What is a tribute?

In economic terms, a tribute is a type of payment or contribution that the members of a society make on a mandatory basis to the State, which is supposed to distribute this income according to the needs of the country or region.

Taxes are usually paid based on a taxable event, which is the circumstance that ley forces the payment of a tribute. Usually the tax also represents a certain percentage of the value of the taxable event.

Types of taxes

According to the General Tax Law or Law 58/2003 there are three types of taxes: impuestos, rates and contributions. We define each of these types of taxes below:


Taxes are a type of tribute characterized by the fact that there is no type of contraprestación in exchange for your payment. Although this is a generic characteristic of taxes, reference is made to it in the case of taxes, because these have no connection whatsoever with the provision of a public service. Taxes can be classified in turn into several types:

  • Direct or indirect taxes.
  • Personal or real taxes.
  • Periodic or unique taxes.
  • Objective or subjective taxes.


The rates are a type of tax that is characterized by taxing certain taxable events related to the public domain. Rates are usually levied on three types of events: the use of a public domain, the performance of some activity under public law or the provision of services of a public nature.


Contributions are a type of tribute characterized by a assessment in obtaining some type of benefit from the taxpayer. In this type of tax, the taxable event is the obtaining of an increase in value in the assets of the taxpayer or taxpayer of the contribution.

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