanish economy’s ability to compete with the rest of the world. "We are committed to enhancing – through higher fiscal savings – the facilities for companies in Spain to become larger, more effective and more competitive".

Both Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría and Cristóbal Montoro highlighted that the underlying principle of this reform is the creation of a fairer tax system, with a particular focus on families and the disabled.

Average reduction of 12.5% in IRPF

The average Personal Income Tax reduction will be 12.5% for all taxpayers. 72% of taxpayers, with income lower than 24,000 euros, will have an average reduction of 23.5%.

The Vice-President of the Government announced that "in 2015, 20 million taxpayers will have higher disposable monthly income because this reduction will be seen from the very first month of withholdings in January 2015".

The Minister for the Treasury and the Public Administration Services added that "for those taxpayers with income of less than 18,000 euros per annum, the total reduction on their current situation may be as high as 31%".

Cristóbal Montoro confirmed that next year the number of IRPF brackets will be reduced from the current 7 to 5. The tax rate of the lowest bracket will stand at 20% next year, dropping to 19% in 2016. The tax rate of the highest bracket will stand at 47% in 2015, dropping to 45% in 2016. He also pointed out that those citizens that have total income from employment of less than 12,000 euros will not pay IRPF.

More social benefits

The minister announced that the so-called ‘negative taxes’ will be extended, which include aid directly paid out from the Treasury earmarked for certain groups, such as large families and families with dependent children and disabled members. A new feature indicated by the minister is that while aid for working mothers is maintained, new social protection vehicles are to be created.

In each case, 1,200 euros may be received per annum in advance at a rate of 100 euros per month. These ‘negative taxes’ are to be accumulative.

Corporate Income Tax

Cristóbal Montoro reported that the general tax rate for Corporate Income Tax will be reduced from its current 30% to 28% in 2015 and to 25% in 2016.

A business capitalisation reserve will be created, meaning that companies can earmark a tax-free provision to own resources of up to 10% of the profit made in the tax year. That will be used to promote business self-financing and reduce dependency on outside resources.

In the case of SMEs, a levelling-down reserve is created whereby a reduction of 10% in the tax base can be enjoyed, up to a limit of 1 million euros.

The Minister for the Treasury and the Public Administration Services also commented that the reduced tax rate for new entrepreneurs will be maintained at 15%. In order to combat fraud, a list of bad debtors will be published, a commitment made by this government at the start of the legislature.

No rise in VAT

The Vice-President of the Government announced that the government will not raise VAT, except on certain healthcare products as required under European case law.

The minister explained that the government is not going to raise VAT because it already raised it at "an extremely critical moment for Spain" – in July 2012, and this tax hike was sufficiently extensive and has allowed us, under the new economic scenario, to collect more. "The VAT collection figures are actually positive and hence we will not be pushing for any further VAT hikes because we see them as wholly unnecessary and even counter-productive at this time".

PIVE 6 Plan

The Council of Ministers approved the sixth round of the Efficient Vehicle Incentive Programme (PIVE-6), with a provision of 175 million euros. The aim is to replace cars and light commercial vehicles that are more than ten and seven years old respectively, by models with high-level energy efficiency, with lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

This plan seeks to replace 175,000 vehicles, resulting in a saving of some 60 million litres of fuel per year. So far the government has invested a sum of 715 million euros in the six rounds of the PIVE

The Council of Ministers also approved the granting of an extraordinary loan of 95 million euros to boost R&D+i and to strengthen the calls for projects and human resources in this field.

Furthermore, it approved a Royal Decree-Law creating the Royal Guidon and Standard of His Majesty King Felipe VI. It also received a report on the Draft Constitutional Law authorising the ratification of amendments to the Statute of Rome from the International Criminal Court relating to war crimes and crimes of aggression.

Current affairs

The Vice-President of the Government concluded the press briefing following the Council of Ministers by thanking the institutions and people of Spain for "the impeccable, orderly and balanced manner" in which the events of the proclamation of King Felipe VI were carried out, befitting a "mature and stable democracy" in which the provisions of the Constitution are adhered to.

As regards the future immunity from trial of King Juan Carlos and other members of the Royal Family, she pointed out that, given that it is necessary to do this through a constitutional law, it has been decided to introduce certain amendments in the constitutional law on the judiciary, to which end the government will continue "to talk with all parliamentary groups".

As regards the attitude of the President of the Regional Government of Catalonia, Artur Mas, during the proclamation of King Felipe VI and his subsequent statements, the Vice-President of the Government stressed that "the most institutional form of behaviour is to always comply with the law".

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/44058/

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