Extra-profit tax, because 9 out of 10 billion euros are missing

Many companies have not paid the tax on the increase in profits due to the rise in prices. In fact, they complain that the law is poorly written and unconstitutional. THE SKYWALL

To finance the new measures against the rise in bills, all parties are pushing to recover all the extra profits taxed by the Draghi government. But for now, in fact, the tax revenues from this tax have been decidedly lower than expected. By June, more than 4 billion euros, the first installment, should have entered the public coffers, while for now only 1 billion would have arrived.

Another 6 billion should arrive by November, but the current pace casts serious doubts on the final result. Money that could be used to finance the discounts on the bill, which for now have been paid by the increase in tax revenues due to inflation.

The fines provided by the government

Mario Draghi’s executive has introduced some sanctions to force companies to pay. 15 percent for those who pay the first installment by the end of the month and even 60 percent for those who have to pay it later.

The defense of companies

But according to the energy companies that have refused to pay, the extra-profit law presents obvious problems that could make it considered unconstitutional. In fact, the tax is applied to the balance of VAT transactions, and not to real profits that can only be verified when the financial statements of the companies are approved and published. VAT operations are all those transactions that are taxed by indirect tax. However, these include some transactions that would not be linked to the rise in the price of energy. And so some companies – especially oil companies – complain of having to pay the tax even on taxes already paid; and others that have also included extraordinary transactions in the tax base such as the purchase and sale of company branches, which have nothing to do with the rise in the price of energy.

The other countries

Spain and the UK have made different choices for taxing energy extra profits. Madrid will impose a levy of just over 1 per cent on utility turnover in 2023 and 2024, to reach around 7 billion euros in revenue. The United Kingdom, on the other hand, has taxed the profits of companies that extract oil and gas on the national territory at 25%.