Towards an encore wealth tax?

ContributorName(contributor, true)
insight featured image
With this headline, we refer to what is now popularly known as the Tax on Large Fortunes, although, at the time of writing this article, little is known about its real name and its specific configuration.

It goes without saying that it is not at all easy for those who are forced to offer a first outline of this tax because, according to what has been published and politically "sold", it comes to complement the current Wealth Tax, especially in those autonomous communities that started the path of bonuses in the same, possibly spurred by the "Guadiana" effect that the mentioned Tax has had (appearing and disappearing for periods of time and with the cartel hung as temporary although in our country there is nothing more permanent than those taxes that are born as temporary).

Approaching a "macro" analysis of the aforementioned figure (with all the possibilities of being wrong about something that does not exist at the present date), it should be pointed out that the aforementioned figure will face a real analysis of constitutionality from several fronts:

  1. to determine whether it encroaches on the competences of the Autonomous Communities, since de facto (and if what has been announced is fulfilled) it will homogenize the tax panorama of the different Autonomous Communities,
  2. in the event that the aforementioned new figure supplants the current Wealth Tax in certain Autonomous Communities, but without the collection being transferred to them,
  3. if there were to be double taxation on the same fact (being simplistic, one is taxed twice for owning the same asset), and
  4. if it would entail confiscation prohibited by the Constitution and that the Wealth Tax saved by the minimum.

It seems difficult to determine a tax of this type ex novo and defining anew both the impossible fact and the taxable base of the same and the valuation rules, but to the extent that the new tax relies to a greater extent on the current Wealth Tax, the greater will also be the risk of incurring in some of the aforementioned assumptions of unconstitutionality. The risk will also be greater depending on the date on which it is approved and the date on which it enters into force, since its entry into force on January 1, 2022 entails additional requirements of constitutionality and let us not forget that we are in November 2022.

  • If we were to ask a few things from the current drafter of the aforementioned tax, we would possibly include the following:
  • The homogenization of the concept of economic activities and of assets related thereto being transversal to Corporate Income Tax, Personal Income Tax, Wealth Tax, Inheritance and Gift Tax and this new tax,
  • that it does not change the concept of affected assets existing at present except to improve it by virtue of the judicial pronouncements produced to date in order not to break the existing "rules of the game",
  • not to limit itself to copying the valuation rules of the Wealth Tax, some of which are obsolete.
  • to maintain the promotion of family businesses as they have been understood since the pact of 1994 of the last century with equivalent definitions of exemption and that the autonomous communities have been widening or reducing them like an "accordion" (and several times as it seems to be intended in the Autonomous Community of Valencia),
  • that double taxation and confiscation should be avoided, and that the limit in the quota between the Income Tax, the Wealth Tax and this new tax should be very well analyzed.
  • to avoid taxing assets that are considered to be high but which are not very liquid, and
  • reduce the effect of the hidden "catastrazo" that has recently occurred. Given the difficulty of the task, it seems to us very complex to arrive at solutions that are convincing.

And the big question: what can be done while waiting? Well, little if it is approved by 2022 and given the scarce information vs transparency. A rule of thumb would be to achieve the highest possible net worth possible as of December 31 of this year, a task that, although not easy, is not impossible, as well as to achieve the highest possible limitation with the Income Tax.