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Completion of the study on tax measurements in response to the crisis

In June 2024, following a process of just over 15 months, the research work promoted by  Fundación Impuestos y Competitividad on “Tax reforms in response to the crisis”, which was included in the 2023 Action Plan, was completed.

After a long  year with a total of five round tables, the members of the working group achieved their initially proposed objectives and thanks to their diverse professional experience,  completed a broad analysis of the issue under review.

In fact, on the general question of tax measures in response to the crisis, the work finally published includes the Treasury’s general approach to the solutions adopted by the legislator in light of the different economic crises in the past 15 years, a comparison with the solutions of neighbouring countries, basically centering on the EU, with a special focus on the tax on the energy sector introduced by Council Regulation (EU), and a conceptual assessment of the latest solutions of the national legislator who has given special prominence to non-tax levies, giving rise to a heated debate as to whether their intended conceptualization as such is consistent with the substance of their effective regulation, a controversy that ties in with the ongoing application of parafiscal solutions in recent years.

In addition, it includes an individual and detailed analysis of the three novelties brought in by Law 38/2022, namely, energy taxes and taxes on credit institutions, along with a temporary solidarity tax on large fortunes. It ends with an extensive study on the material compatibility of these solutions with European Law and Spain’s Constitution, without forgetting the interesting issue of the peculiar parliamentary procedure adopted, and to what extent it violates the Constitution;  bearing in mind that even after the judgments of the Constitutional Court – which has ruled these measures “constitutional” – there are outstanding issues in this field, it being difficult to arrive at a definitive judgment concerning their future resolution.

As a general assessment resulting from this study, noteworthy is the title finally given to the book which summarises the conclusions of the study, namely, “Fiscal reactions to the crisis”, since it is considered that the wealth of measures recently adopted in light of the crisis triggered by the war in Ukraine, and previously, in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis  and the crisis triggered by COVID 19, cannot be classified as an authentic “reform” of the tax system. On the contrary, they are – with some occasional exceptions – reactive actions, with essentially revenue-raising objectives, which have led to a notable loss of system systematicity, the temporary levies with their purported “non-tax” consideration being noteworthy examples.

A final reminder is due to the BUSINESS ASSOCIATIONS AND GROUPS THAT HAVE CONTRIBUTED FINANCIALLY TO THIS PROJECT, through the signing of Collaboration Agreements, such as FUNDACION AEB, CECA, and REPSOL.