Spain aims to raise 6 bln euros from windfall tax on energy firms and banks

MADRID, Feb 21 (Reuters) - The Spanish government is planning to raise around 6 billion euros ($6.39 billion) from its windfall tax on energy companies and banks, Budget Minister Maria Jesus Montero said on Tuesday.

Spain approved a temporary levy on large energy firms and lenders that originally intended to raise 7 billion euros by 2024 to fund measures to ease cost of living pressures, but following amendments in parliament the amount was lowered.

"The expected revenue is 1.7 billion from the energy tax and 1.3 billion from the bank tax (in 2023), 3 billion euros per year in total," Montero said.

Recently, oil company Repsol lodged an appeal before Spain's High Court against the tax and joined bank and utilities associations in objecting to the temporary levy.

"The tax collection in both cases is quite a manageable amount given the profit volume which, under no circumstances, (..) can be considered confiscatory, but rather proportionate to these profits," Montero said at a time moment when companies and banks are booking record profits.

In November, the Bank of Spain estimated the government would raise a combined 5 billion euros ($5.33 billion) by 2024 from the taxes after the Congress exempted domestically regulated activities and foreign operations from the levy.

The Senate gave the final approval to a windfall tax on banks, although it largely left out smaller local lenders and foreign banks' units in Spain.

Companies had until February 20 to pay the first half of instalment of the tax and can now also legally claim it before the tax authorities.

Montero said that energy companies so far had paid 817 million euros in taxes, while banks had paid 637 million euros.

($1 = 0.9385 euros)

Reporting by Jesús Aguado, Belén Carreño; editing by Jason Neely

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