The Council of Ministers will approve tomorrow the ‘Tobin rate’ and the ‘Google rate’

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The Council of Ministers will foreseeably approve tomorrow the technology tax and the one that will tax the financial transactions, the “Google rate” and the “Tobin rate”. “It is very probable” so be it, finance sources report to this newspaper. But the fact that the Government gives the green light to these two new taxes does not imply that they immediately enter into force. As it concerns the design of two new tax figures, the regulations require that they have to be approved in the Congress of Deputies like any ordinary law, with a simple majority of the deputies that are part of the Chamber.

It is not the first time that these two rates have the backing of the Council of Ministers: the previous socialist government, which emerged from the motion of censure to the Executive of Mariano Rajoy, has already begun the process to get these two new taxes in place and on January 18, 2019, he approved it in the Council of Ministers. The advance call of the general elections by not prospering the approval of the Budgets aborted the parliamentary process that could have caused them to see the light. Pedro Sánchez called the general elections on February 15.

The Government, therefore, does not wait to present the Budgets to try to carry out these two taxes. To show its draft public accounts, the Government prefers to have the supports tied. It is likely that to get the approval of the “Google rate” and the “Tobin rate” the road is clearer than to achieve the same with the Budget Law. Although it is not likely to have the votes of the parties of the right of the spectrum (although some of them granted in declarations to this newspaper that the big technology companies pay less in Spain than they should), it could count on the support of the PNV. Although this party has claimed that it would prefer that they be agreed taxes at European level, if the Spanish Government did it on its own, as it seems that it will, it would be willing to talk about them and negotiate them. More assured, however, would be the parakeet of Esquerra Republicana de Cataluña for these two specific fiscal measures, as well as the rest of the left.

The Treasury seems to want to accelerate the approval of taxes that give a boost to public revenues to face the spending policies that it has already committed and also those that it would like to introduce in the next budgets. Dand according to the Government’s calculations, with the implementation of these two taxes 2,050 million euros would be collected per year (1,200 million with the digital tax and 850 million with the financial transaction). But, depending on when they come into force, the period of the year over which they will be applied could decrease and, therefore, also the expected income.

It should also be borne in mind that these collection calculations were made before the downward revision of the GDP growth expectations that the Government made last week, which could have its impact on the final state revenue figure by This concept.

The technology tax, whose settlement will be quarterly, seeks to tax online advertising services, network intermediation services and the sale of data generated from information provided by the user during their activity or the sale of metadata. But only of the companies with total income of at least 750 million euros, of which at least three million correspond to Spain. The great stumbling block with which this tribute is met with the opposition of Donald Trump, since most of the big technology companies are Americans. That opposition has already led the French Government to delay the entry into force of the tax figure to avoid reprisals from the White House in the form of tariffs.

The Minister of Economy, Nadia Calviño, at her entrance to the Eurogroup meeting, said that something similar could happen in Spain: that the ‘Google fee’ be paid at the end of the year, in order to allow time to see how the issue evolves on an international level.

As for the tax on financial transactions, it will tax with 0.2% the operations of purchase of shares of Spanish companies with a capitalization of more than 1,000 million euros executed by operators in the financial sector, who will be subject to taxation. Just last week, the president of the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV), Sebastian Albella, commented that his agency had participated in the technical design of the tax and that it would be in line with the French and Italian, already underway. But the president of Inverco, Ángel Martínez-Aldama, said just the same day that its entry into force will discourage investment in Spanish shares. Another criticism of this tax is that the financial institutions will transfer it to the prices that their final customer has to pay and that, therefore, it will be the latter who, in practice, will pay it.

Both taxes, both technological and expected to be serious financial transactions, andThey are being discussed internationally in order to establish it in a harmonized manner in the OECD countries or, at least, in the European Union.



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