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Practical Income Manual 2021.

Current and capital subsidies: distinction

Public aid gives rise to different tax treatment depending on the classification that should be given to it: Current and capital subsidies.

Capital grants

Capital subsidies are those whose primary purpose is to promote the installation or start of the activity, as well as the making of investments in fixed assets (buildings, machinery, facilities, etc.), or multi-year projection expenses and are charged as income to the same extent that the investments or the expenses incurred on them are amortized.

Therefore, the subsidy will have the character of a capital subsidy as long as its purpose is to finance the fixed assets or fixed capital of the businessman or professional. However, if its purpose is to guarantee, during the start of the activity, a minimum income or to offset expenses for the year, it must be treated as a current subsidy.

However, in those cases in which the assets are not susceptible to amortization, the subsidy will be applied as full income for the year in which the asset financed with said subsidy is sold or removed from inventory, applying the 30% reduction. typical of the returns obtained in a notoriously irregular manner over time .

Current subsidies

Current subsidies are those that are normally granted to guarantee a minimum profitability or compensate for losses caused in the activity and are computed in their entirety as additional income for the period in which they accrue. That is, when the grant of the subsidy is firmly recognized and quantified, regardless of the moment in which it is received.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, if the taxpayer had opted for the collections and payments criterion, in the terms provided for in article 7.2 of the Personal Income Tax Regulation , which establishes the option of using the collections and payments to temporarily allocate the income and expenses derived from income from economic activities, the subsidy must be allocated in the tax period in which the corresponding collection of the same occurs.