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The great Spanish corporate tax dodge

Tax free zoneSpain’s biggest companies have greatly increased their presence in tax havens, with the number of subsidiaries established in these tax-lite territories up 44% during 2013, the worst year in the country’s economic crisis.

The IBEX35 companies upped the number of branches in tax havens from 561 to 810 during that year, new research finds.

Financial flows to tax havens – from Delaware and Jersey in the US  The Netherlands and Ireland, to Luxembourg, Switzerland and the Cayman Islands – account for 24% of total Spanish foreign investment, through a transfer of capital between subsidiaries ( activity that amounts to about a quarter of overseas investments by Spanish companies. )

These and other tax dodging antics by Spanish multinationals coupled with the dire state of the Spanish economy saw the tax take fall 56% between 2007 and 2014, a 25 billion euros loss the Spanish Exchequer, enough to double unemployment benefits this year In a country with one of the highest jobless rates in Europe.

During this period Spaniards at risk of poverty soared by 2 million to 27% of the population.

The effective tax rate paid by large companies in Spain is 5.3% compared to 16% paid by small and medium sized companies, according to Spain’s tax authorities. Had large companies  paid as much in tax as SMEs the 8.2 billion euros raised would have been enough to fund sixfold social care services for all the 1.2 million people in Spain who need them.

This article first apeared in Spanish at Nueva Tribuna and in this translation at Revolting Europe

One Comment

  1. Barry Ewart says:

    Yes, as The New Internationalist argues the rich and powerful globally have stashed 22 trillion dollars in ilicit offshre bank accounts.
    We need to turn the language of the Right against them and the above do this to avoid giving to societies; it could be argued they are the real global scroungers.
    It is the labour of the working billions that creates the wealth and makes societies work so the rich and powerful are totally dependent on working people, they must pray every night that working people will turn up for work tomorrow – theirs is the true dependency culture.
    The rich and powerful also nick our surplus labour – all perfectly legal in advanced capitalist liberal democracies but how truly ethical?
    We on the Left want our share of our wealth back but the Right presents this as the politics of envy, but of course it is the real politics of social justice.
    Had to laugh at Gove in his recent talk; he argues democracy beat so-called communism but what we really had was a victory for bourgeois democracy over bourgois socialism.
    Bourgois democracy is the rule really on behalf of corporations and capital (the USA being the classic example) whilst bourgois socialism was the rule by top down, undemocratic, elite central comittees, secret police etc.
    But I am confident diverse working people will win in the end with a grassroots, bottom up, participatory, peaceful and democratic socialism.
    We will also do it whilst harnessing music, art and having a laugh!
    Love, peace & international solidarity!

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