The coronavirus pandemic has dealt a serious blow to the collection capacity of the Tax Agency during 2020. Despite this, the debacle of public revenues has been partially contained by the payment schedule of different taxes. This is the case of personal income tax, in which the Income Campaign of last spring showed an increase in returns with a result to be paid to the treasury three times higher than the advance of returns, corresponding to the year 2019, prior to the crisis of the Covid.
This is derived from the data provided yesterday by the Tax Agency, which practically concluded the Income Campaign held last year on the tax data of the previous year. The campaign concludes with the return of 10.4 billion euros to some 14 million taxpayers in a year marked by the rise of telematic declarations in the framework of the coronavirus pandemic.
To begin with, the number of returns filed increased by 2%, reaching a new all-time high, exceeding 21.12 million. Of these, 68.5% included a refund request (14.47 million) while the remaining 31.5% (5.64 million) resulted in a credit to the treasury.
In spite of everything, the campaign ends with a higher increase in the taxpayers liable to pay, as well as in the amounts to be paid by the Treasury, than among those who had results in their favor and received from the Tax Agency. To understand this phenomenon, it must be taken into account that the campaign ends a fiscal year, 2019, in which the economy slowed but still grew at 2%, as it was not yet affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Its liquidation, however, occurs in a year in which the economy suffered an environmental disaster of 11.2%, according to official government forecasts.
In this way, the number of declarations to be filed grew by 5.44% compared to the previous year, to 5.64 million, and the amounts to be received by the treasury rose by 6.08%, to 12,725 million euros .
On the other hand, returns to be returned fell 0.12%, to 14.47 million, while the amount returned was 11,190 million euros, an advance of 3.17% compared to the result of the previous campaign, corresponding as of 2018.
From there, the Treasury has already returned 93% of the amounts claimed (10,428 million) to 97% of the interested parties (14.06 million taxpayers).
Incidence in the box
This evolution, with a greater increase in balances to be paid into the public treasury than in those that have had to be returned to taxpayers, partly explains why the Ministry of Finance aspires to close a year of double-digit GDP decline with a reduction in the collection of only 7.6%.
Thus, at the end of November, the public coffers had suffered a drop in tax collection of 9%, from 197,853 million in the first 11 months of 2019 to 179,996 million on the same date in 2020. However, in In the case of personal income tax, the comparative showed a year-on-year increase of 1%, to 82,358 million. Even a comparison in homogeneous terms for calendar purposes limits the fall in income from personal income tax during 2020 to 0.3%, at the end of November. A limited impact given the severity of the economic crisis unleashed by the pandemic and the fact that, recognizes the Tax Agency, with the activation of the ERTE as an employment safety net, “they went from having wages subject to withholding to having benefits with little or no retention ”.
The 2019 Income Campaign has been characterized, in turn, by the increase in electronic declarations. It should be remembered that the process started within the framework of the closing of the Tax Agency’s offices, during the state of alarm last spring. Although, the Treasury ruled out delaying the campaign. Thus, the declarations presented through the telephone service “We call you” multiplied by six to 1,155 million.
For their part, the declarations made through the Tax Agency website (19.28 million, 6.9% more) and those made through the mobile application (another 365,000, 25.8% more) reached 93% of the total of all those presented, compared to 88% represented by these electronic declarations in the previous year.
The PSOE has presented several amendments to the tax antifraud law being processed by the Congress of Deputies that include a tightening of the requirements for collective investment companies, the Sicav, to pay taxes at 1% in Societies. Although a minimum of 100 partners is already required to ensure that this tax advantage does not benefit all types of vehicles, the Socialists propose that a minimum participation of 2,500 euros per shareholder is required (12,500 euros in the case of Sicav by compartments) for avoid the existence of so-called “mariachi” participants, which only appear to allow the main investor to pay less taxes. The PSOE proposes that the change be accompanied by a transitional regime of six months, a gateway in which the dissolution and liquidation of a Sicav for this reason is exempt from the Tax on Patrimonial Transmissions and Documented Legal Acts. In turn, the partners will not have to integrate the income derived from the liquidation into the income tax base, the Corporation Tax or the Income of Non-Residents, provided that the money is reinvested before seven months. Its use for the purchase of securities will be exempted from the new Tobin tax.