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TAXES

EXPLAINED: What are Spain’s new regional tax breaks?

Seven Spanish regions have announced tax breaks which act as an extra benefit to the income tax reductions announced by the national government recently. Read on to find out what they are and how they could help you save.

EXPLAINED: What are Spain's new regional tax breaks?
Which Spanish regions have announced tax breaks? Photo: JUANJO MARTIN / POOL / AFP

With Spain gearing up for local elections in May 2023 and a general election expected at the end of next year, regional governments and the left-wing national government are immersed in a tax war to sway the voting balance in their favour, with the official message being to help people across the country deal with the consequences of inflation and the rising energy and daily costs.

The biggest news so far has been that the national government has decided to reduce the income tax of people earning up to €21,000 ($20,200) per year, while introducing a new “solidarity tax” for those with more than €3 million.

READ MORE: How much will you save with Spain’s national income tax cut?

Spain’s Personal Income Tax (IRPF) is a state tax, but half of its collection is controlled by the autonomous communities.

As such, each region can change its income tax brackets and the reductions will apply to the 50 percent of IRPF collected by the regional government. It does not represent a reduction in the overall income tax rate, but it certainly helps.

In recent weeks, several regions have announced tax breaks as well, but unlike those announced by the country’s Tax Minister María Jesús Montero, they’re not all related to income tax for low earners alone.

Madrid

Madrid has announced that it will reduce its regional IRPF by 4.1 percent. It is scheduled to come into force at the beginning of 2023 and is aimed at helping its citizens “face high inflation and the rise in energy, fuel or food prices,” according to the local government.

Once it is fully approved this year, it will be added to the tax validated by the Community of Madrid and which will mean an estimated collective saving of more than €300 million.

Madrid also recently announced that from Q1 2023, new autónomos in the region will have their social security fees paid for by her government for their first year of being self-employed. If their monthly earnings are below minimum wage in the second year (€1,166 gross a month), they will also have their social security fees covered by the regional government.

READ ALSO: New self-employed workers in Madrid to pay no social security tax

Valencia region

In late September, Valencian regional president Ximo Puig announced several financial reforms, which will make taxes in the region more progressive.

The biggest of these reforms was a reduction in the regonal income tax rates for those earning under €60,000 gross a year. This is estimated to help 97.4 percent of Valencian taxpayers or 1.34 million workers.

The new income rates will be retroactive and apply to earnings from January 1st 2022, so will be applied to the 2022 annual income tax declaration next year.

READ ALSO: Spain’s Valencia region lowers income tax for yearly earnings under €60K

Balearic Islands

On Monday, October 3rd Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced several fiscal incentives for the Balearic Islands.

The 2023 General State Budget will incorporate new specific tax deductions for the Balearic Islands. This will mean a deduction of 90 percent of the tax base in the corporate tax and income tax for non-residents for investments that promote job creation in the region.

There will also be a bonus of 10 to 20 percent for the sale of assets produced in the Balearic Islands within the industrial, livestock, agricultural and fishing industries.

Both of these are due to come into effect on January 1st, 2023. The Balearic Government estimates that these incentives will mean savings of €208 million for 47,000 companies and 71,000 self-employed workers.

Galicia

The government of Galicia has also announced certain tax breaks for its residents, including lowering personal income tax, from 9.4 to 9 percent, for those who earn below €35,000. This will also be in effect retroactively from January 1st, 2022.

Galician regional president Alfonso Rueda has also decided to reduce its wealth tax for residents with worldwide assets above €700,000 by a further 25 percent to reach 50 percent.

Andalusia

In Andalusia, the authorities will reduce the IRPF rate by 4.3 percent. It will affect all taxpayers and will be applied retroactively from January 1st, 2022 and will be reflected in the personal income tax return filed next year.

Andalusian regional president Juanma Moreno also announced that Spanish nationals and foreigners who reside in the southern Spanish region or have a second home there, and whose worldwide assets are above €700,000, will receive a 100 percent tax deduction on the region’s wealth tax. In other words, they will not have to pay any tax on their assets as is the case in almost all of Spain’s regions.

Murcia

Murcia will reduce its regional personal income tax by 4.1 percent, a measure which it estimates will benefit 330,000 residents, resulting in total savings between €8.5 and €10 million. It will affect 96 percent of those required to submit the income tax return, according to the regional government. 

Castilla y León

The regional government of Castilla y León has approved a draft law on tax reductions, which will allow personal income in the first tax bracket to be lowered by 5.3 percent.

Aragón, Cantabria and Navarra

Although the northern regions of Aragón, Cantabria and Navarra have not yet announced tax breaks, all three of them are currently contemplating it.  

In late September, Aragón’s regional president Javier Lambán admitted that it was a “possibility” if the four parties that make up his government agree.

In Navarra, the government is working on an “extraordinary deduction” on personal income tax for those who earn less than €32,000 gross per year.

The leader of the Cantabrian region Miguel Ángel Revilla also stated that “If the tide goes that way, we are not going to be left out”.

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ECONOMY

Why the UK’s Royal Navy ships are being built in Spain

Spain's internationally renowned shipbuilders will help make three new supply ships worth €1.8 billion for the British Navy.

Why the UK’s Royal Navy ships are being built in Spain

Navantia, Spain’s state-owned shipbuilding company, will play a key role in the construction of three new British Navy supply vessels.

The Team Resolute consortium, of which Navantia’s UK subsidiary is a member along with British firms BMT, Harland & Wolff and Appledore, was awarded the €1.8 billion (around £1.6 billion) contract to make three 216-metre auxiliary ships that will carry supplies and ammunition to British Navy aircraft carriers, destroyers and frigates.

The ships will be among the largest in the British fleet, smaller than only the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers.

In Spain, the shipbuilding work will take place at the internationally renowned Navantia shipyard in Puerto Real in Cádiz. Navantia have previously built ships for the Saudi Navy, and in 2016 built two ships for the Australian Navy, though they were mostly built in Navantia shipyards in Ferrol, Galicia.

Navantia’s president, Ricardo Domínguez, said in a statement that “It is an honour for Navantia and Navantia UK to participate in this programme, which will benefit from our excellence in shipbuilding and our programme management and technology transfer capabilities.”

Construction in the UK will take place at the Harland & Wolff shipyards in Belfast and also in Appledore, on the Devon coast.

According to the contract, production should begin in 2025 and the three ships, which will each be the length of two football pitches, should be operational by 2032.

Xiana Méndez, Spain’s Secretary of State for Commerce, described the contract as “excellent news” for Spain, stressing the strength of Navantia’s international portfolio not only for the clear “economic effects” but the “strategic alliances” it allows Spain to foster on the international stage.

The contract makes Navantia one of several important Spanish companies currently operating in the United Kingdom, along with energy company Iberdrola, Telefónica (O2), the Iberia Express airline, which is part of IAG, as well as transport infrastructure group Ferrovial, which operates at Heathrow airport, and airport operator Aena, which runs Luton airport.

READ ALSO: CONFIRMED: Deal on UK licences in Spain agreed but still no exchange date

Navantia’s role in the shipbuilding consortium is certainly encouraging for Spain’s relationship with Britain in the post-Brexit world. Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia reported the news with the headline: ‘Navantia beats Brexit.’

Spanish Armada?

It has not been received quite as positively in the United Kingdom, however, with shadow Defence Minister Chris Evans claiming that the outsourcing of parts of the construction process to a Spanish firm serves to “create a new Spanish Armada, over 430 years since the last one lost.”

“It is also highly unusual for warships to be built abroad due to security implications” he added. “This is about creating British jobs for British workers, with British ships, using British steel.”

Defence Minister Alex Chalk defended the contract and Navantia’s involvement, suggesting that “some components are built overseas” and that in “in modern engineering designs it was ever thus.”

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