They anticipated that the organization has under the magnifying glass the offices of lawyers and notaries who have made the creation of mechanisms to avoid paying taxes.
MEXICO (La Jornada) – Before the end of this month, nine large corporations will have regularized their situation with the tax authorities. The operations that will give the public coffers at least 25 billion pesos said Raquel Buenrostro, head of the Tax Administration Service (SAT in Spanish).
She anticipated that the agency has under scrutiny the law firms and notaries who have made the creation of mechanisms to evade the tax one of its main professional offerings. Audits are coming for them, she warns. The message to business people is that there is legal certainty in the tax issues. There is no political persecution and should leave the firms aside and approach the SAT directly, Buenrostro stresses.
In the first five months of the year, he revealed in an interview with La Jornada. The agency obtained 50 billion pesos for inspection actions to large taxpayers, which exceeds the 37 billion pesos it earned through the same means in the 12 months of 2019. And it goes, he points out, for 70 billion.
Last April, Lopez Obrador announced that the federal government was looking for 15 large corporations to pay 50 billion pesos of taxes corresponding to fiscal years of 2018 and prior. So far, three companies have paid: Walmart, 8,79 billion pesos, Fomento Economico Mexicano (Femsa), the Coca-Cola bottler and owner of Oxxo, $8,790 billion, and IBM, $669 million. In total, 17,538 billion pesos.
Raquel Buenrostro says that there is a clear political will in this administration, unlike the previous ones, to put an even floor for everyone, without privileges, preferences, benefits, and waivers. Large companies represent 1.5 percent of total taxpayers but contribute 60 percent of the collection. On average, they pay 2.1 percent of their income when in many developed countries, the figure is seven.
Buenrostro, the senior Treasury official, says that sectors that pay much less already have been identified. “We recognized very aggressive tax planning, that many of them border on tax fraud. Then we noticed that, in many cases, they are represented by the same law firm. We identified some that sell tax mechanisms to make taxpayers pay less in the steel, food, automotive, energy, pharmaceutical, financial, mining, retail, and hydrocarbon sectors.
We want them to pay what the law says, no more and no less. When they see that no matter how many doors they knock on, they will come back with different attitudes.
For example, with Walmart, 11 audits are from the five-year review, with Femsa, 22 from three. “One fact,” she explains, “that helped convince some large companies to pay back taxes is that the SAT showed that the audits were perfectly integrated and technically sound.”
“One of SAT’s goals” Buenrostro explains “is to raise tax revenues (which now amount to 16 percent of gross domestic product, one of the lowest in Latin America) without the need for tax reforms that would raise taxes across the entire social base, which is the one always paying. It can be done, she says, simply by reviewing the behavior of taxpayers”.
Independent of the 15 large taxpayers referred to by President López Obrador in April; SAT has continued to strengthen the tax processes in this group of companies. To date, the collection among these companies is 50 billion pesos, derived from inspection processes. Last year, in the first five months, the figure was 13 billion pesos and, for the entire year, 37 billion pesos. We expect to go beyond 70 billion, round it off.
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