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Tax incentives on capital duty

The Royal Decree-Law 13/2010 of 3 December, on fiscal, labour and deregulatory initiatives designed to promote investment and create employment, some corporate operations are exempt from documented legal acts and asset transfer tax.

From 3 December 2010, by virtue of the Royal Decree-Law 13/2010 of 3 December, on fiscal, labour and deregulatory initiatives designed to promote investment and create employment, the following corporate operations are exempt from documented legal acts and asset transfer tax:

• Company incorporation
• Capital increase
• Contributions made by shareholders, other than capital increase
• Transfer of head office or the corporate domicile from a non-EU territory to Spain.

The following remain taxable:

• Company capital decrease
• Company dissolution

Since 1985, numerous European Union member states have opted to abolish this tax concept. Those member states that have chosen to stop collecting capital duty may in no event begin to collect it again . This is stated expressly in Article 6 of Council Directive 2008/7/EC of 12th February of 2008.

By virtue of said Royal Decree-Law, the following innovations are also established:

• Freedom of depreciation of new fixed asset investment attached to economic activities performed from tax periods from 2011 to 2015 inclusively. This benefit is also applicable to businesspeople and to professional natural persons.
• An increase from 8 to 10 millions euro in the threshold established for application of the SME special scheme, which enables small companies to contribute less. These companies may also enjoy the special taxation regime for the next 3 tax years subsequent to the year in which they exceeded the threshold.
• An increase to 300,000 euros of the taxable base applied to companies paying at a rate of 25%.
• The obligation to pay the Chamber of Commerce fee becomes voluntary, as does membership.

As regards income tax for non-residents, two exemptions are established in Law 39/2010 of 22 December regarding General State Budgets for 2011:

• In order to adapt Spanish legislation to EU regulations it is established, with effect from 1 January 2011, that dividends distributed by a company resident in Spain, which is subsidiary to another company resident in another EU member state, are exempt from taxation in Spain, provided that the latter holds over 5% of the capital in the former.
• With effect from 1 July 2011, royalties paid by a company resident in Spanish territory or by a permanent branch in Spain of a company resident in another EU member state to a company resident in another EU member state or by a permanent branch in another EU member state of a company resident in another EU member state, will be exempt.

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