Over the past 12 months, the following significant reforms have been made to Spanish law on direct taxation of individuals:
- On 29 December 2018, Royal Decree-Law (RDL) 27/2018, of 28 December 2018, which passed certain tax and rateable value measures, was published in the Official State Gazette. The main measures contained in this regulation that affect individual taxes are:
Maternity benefits are clearly declared to be tax exempt as of 30 December 2018 and for non-statute-barred tax years (generally, 2014 onwards). This amendment is the result of the judgement of the Spanish High Court dated 3 October 2018, which considered most maternity benefits to be tax exempt.
- Wealth tax is maintained in 2019, extending the temporary scope of application of what was intended to be an exceptional measure for another year. This is so in spite of the powers that autonomous communities have regarding this tax.
On 8 November 2018, Royal Decree-Law 17/2018, of 8 November 2018, was published in the Official State Gazette. Under this RDL, from 10 November 2018, lenders of mortgage loans are required to pay stamp duty on these loans.
On 4 July 2018, Law 6/2018, of 3 July 2018, of the General State Budget for 2018 was published in the Official State Gazette. The main measures contained in this law that affect individual taxes are:
- For tax years commencing on 1 January 2018, to reduce the tax burden of workers with lower incomes, the general reduction for employment income is increased from 14,450 euros (EUR) to EUR 16,825, and a complex transitory regime is established for 2018.
- From 1 January 2018, several tax credits are increased, such as the tax credits for maternity, for caring for persons with a disability, for large families, or for income obtained in Ceuta or Melilla. A tax credit is introduced for taxpayers when other members of their family unit reside in another European Union (EU) member state.
- For tax years commencing on 1 January 2018, the minimum threshold over which a personal income tax (PIT) return must be filed is raised and an exemption is included for small amounts obtained from capital gains derived from public subsidies.
- From 5 July 2018, the exempt amount of the special tax levied on prizes received from lotteries and games organised by the State Lottery and Gaming Corporation or from lotteries organised by public bodies or entities that carry on social or welfare non-profit-making activities in other EU member states is increased.
- Wealth tax is maintained in 2018, extending for another year the application of a measure that was intended to be exceptional. The above applies notwithstanding the powers of autonomous communities for this tax.