Last year businesses in Spain paid corporate tax on just 11.6 percent of their profits, according to figures from the tax authorities to which EL PAÍS has had access. Even so, the number was an improvement on 2010, when the state's coffers received a historical low of 9.4 percent.
Although the figure represents the arrest of a decreasing trend since 2007, it is still a long way off the current rates in force in Spain of 30 percent for big companies and 25 percent for small- and medium-sized businesses.
The reason Spanish companies are able to legally pay less than in other European countries lies in a plethora of deductions, bonuses and financial adjustments applied by the tax office. Since the start of the financial crisis in 2008, corporate tax payments in Spain have fallen by a total of 64 percent.