The Minister of Hacienda, María Jesús Montero, claims that EU regulation prevent the Spanish Government from lowering the IVA charged on obligatory masks.
This decision to impose 21% IVA, she claims, therefore, is not the Government’s decision; they have their hands tied.
The opposition parties, PP and Ciudadanos, had called for the IVA on masks to be lowered to only 4%, which is the amount on items that are considered ‘essential.” It makes no sense, therefore, that you only pay 4% on the purchase of a newspaper and 21% on medical items that have been made into compulsory daily use.
It was back in April this year that the Government announced that it had approved the elimination of IVA levied on imported hygienic masks that are destined for hospital use. Royal Decree-Law 15/2020 was approved on the 21/04/2020 and expires on the 31/10/2020
In fact, the PP and Ciudadanos put forward a motion in Parliament in July of this year when mask usage became obligatory. On the other hand, vehicle insurance and crash-helmets are obligatory and both bear 21% IVA.
She went on to say that the projected rise from 10% to 21% on sweetened drinks (soft drinks such as Coca Cola or Fanta) has nothing to do with increasing revenue but rather it is a measure to combat child obesity.
Whilst it is true that national governments have limitations placed on them by the EU concerning items that can only have 4% levied – which is why those destined for sale pharmacies etc, bear 21% – Portugal has imposed only 6%, France 5% and Italy does not place any IVA on masks; something that appears to contradict the Minister’s explanations.