Lessons from Spain, Germany and Canada
Studies in Fiscal Federalism and State–local Finance series
Edited by Núria Bosch and José M. Durán
Chapter 10: Current Situation and Proposals for Reform of Spain’s Tax Administration
1 Alejandro Esteller Moré 1 INTRODUCTION Since the mid-1980s, successive reforms to the ﬁnancing of Spain’s Autonomous Communities (ACs) have largely focused on the ongoing correction of vertical ﬁscal imbalances, on the revenue side, and on increasing the degree of tax autonomy. As for the latter aspect, greater AC tax autonomy has basically been achieved by means of assuming legislative power over personal income tax and other ceded taxes (i.e., wealth tax, inheritance and gift tax, and capital transfer tax). Under the present ﬁnancing model, in eﬀect since 2002, tax autonomy has been expanded yet further (see, for example, Durán and Esteller, 2005). Obviously, such reforms must be described as positive overall, although certain ACs may well still wish to take such reforms further, raise what they consider to be insuﬃcient levels of ﬁnancing, and/or widen the range of taxes over which they can exert tax autonomy (e.g., VAT and corporation tax). However, in recent years, these types of demands from ACs have been joined by calls for institutional reform of the tax administration. In particular, they would like to play a more active role in the setting of taxes in their respective territories. In fact, this can be seen as a demand for greater ﬁscal autonomy. After all, responsibility for administering taxes may be characterized as ‘ﬁscal autonomy in the widest sense’ as opposed to ‘ﬁscal autonomy in the strictest sense’, which would involve the exercise of legal powers (Ramallo and Zornoza, 1995, p. 40). In...
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