Wealthier than ever: Taxpayers who earn over €601,000 up by 25% in Spain

The latest data from the Tax Agency show that in 2022 there were 15,186 ultra-rich individuals. Still, this group accounted for only 0.07% of all taxpayers in the country

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Spain has more high-earning taxpayers than ever. In 2022, thanks to the positive evolution of corporate profits, a good showing by the economy and strong employment figures, the amount of people with an annual declared income of more than €601,000 grew by 25% compared to the previous year, reaching 15,186 individuals. It is, by far, the largest amount of very high earners in the Tax Agency’s annual analysis of personal income tax, updated on Monday. It is also the group of taxpayers that proportionally grew by more members than any other group.

The previous record of very high earners was set in 2021 with 12,178 citizens in this select club; the 2021 figure in turn was only slightly above the one for 2019, before the health and economic crisis of 2020. The data published on Monday involves 2022 figures, as these are released with a two-year delay, based on tax filings from last year. The latest available numbers show that the country’s highest earners are the group that, proportionally, welcomed the most members.

The statistics collect information from work income, but also from other sources such as investments, economic activities and real estate returns. Based on all that data, the Tax Agency groups all taxpayers into 10 income brackets, depending on their taxable income.

The bracket of those who earn more than €601,000 is, by far, the one that grew the most, with 24.7% more individuals, well above the next bracket (€150,000 to €601,000), whose members grew by 17.2%, and the group of €60,000 to €150,000, whose members grew by 14.5%. The number of low and mid-range earners is growing at slower rates, while the lowest earners are losing representation: there are fewer people than a year before in the lowest bracket.

The total number of individuals who filed taxes was close to 22.9 million, an increase of 3.8% from the previous year, and despite the historical growth of the high-earner bracket, this group of super-rich individuals accounted for only 0.07% of all taxpayers.

The composition of income has a huge influence on the success of the wealthiest profiles. Unlike low and medium earners, who essentially tend to live off their work, the richest complement these returns with income from capital and savings, composed mainly of shares, dividends, interest and other types of capital gains that are generally tied to the market and stock market performance.

If only movable capital is analyzed—which includes, for example, bank deposits or share dividends— individuals who earn less than €60,000 a year obtain on average just a few hundred euros annually. But for the ultra-rich, the value of these investments reaches an average of €426,000 a year. In 2022, despite soaring inflation and the energy crisis, companies listed on the blue-chip Ibex 35 index recorded gross income of €596 billion and a net result of €51.9 billion, which made the year the second best in the historical series and contributed to increasing the income of the wealthiest.

By territory, the majority of high-earning taxpayers are based in the Madrid region, followed by Catalonia and the Valencia region (the Basque Country and Navarre have their own tax collection systems and were not included).

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