Spain May Lower Movie Ticket Sales Tax (Report)

Issue 17 BIZ Taxes Illustration - H 2013
Gregoire Gicquel

Issue 17 BIZ Taxes Illustration - H 2013

The industry is abuzz after a Spanish daily reported the government's intention to lower the sales tax.

Spain is abuzz with chatter about the possibility that the government could lower the 21 percent sales tax on movie tickets to 10 percent, while the prime minister has clearly said he has no immediate plans for the move.

The Spanish daily ABC cited unidentified sources in a report alleging the government’s intention to lower the controversial sales tax, one of the main battle cries of the culture sector.

The move would be considered a huge victory for the movie industry, which has protested the measure since it was implemented in 2012 and has blamed it — in part — for plummeting ticket sales.

But Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy explicitly said “at this time, no decision will be made” and that if the Spanish economy continued to grow he would be inclined to “lower more taxes” and that he didn’t “discard the possibility for the future.”

That lukewarm response has fed the hopes of the industry, with many of the key players coming out publicly in support of the move.

“It’s better news for the citizens who won’t have to pay the 21 percent to consume culture products than for the industry,” president of the Spanish producers’ lobby FAPAE Ramon Colom told the Spanish news agency Servimedia. “We are convinced that it is not the only bit of good news that will be coming out in the coming days for the culture industry and specifically the audiovisual industry.”

The secretary general of the Actors Union, Inaki Guevara, applauded the news publicly and warned that backpedaling would look “pathetic.”

Meanwhile, the Platform for the Defense of Culture released a statement congratulating the first held Congress for the Defense of Culture for its “first victory” with the “possibly imminent” lowering of the tax, but insisted the tax be lowered to a maximum of 4 percent from its present 21 percent.