An extra pay for mothers of children up to four years old. The Supreme Court has established as a doctrine thatPublic benefits for maternity are exempt from Personal Income Tax (IRPF), which contradicts the criterion that until now has maintained theTax agency. The thousands of Canarian mothers who included the maternity benefit in their income tax returns for the years 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 may request a refund, as the previous years have prescribed after having spent more than four years.
A total of 38,056 Canary Islands obtained from the Social Security maternity benefits between 2014 and 2017 and in the first half of this year there were another 4,470 benefits whose amount is equivalent to the entire salary of the recipient during the 16 weeks of leave (can be extended in case of multiple birth in two more weeks for each child from the second).
Although the IRPF rule talks about maternity benefits, not only the receiving mothers can claim. The parents who have received it may also do so, because when the father enjoys the period granted by the mother, the benefit that he receives remains maternity.
It must be borne in mind that not all of them are obliged to present the income tax return, so the number of people affected and who can claim will be slightly lower. The possibility of return comes as a result of a judgment of the Supreme Court, which ratifies an earlier ruling of the Superior Court of Justice of Madrid (TSJM) of 2017, and which considers that, according to the Personal Income Tax Law, exemptions must also be public maternity benefits and not only those of birth, childbirth or multiple adoption, dependent or orphaned children.
The State's lawyer had appealed the ruling of the TSJM with the argument that the maternity benefit paid by the Social Security has the function of replacing the normal remuneration (not exempt in Personal Income Tax) that the taxpayer would obtain for his habitual work, and has ceased to perceive to enjoy the corresponding permission. However, the Supreme Court understands that the tax exemption includes maternity benefits and that its scope is "not limited" to those granted by the autonomous communities or local entities, but covers all maternity benefits.
At the moment, this ruling benefits recipients of future benefits, since Social Security has reported that it will stop withholding income tax on maternity benefits that begin to be processed from the moment they are notified of the sentence of the Supreme .
The Tax Agency, for its part, has ensured that it will "take into consideration" the High Court's directive in the resolution of claims and appeals currently under way or that are filed in the future. This would affect the income statements of the last four years, since that is the statute of limitations. The amount to be returned varies according to the amount of the benefit received and the marginal rate applied to the rest of the taxpayer's income. For example, for a benefit of 5,681 euros in 2015, the refund ranges between 1,000 and 2,600 euros, according to the OCU calculations. The Technicians of the Ministry of Finance (Gestha) calculate that the exemption from the IRPF to public benefits for maternity received from the Social Security will have 1,085,000 beneficiaries in Spain. Likewise, they calculate that after this ruling the Treasury will have to reduce the full installments in 1,677 million, which does not mean that it has to return that amount, but the part of the withholdings that remain to be returned.