May 16, 2021

Registration tax levies 31% more on the back of the change in emissions

Registration tax levies 31% more on the back of the change in emissions


The collection of the Registration Tax goes smoothly and in 2018 it grew an impressive 31%, its highest increase since there is tax data to register 513.43 million euros, a level that was not reached for eight years, in 2010. The tax seemed to increasingly lose relevance in the tax system, since by taxing the cars based on a set of carbon dioxide emissions that had not been modified, and with the increasing efficiency of the vehicles, the collection had been far from pre-crisis levels despite the recovery of consumption. Until now.

What happened in 2018? The main factor that has triggered the collection is the new emissions regulation, that causes that since September the tax quota of the tax has increased in many cars. To this is added the rspectacular epunte of gasoline vehicle sales -an increase of 33%, according to the registrations published by the Tax Agency-, compared to the fall of diesel vehicles-a decrease of 17%.

Before the new regulation of the emissions that began to apply in September, the brands made promotions to get rid of a good part of the stock in summer, which translated into an increase in sales in August of 39%. Since September, however, in three of the last four months of the year, registrations have accumulated falls. Despite this, for the Treasury these lower sales have not translated into a lower income. On the contrary: if registrations contracted by 6.5% since September, revenue in the tax during this period soared by 26%.

Since September, 35% more tax

Thus, the dynamics of the tax has changed again: if in recent years it collected less with higher sales, now revenues have skyrocketed even with decreases in registrations, because although less cars are sold they pay more tax. The average quota per car has rebounded 22.8% to 377 euros during 2018: if we only take what has happened since September, the tax bill for each car registered has skyrocketed by 35% to 446 euros.

The increase in revenue will presumably be higher this year, since the new regulation will govern during the twelve months. The change of emission regulations accelerated in the EU before the «dieselgate», the fraud in the diesel engines of Volkswagen that altered through a technological ruse the results of the polluting controls. In 2021 the tax effects of the new controls will be fully applied, which will make the affected vehicles even more expensive.

It has also influenced that in 2018 more gasoline than diesel cars have been sold, since the tax passed in 2008 to tax the displacement to carbon dioxide emissions, among those that pollute more -and pay more tax- gasoline engines that of diesel. Anyway, the latter emit more carbon monoxide, which is why the regulatory treatment of these vehicles is becoming tougher, even though this gas has no consequences for the purposes of the tax.


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