01:06 GMT21 September 2020
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    Catalonia's Independence Referendum (118)
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    As the referendum on Catalonia's independence approaches, Spain has already started counting the potential cost of the region's independence.

    MADRID (Sputnik) — Catalonian tax agencies may take control of 2.5 billion euros (about $2.9 billion) annually, which are currently sent to Madrid, if the region gains independence following a referendum set for October, Spanish media reported on Monday.

    Catalonia's tax agency may start collecting value added tax, income tax from individuals, as well as from 700 state entities under the Catalan government's jurisdiction and 120 entities, which voluntarily chose to pay their taxes in Catalonia, El Mundo newspaper reported, citing Catalonia's Vice President Oriol Junqueras.

    Junqueras reportedly said that the agency might collect 42 billion euros in taxes, 15 times higher than the current amount.

    At the moment, Catalonia's tax agency may only process payments and transfer the money to the federal tax authority. However, the Catalan government reportedly intends to turn it into a full-scale agency after the independence vote and it has already opened 32 offices and recruited 700 employees.

    The authorities in Catalonia plan to hold the independence referendum on October 1, with the voters asked whether they want Catalonia to become an independent republic. Madrid strongly opposes the referendum.

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    Catalonia's Independence Referendum (118)

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    taxes, independence referendum, Spain, Catalonia
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