ABSTRACT

In the eighteenth century, the Castilian scal system was indirect. It was based on excises – such as the so-called millones paid on wine, vinegar, oil and meat – and on taxes that charged trades as alcabalas, cientos (both indirect taxes on purchases paid by the buyer), customs and monopolies. Moreover, there existed indirect taxes on speci c products generally consumed by privileged groups with higher incomes who could a ord for instance tobacco or certain colonial foodstu s. Considering these characteristics, if we compare the Castilian scal system in the sixteenth and seventeenth century with that of the English, French or Dutch, two basic di erences become apparent:

In England, France and Holland the scal system was a mixture of direct taxes – land tax, taille réelle or property taxes, and indirect taxes such as excises on salt, soap, oils and so on. Moreover, in the Dutch and English cases, privileged groups – nobility and clergy – were not, in general, tax exempt as they were in the French scal system, where nobility and clergy were exempt from direct taxes.