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Introduction

The Spanish tax system is modern and competitive. The Spanish State Tax Agency has distinguished itself through its technological leadership within the Government. It is one of the most modernized European tax agencies, in the vanguard of offering electronic public services, such as the possibility of obtaining tax certificates or filing tax returns online (indeed, online filing is obligatory in many cases).

This tax system comprises three kinds of taxes: “impuestos” (true taxes), “tasas” (dues and fees) and “contribuciones especiales” (special levies). The “tasas” and “contribuciones especiales” are collected in return for a public service provided by the authorities or for any type of benefit as a result of public works or services.

From a territorial perspective, taxes in Spain are levied by the Central Government, by the Autonomous Communities (regional) and by local authorities. Due to their relevance, this chapter concentrates exclusively on the taxes levied by the Central Government, including those administered and collected by regional and local authorities, albeit with a brief reference to the special regimes applicable in the Canary Islands, the Basque Country and Navarra.

Lastly, it should be highlighted that, in order to simplify taxpayers’ tax obligations and, in general, reduce their tax burden, a tax reform was carried out at the end of fiscal year 2014. That reform had a particular impact on corporate income tax, personal income tax, nonresident income tax, value added tax, Canary Island general indirect tax, and some special and excise taxes.