The Ecotax in Balearic Islands

The Balearic Tax on Tourist Stays, the now notorious “eco-tax”, must be met from 01 July 2016. While the Fund of the “ecotax” can be justifiable and until reasonable, the form that the Government Balearic has shown for apply it continues being the same: badly and to untimely.

Although it should start charging from July 01, just recently made public the mechanisms and official forms needed for the management of the new tax planned since March this year. Now we go with haste and desperation to bring us up to date and, if the rush is not enough, they have complicated something that could have been solved in a way as simple as collect the tax at the airport or seaport tourists to their entrance, to turn it into a living hell as a proprietary business management; for who has just a property up to the large hotel chains.

Try to understand the law is reckless people. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you can try this link which leads directly to the publication of the law. Nevertheless, what we are interested in is to understand perfectly all the intricacies of this law in order to comply with it properly and without later surprises.

Therefore, we have made a real effort to remove all that confusing and extra language and have remained with what is really important.

– The new tax on tourist stays (Eco-tax) has as purpose, supposedly, to favor the sustainable tourism, being a proper tax of the autonomous region of Balearics.

– The taxpayer (the one that pays the tax) is the tourist who spends the night in the Islands.

– The exploiters (owners of real estate or persons who exploit straight the building) of the establishments are obliged to collect the tax and comply with the tax payment.

The current tourism law defines as “tourist House” called “single-family homes isolated and paired”, which tourist accommodation services provided, and which must have a maximum of six bedrooms and twelve seats, and a minimum of a bathroom for every three seats.

Although legally some properties do not meet the requirements to be able to be offered as tourist houses, to effects of the new tax it must be considered like taxpaying all the tourists who should spend the night in the Islands and, therefore also these must pay the appropriate fee.

For example, the housing that does not meet the definition commented, that are offered through the channels of tourism marketing and the duration of the lease is less than two months (except that it proves that it is a simple leasing of season of the Law 29/1994, of Urban Leases) should also apply the new tax and require its payment to the tourist.

The exploiters collect the tax.

It is known as “substitute of the taxpayer” to the operators of the services and buildings that are offered as tourist establishments and must:

1º Demand and to receive the tax from the tourist.

2º to Liquidate and to deposit in the Autonomic Treasury Department the collected, based on some of the following systems: DIRECT ESTIMATION or OBJECTIVE ESTIMATION.

a) DIRECT ESTIMATION: affects only those establishments which have had an occupation more than 12,000 places in the previous exercise.

b) OBJECTIVE ESTIMATION (modules): Eight groups of activity have qualified, with differentiated payment methods. To major features:

Groups 1 to 7 (Hotels, pensions, rural tourism, etc.)
– Annual declaration: From 1 to 31 January (Model 710)
– Income on account of 60%: 1 to 20 September (702 model)

Group 8 (tourist housing and other with such consideration)
– Single liquidation: the proper autonomic Treasury Department will express the liquidation receipt, in accordance with the information of the new census created to the effect.
– It will be paid from May 1 until June 30, on the previous year.

Objective estimation applicable to tourist housings (8th group). This is the one that we are interested in.

1. Census register: You need to register for the purposes of tax, through the new model 017, during the month of July 2016.

2. To express payment written proofs to the tourist on having collected the tax, only if this one demands it (on having been an objective estimation).

3. Report of the modifications: If the period of exploitation declared in the censal declaration varies, it must be communicated during the month of January of the following year.

4. To realize the annual payment: Between May 1 and June 30 of the following exercise, this is, for the exercise 2016 pays the quota between May and June, 2017. The Tax office will calculate the tax and will notify it by means of receipt, just as with the receipts of the contribution (I.B.I).

The exploiter is forced to demand the tax from the taxpayer (tourist who spends the night in the Islands) by means of one of the following documents: Proper invoice or Independent document.

Proper invoice (businessmen / professionals): will be shown the tax as a concept separate and differentiated from the rest of billed services.

Independent document in which only the liquidation of the tax appears to charge.

In both cases these documents will serve like payment written proof and, be as it is, they will always have to include the following minimal content:

– Numeration of the document, which must be correlative.

– Identification of the housing, this is, its location and nº of identification. In case of not having one granted previously for the Commission of Tourism, the same one will be assigned by Treasury Department at the moment of realizing the required declaration of census register(model 017).

– Fiscal identification of the exploiter: social name / reason, CIF, domicile …

– Identification of, at least, one of the taxpayers (tourists), indicating also its number of passport or of identity, as well as its domicile.

– Number of total days of stay of all taxpayers, indicating the applicable exemptions, where appropriate (see below).

– The applicable tariff per person and day of stay (see more below).

– The tributary quota, with indication of the satisfied amount.

And here we come to the interesting part where almost it turns out to be easier to turn the water into wine.

Will pay anyone who spends the night and have an age of 16 years or more, according to the following rates (all children under 16 are not):

Stays less than 9 daysStays of 9 days or more
High Season
(from May 01 until October 31)
1€ per day
(until the eighth day)
0,50€ per day
(from the ninth day)
Temporada Baja
(from November 01 until April 30)
0,50€ per day
(until the eighth day)
0,25€ per day
(from the ninth day)

Now, I challenge you do the calculations of a reserve and capture the time. I was going to put an example here, but I thought it too much.

In the end, remember that this is only a humble attempt to interpret the blissful ecotax. The best recommendation: recourse to your manager or lawyer and that not is no doubt.

Good luck.

José Francisco Pérez AlvarezAuthor:
José Francisco Pérez Alvarez