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Spain: Reinstatement of Wealth Tax

(Sept. 28, 2011) As a response to the serious economic crisis in Spain, the government decided to temporarily reinstate the wealth tax for fiscal years 2011 and 2012. (Royal Decree-Law [RDL] 13/2011 of Sept. 16, 2011, 224 BOLETÍN OFICIAL DEL ESTADO (Sept. 17, 2011).)

The government had abolished the tax in 2008 in order to reactivate the economy. Now, three years later, the anticipated revenues from this tax, estimated to be €1.08 billion, are needed to reduce the country's huge deficit. (El Gobierno Recupera el Impuesto de Patrimonio a Partir de 700.000 Euros, EL MUNDO (Sept. 15, 2011).)

The new tax will apply to people with real estate, securities, or bank account assets worth over €700,000 (about US$963,000), excluding their primary residence up to a maximum value of €300,000 (RDL 13/2011, art. 3).

The government contends that it is justified in requiring those with more wealth to contribute more to resolve the crisis. It estimates that the new tax will affect 160,000 taxpayers. (EL MUNDO, supra.)