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Practical Manual of Companies 2022.

Fiscally-protected cooperatives

Tax-protected cooperative societies are classified as:

1. Protected cooperatives

Regulation: Article 6 Law 20/1990

They are those entities that, regardless of their date of incorporation, comply with the principles and provisions of the General Law of Cooperatives or the Cooperative Laws of the Autonomous Communities, and do not incur any of the causes of loss of fiscally protected status of article 13 of Law 20/1990.


To the unprotected cooperatives that have lost the status of fiscally protected due to incurring in any of the causes of article 13 of Law 20/1990, which are regularly constituted and registered in the Registry of Cooperatives, the rules of Chapter IV of Title II and Title III of Law 20/1990 will continue to apply to them. In this case, the cooperatives will be taxed at the general rate of the Corporate Tax for all of their results.

2. Specially protected cooperatives

Regulation: Article 7 Law 20/1990

They are the first-degree protected cooperatives of the following classes:

  • Associated Work Cooperatives.
  • Agrarian Cooperatives.
  • Community Land Exploitation Cooperatives.
  • Sea Cooperatives.
  • Consumer and User Cooperatives.

3. Second degree cooperatives

Regulation: Article 77 Law 27/1999

These cooperatives are constituted by at least two cooperatives. Other legal entities, public or private, and individual entrepreneurs may also join as partners, up to a maximum of 45 percent of the total partners, as well as work partners.

Their objective is to promote, coordinate and develop common economic goals of their partners, and to reinforce and integrate their economic activity.

Depending on the type of cooperatives that are associated, second degree cooperatives will be classified as protected or specially protected (article 35 of Law 20/1990).

4. Unions, federations and confederations of cooperatives

Regulation: Article 79 Law 27/1999

Cooperatives of any type and class may establish societies, groups, consortia and unions among themselves, or with other natural or legal persons, public or private, and formalize agreements or agreements, for the better fulfillment of their corporate purpose and for the defense of their interests.

According to the provisions of article 36.b) of Law 20/1990 , these entities will pay Corporate Tax for regime of partially exempt entities regulated in Chapter XIV of Title VII of the LIS.