June 21. 2024. 6:36

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Spain collects millions in ‘solidarity taxes’ imposed on banks, energy firms

Large energy companies and financial institutions in Spain have paid €1.45 billion in a first instalment of two extraordinary taxes imposed by the government on both sectors, Finance Minister María Jesús Montero explained on Tuesday.

At a press conference in Madrid, Montero (PSOE/S&D) stressed that the windfall tax for energy firms has collected €817.4 million and the tax for the banking sector €637.1 million.

Financial and energy sectors “have the government’s clear support” though they should “make a small effort and contribute to helping the citizens”, said Montero, pointing to the time the government bailed out many Spanish banks during the 2008 banking crisis.

“Now it is time (…) to pull together”, the minister insisted.

However, both sectors are unhappy about the measure.

The association of large Spanish power companies (Aelec) is analysing all legal arguments available to present shortly at the EU level; sources told financial daily Cinco Días

Meanwhile, the Spanish banking employers’ association recently announced it would appeal against the extraordinary tax on the sector.

Large energy companies and banks had until Monday to pay the first instalment of two multi-billion-euro taxes approved in 2022 by Madrid to offset the toll of inflation on vulnerable consumers.

The Finance Ministry expects that the annual collection of the two temporary taxes (applicable in 2023 and 2024) will exceed € 2.9 billion, in line with the government’s initial forecast.

Montero stressed that both taxes are “quite reasonable” for the two sectors that made multi-billion profits in 2022 – €20.5 billion for large banks and €12 billion for energy companies .

The extraordinary taxes, in force since January, tax the intermediation margin and the income from non-regulated activities in Spain, respectively. Half this amount is paid in the first twenty days of February in the format of an “advanced payment”.

The new forecast collection for these two new fiscal tools, after the recent changes introduced by parliament, is €1.7 billion per year for large energy companies and € 1.3 billion annually for large banks.

The minister recalled that these two taxes, together with the “solidarity tax” on large fortunes, aim to advance “fiscal justice” and fight against inequality.

(Fernando Heller | EuroEFE.EURACTIV.es)