Reduce VAT on cinema tickets, urge Catalan parties and movie sector

May 18, 2017 02:27 PM | ACN

Global support in Catalonia to reduce VAT on cinema tickets from the current 21% to 10%. Compared to other EU countries, in which cultural activities including the movie sector benefit from reduced VAT, Spanish citizens have to live with high taxes on culture. Politicians and associations of the cinema sector in Catalonia consider the 21% VAT on cinema tickets “discriminatory” in comparison to other EU countries. In Germany, for example, there is reduced VAT (7%) on movies (not including damaging content for youth). In Belgium cultural events have a VAT of 6% and in neighboring France, VAT on cultural activities is 7%. That is why these cultural groups have lined up to urge the Spanish government to change it in the 2017 budget and set it at the same level as bullfighting, which is currently taxed at just 10%.

Catalonia follows WHO advice with taxes on sugary drinks

May 2, 2017 06:58 PM | ACN

Following the advice of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Generalitat has approved a new tax on sugary drinks, “because of the effects these drinks have on people’s health”. “Its principal aim is to encourage a change in consumption habits” as the WHO recommends. The new tax goes into effect this May 1, 2017 and it supposes between 8% and 50% of the product’s final price, according to the trade association AECOC. Nevertheless, consumers will not start noticing the price increase on the first day, but “in a week or 10 days, depending on the bars’ and stores’ stocks,” says the tax office’s secretary, Lluís Salvadó.

Catalan Government collected nearly 3 billion euros in taxes in 2016

February 16, 2017 04:34 PM | ACN

The Catalan Government’s tax take rose by 8.3% in 2016, totalling 2.9 billion euros. More than half of this came from the real estate sector, which contributed 1.6 billion euros to the treasury due to the growth registered in both the execution of new mortgages and in the buying and selling of previously owned houses. The wealth tax also contributed to this 225.45 million euros, an increase compared to 2015, not only because the fee grew but also because there were more declarants in 2016 than in the previous years. The figures, which include the Catalan Tax Agency’s own taxes and those transferred by the Spanish state, include the new taxes applied in 2016 for the first time. In particular, the treasury benefited from the taxes applied to empty houses, which represented 11.49 million euros and the 2.99 million obtained by charging Co2 emissions produced by public aviation.  

Sagrada Família could be forced to pay taxes, after over a century of unlicensed building

October 11, 2016 03:41 PM | ACN / Marina Force

The Sagrada Família is one of the most emblematic, but also one of the most polemic, buildings in Barcelona. With up to 10,000 visitors per day, more than 3 million every year, the most iconic building by Antoni Gaudí is a nightmare for neighbours, who have to deal with congestion in their streets and are afraid that the temple construction works may be expanded beyond the current enclosure. Recently, though, a new controversy has also arisen. After more than a century under construction, Barcelona City Hall has announced that it will request the basilica board to pay taxes and have a building permit, which it does not currently possess. According to the estimations, this licence will demand €840,000 of the Barcelona Archbishop, €8.4 million by 2026, the year in which the works are supposed to be completed.

Catalan Government’s budget for 2016 to include €700 million more for social spending

May 23, 2016 07:57 PM | ACN

The Catalan Government’s budget for 2016 has been drafted and €700 million more is to be allocated to social spending compared to the budget of 2015, according to the Catalan Vice President and Minister for Economy Oriol Junqueras. He also stated that the Health sector will see an increase of €317 million, while the Education budget will increase by €211 million and that of Social Services will grow by €173 million. An additional 50 million more euros are to be allocated to the sectors of Universities and Research, stated the Catalan Vice President. The budget will be increased for the first time in many years, with the goal of being “realistic” and avoid “generating expectations that cannot be satisfied”. The budget will be delivered this Tuesday to Parliament’s President Carme Forcadell and opened for discussion amongst the groups in the Catalan Chamber.

Sweden and Australia to be models for Catalonia's own Treasury

July 27, 2015 10:04 PM | ACN

The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, presented on Monday the model for Catalonia's own Treasury, which will be developed should "the political conditions" be there, he stated. "This is the most serious attempt to build our own Treasury in the last 300 years", stressed Mas. "After two years of work, we are ready" to launch and Catalans should not waste "this great opportunity", he stressed. "Without our own Treasury, there is no real self-government", the Catalan President stated. The system would include Catalonia's own Tax Agency and  is inspired by the taxation authorities in countries such as Sweden, Denmark and Australia, which prioritise cooperation with taxpayers over controlling them. In these models, efforts are concentrated on severely persecuting tax evaders and underground economy, while the vast majority of tax-payers who deal correctly with their fiscal obligations receive assistance and have unlimited access to their fiscal data.

Catalan Government starts refunding drug prescription fee after Constitutional Court ban

April 29, 2015 10:09 PM | ACN

The fee that was temporarily charged on each drug prescription in Catalonia between June 2012 and January 2013 has started to be refunded by the Catalan Government, after the Constitutional Court definitively banned it in May 2014. The decision came after an appeal from the Spanish Government, despite the People Party (PP) initially having supported the measure in spring 2012. However, after the Catalan Government started to back independence from Spain in autumn 2012, the PP decided to oppose the drug prescription fee. The measure had been adopted to reduce pharmaceutical spending, with the final goal being to reduce public deficit. In the short period the fee was in place, €45.7 million was directly earned but much more was saved, since drug spending dropped by around 23%. According to the Catalan Government's calculations, so far 100,000 euros has already been returned to approximately 5,000 people and about €6 million will be returned in total. So far, 300,000 people have filed the request, with an average of €20 per person.