Undoubtedly, it is among the priorities of Colombia’s elected president, Gustavo Petro, to present a tax reform project that raises and organizes the Nation’s income, announcing it during his election campaign and reaffirming it this week when he receives his accreditation document. As president of the Colombians, a position he will assume on August 7.
As the winner of the election race said, it is clear that VAT will not be touched this time.these higher revenues will be sought in other ways, such as by correcting the distortions in the income tax and converting them to progressive taxation.
There is no blueprint yet to allow us to envision what this reform will be, which promises to be structural like the projects of previous administrations. Although it is not known how much the collections of the nation will increase, it is clear that the recommendations of the tax commissions will be acted upon. As Ricardo Bonilla, economic adviser to the Historical Pact, with whom EL TIEMPO spoke on the matter, “diagnosed, all that is needed is the political will to implement solutions.”
The elected president (Gustavo Petro) brought up the tax issue in the campaign, said tax adjustments would be made, and that’s what’s being proposed. Colombia has two recent reports on tax commissions, the first contracted with Canadian experts in 2015 and the other with the results of the current Government delivered 18 months ago.
Both are said to have many problems with income tax: natural persons are not progressive and legal persons are not fair or equitable, then you need to work on that tax, that is priority because the Tax Code is eroded.
For legal entities, the rate should be reduced as long as exemptions and benefits are lifted. Diagnosis is similar in real people, there are many exemptions and benefits, people with high incomes It pays very low effective rates, but income is not defined either.
The Canadian commission was very firm on this: the 1 percent of the highest-income Colombians pay very low wages, meaning 4 million real people in the country declare income, the richest 10 percent of Colombians are 400,000; The richest one percent is 40,000 people, and 1 person in the richest 1,000 is 4,000 people.
In his election campaign, the president elected today always mentioned the 4,000 richest people, one out of every 1,000 people to say they had the lowest rates. and said it was time to go inside to confirm what was going on. The real question, then, is what needs to be done to determine why the incomes of natural persons pay so little. The problem is not lowering the threshold, but determining what happens to high incomes with such low rates.
We have to get into Dian with all the reservations of the case, how will this information be identified? What about one percent of high-income file holders in the country, how many assets actually belong to real people?If the income they declare from legal entities and companies is defined as income from shareholders, directors, or if they put it as a discount in the company and it does not appear as income to people, Dian has to do it. task.
This is what needs to be defined. Look, 10 percent of the residences in Bogota are in the name of legal entities. and by nature they must be owned by natural persons, holiday farms in Tierra Caliente, Girardot, Melgar, Ricaurte, these are houses, properties over 5,000 million pesos, with at least 30 percent of these resorts in the name of legal entities. It is neither part of the purpose of the business nor the entertainment of the company employees, this is what needs to be defined.
In OECD countries, Europe and the United States these assets are expressly owned, in their own name, and declared.
Okay, but the point is not to increase the penalties or criminalize it, as in other cases where the penalties are increased but no one is punished. It takes enforcement capacity and teeth, that’s what should be given to Dian to have more control capacity, it needs to be modernized and given the tools to combat leakage.
Corruption no doubt exists at Dian, at Customs, on extraditions, and there are well-known cases, but corruption has other piers and Colombia should start a real ethical debate. whether success payouts are actually a good exercise among entrepreneurs.
Managers get more income from bonuses than from salaries, and the question is, where did these bonuses come from? This does not mean that all managers engage in such practices, there are practices that seem legitimate, but you need to see if they are ethical.
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At the moment these are the ideas in the reports of the two missions and with it we will start working on a project that has not yet been drafted. The treasury merger commission is already underway, we’ve started to analyze projects to file to organize a discussion about what the next president calls the “National Deal”, i.e. sit down with other voices in the country to agree on the best possible project, there is no ideal project, but there is the best possible and while Congress is establishing governance.
We’re making progress, there was good news on Wednesday and the president has probably assured that the majority will submit the first projects, but this needs to be based on programmed deals.
I think we should put more precise numbers on that now, because what was in the campaign was hypothetical, now they need to be grounded.. But when I say the ideal project, the country needs a game-changing structural reform that does not mean biennial to solve cash problems, as Colombia has so far. in the long run; If one of these reforms proposed with the income tax comes true, we are removing the burdens and creating conditions for the stability of the rules, i.e. the best contract of legal stability, tax stability.
Yes, but that is understanding income, equity, dividends, green taxes, and the part that has nothing to do with the Nation.n is the effect of strengthening the old municipalities of the Multi-Purpose Cadastre to have better resources.
It is better not to speculate with numbers right now and technical teams start doing calculations and effectively know what can be achieved. For now, they were just hypothetical estimates of the campaigns, with many of these numbers wanting to see what might come out.
The real issue is correcting income tax distortions, we’re not talking about VAT because it touches the base basket and we don’t want to set the country on fire again.
Since we are talking about 9 billion pesos this is a complex tax as it cannot be eliminated unless a replacement is found, the alternative has always been to increase VAT by two percentage points and now is not the time. Touch that respect.
In addition to the persecution of tax havens, government-government relations should be strengthened to obtain better information. HThe problem with so-called tax havens today is that they have very prudent and limited information, but their relationship with governments demonstrated that collaborations are possible, we can’t wait for the scandal to break to find out that someone has something in tax haven.
There’s a proposal I’ve heard from some congressmen that aims to reform some of the way Congress works, and one of its points is to avoid the presence of a ‘lobby’ at critical moments of debate for projects.
What always happens in the tax authorities is that there is a lot of ‘lobbying’ and in discussions of budget or tax reform, the room is full of people who have nothing to do with Congress. They want to reform that since there’s always a congressman for the ‘lobby’ and those practices of the Legislature need to be purged, congressmen don’t have to answer to those who fund their campaigns.
The important thing is to prepare the best possible draft with the help of the ‘National Agreement’, that is, a ‘National Agreement’ in which the spokespersons of different parties participate, this is not a party project, and many voices from the country work together. in the making, in the pursuit of the best for the country, and well socialized among members of Congress, knowing the subject in a way that would not be approved at the point of a punch, because that’s a lot of harm to a country.
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