B Law & Tax
23 May 2023

Tax advisor: 40% reduction on benefits from two or more pension plans

When receiving payments from different pension plans, the transition regime established in the tax regulations allows the reduction to be applied to such payments, as long as certain requirements are met. This transition regime can be applied to all amounts received in the form of a single payment (capital) in the year in which the corresponding contingency occurs, as well as in the following two years, instead of being limited to a single year.

The appeal raises whether a taxpayer, with several pension plans and contributions prior to 2007, can benefit in more than one tax year from the 40% reduction established in article 17.2.b) of Royal Legislative Decree 3/2004, through the application of the transitory regime contemplated in the 12th transitory provision of the Personal Income Tax Law (LIRPF).

Article 17.2.b) of the aforementioned Royal Legislative Decree 3/2004 established the possibility of applying the reduction to benefits from different social welfare systems, in the form of capital, provided that more than two years had elapsed since the first contribution (except in cases of disability benefits). The LIRPF eliminated the application of this reduction as from January 1, 2007, but maintained it for benefits received in the form of capital for contingencies occurring as from that date, corresponding to contributions made up to December 31, 2006, as established in the 12th transitory provision of the LIRPF.

On the other hand, the financial regime of the pension plans indicates that participants can opt to receive their vested rights in the form of capital, either as a single immediate payment on the date of the contingency or in a deferred manner (according to article 10.1.a of Royal Decree 304/2004).

In the case of a person who participates in several pension plans and decides to receive his vested rights as single payments in different years or fiscal years, the question arises as to whether he can apply the reduction to each of those payments, considering that article 16.2.a).3rd and 17.2.b) of Royal Legislative Decree 3/2004 allows the application of the reduction to benefits received in the form of capital by beneficiaries of pension plans. This would imply applying the reduction in multiple years or fiscal years, or if you do not have that right.

The tax regulations do not establish restrictions for receiving in different years the benefits in the form of capital from a pension plan and a mutual benefit plan, applying, as the case may be, the 40% reduction. The same applies if the benefits come from two different pension plans. Therefore, the Economic-Administrative Central Court  concludes that the reduction applies to all amounts received in the form of a lump sum (capital) in the year in which the corresponding contingency occurs and in the following two years, not being limited to a single year.

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