Economy

Experts in favor of raising fuel taxes

The experts who make up the committee for tax reform propose raising the taxation of gasoline and diesel, as well as establishing a minimum rate in wealth and inheritance taxes, although the Minister of Finance, María Jesús Montero, has ruled out any increase in short-term rates.

“This week is not exactly a time when we are going to immediately consider making any tax increase”Montero pointed out at the delivery of the white paper for tax reform, a document of almost 800 pages that includes ten months of work by 17 experts and that should serve as the basis for tax reform.

The chairman of the committee, Jesús Ruiz-Huerta, has admitted that the eventual implementation of the measures will have to take into account the economic situation and the impact of the war in Ukraine, although he has valued that the document “can help a tax reform process”.

15,023 million environmental taxes

Among the proposals of the white paper, environmental taxes stand out, in which Spain is “very behind” and with which up to 15,023 million additional euros could be raised.

The report proposes a general increase in taxes on hydrocarbons -especially natural gas and fuels, but also aviation, maritime and agricultural-, as well as the equalization of the taxation of diesel and gasoline.

Only the changes in gasoline and diesel would raise up to 6,850 millionbut they are also committed to reforming registration and circulation taxes to promote vehicles with lower emissions.

Added to this is the creation of a tax on plane tickets of 7.85 euros -which would allow the collection of 952 million- and to tax the use of highways and expressways through electronic tolls -1 cent for vehicles and between 3 and 4.9 cents per kilometer, which would raise between 1,172 and 1,398 million-.

Instead, they propose to abolish the tax on the value of electricity production and modify the special electricity tax so that its tax base is linked to consumption, some measures that would allow a saving of 2,700 million to encourage electrification.

Harmonize property taxation

The experts propose maintaining wealth and inheritance and donation taxes, although setting a minimum that the autonomous communities could not eliminate to avoid the “emptying” that, according to Ruiz-Huerta, is being done of these taxes.

The autonomous communities would maintain their autonomy to modify the types and establish bonusesalthough with certain limitations to guarantee a “balance” of competences.

They also propose raising the exempt minimums and softening the scale of the tax, along with more specific measures such as exempting from taxation the inheritance of the habitual residence when the heir already lives in it.

Experts ask to raise VAT on drinks in restaurants

In terms of VAT, the report proposes raising from 10% to 21% the consumption of sugary and alcoholic beverages in restaurants and move towards a single type of VAT, although he recognizes that it is a socially complicated change.

In the event that the reduced and super-reduced rates were eliminated, the general rate could be lowered to 15% and vulnerable households would have to be compensated for the increase in prices. It also asks to lower feminine intimate hygiene products to 4%.

Within the proposals related to the taxation of companies, the report proposes to eliminate the tax on economic activities (IAE) and create a local rate for occupation of public domain in home delivery of parcels.

To promote the collaborative economy, experts propose exempting activities such as home exchange, shared vehicles or the sale of used goods for small amounts, which are subject to taxes although in practice they are not paid.

The experts also propose that VAT taxpayers of less than 3,000 euros per year be exempt from the obligations linked to the tax, lor that it would benefit some 500,000 taxpayers and would have an impact on the collection of some 228 million euros.

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