Ministry The Treasury entrusted the European Commission with the Green Reform Guidelines Of the registration and circulation taxes that he had been working with for months, but he avoided disclosing them when he had to publish last March the report on the subject required by the executive provisions signed with Brussels to access the third payments of 6,000 million European funds.
Montero then saved the process by publishing an analytical report on the subject, which examined the workings of the current figures, looked at the international tax landscape and pointed out some reform proposals put forward by the experts Montero had gathered, but with significant action. take care of Don’t speak frankly in favor of any of them.
The European Commission’s initial assessment of the milestones and investments that opened the doors of a third disbursement of European funds to Spain, to which the ABC had access, reveals that, in addition to this report, the Ministry of Finance has sent to Brussels officials an appendix entitled “Milestone Reform Proposal 390”, which Strengthens the position of the Government of Spain with regard to reform the special tax on certain modes of transportation known as the registration tax; and a tax on mechanical towing vehicles and a turnover tax.
Tax on all vehicles
According to the report published by the European Commission, the government is proposing an overhaul of the registration tax with the dual aim of turning it into another instrument of environmental policy and Also improves its potential as a gathering weaponIn favor of the treasuries of the autonomous regions, which are the ones that pay taxes.
It confirmed the report, published in March Small collection force for registration tax Spanish regarding the figures in force in the rest of the countries that have a tax of this type. In 2021, it took in a batch of 468 million for a figure that, according to the expert report, could total more than 2,000 million euros.
To end this situation, the Ministry of Finance in favor Remove all exclusions and assumptions of non-submission which are included in the current regulations and which have nothing to do with environmental standards. Do such a thing It will end the tax advantages enjoyed by sectors such as taxis and car rental companies, Driving schools or roadside service companies, which enjoy complete exemption from paying the tax. It remains to be seen if the new system will also end the exemption enjoyed by low-polluting or zero-emissions vehicles as is currently the case.
Revenue potential from registration tax
The Experts’ Report on Tax Reform estimated that collection of the registration tax could be quadrupled compared to its current figures (around 500 million) with some changes in regulations.
In the opinion of Robin Jimeno, Director of Study Department, Register of Financial Advisers (Reaf), this is a necessary step. “It would be a way to update the standard to the times, and the exemptions that currently exist are meaningless. The priority now should be to stimulate the adoption of electric vehicles that do not pollute.”
But this tax is paid not only for the registration of motor vehicles, but also for the registration of aircraft, boats or recreational vessels. Aircraft intended for charter or exercise are also exempted, such as aircraft intended for lease to airlines or those acquired by public administrations. If launched in this configuration, the famous Falcon aircraft in the service of high-ranking government officials would also have to pay a registration tax.
The idea of the government in this area is not only to end the exemption but also to create a new tax system. Now ships and planes pay a flat rate of 12%, the idea being to make a scale based on polluting emissions.
Currently, the composition of the tax responds to its purchasing value and some environmental standards, which provide for four levels of taxation based on carbon dioxide emissions. Effective application of this scheme has shown that manufacturers design their cars so that their emissions put them in the higher range of each measure, given that all vehicles in the same range are taxed the same whether they emit slightly more or less. . The government’s approach calls for Create a new metric linked exclusively and exclusively to polluting emissions To encourage both manufacturers and users to purchase low-emission vehicles.
According to the report prepared by the experts, studies conducted on the purchase patterns of private vehicle users show that the financial cost of registration affects their decisions more than the frequent payment of circulation tax, which in their opinion indicates that registration tax as a key figure for environmental policy-making.
The problem of reaching a political agreement
The government’s approach to the trading tax is less detailed in the European Commission’s report. It confines itself to saying that the government is debating between creating a tax determined by purely environmental criteria or that a municipal tax for driving is also inflated by criteria of progressiveness or fiscal justice linked to the economic ability demonstrated in the purchase of a vehicle, which is to say, if this is expensive or cheap.
There is a huge asterisk throughout the whole government approach to these two taxes. The Treasury makes it clear to Brussels that in the registration tax the collection is allocated to the autonomous communities and any change must be discussed In a forum where both administrations are presentsuggesting that it will be addressed in a final reform of regional finance.