Wednesday 22 September 2021

Hacienda Insists On Seizures Without a Court Order

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PLN legislator Antonio Alvarez Desanti said he will remove the 300 objections to the original proposal
PLN legislator Antonio Alvarez Desanti said he will remove the 300 objections to the original proposal

(QCOSTARICA) —The government insists on authorizing the Directorate of Taxation (Dirección de Tributación Directa) to seize assets and bank accounts of delinquent taxpayers, despite the lack of a court decision.

However, on Monday, it backed down on giving Taxation the authority to take possession of such assets and enter establishments without a court order, as initially proposed in a draft bill to fight tax fraud.

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The alternate proposal to the draft bill was presented by the Ministry of Finance (Ministerio de Hacienda) to the chairman of the Committee on Financial Affairs (Comisión de Asuntos Hacendarios), Rosibel Ramos and legislative members of the committee.

In this alternative, Taxation will desist from collecting all tax arrears without resorting to the courts, and, rather, create a team called “tax collectors” (fiscales de cobro), made up of Hacienda lawyers, responsible for making defaulters pay.

“We’re no longer pushing for administrative proceedings. We are now strengthening what (means) we have, improving and speeding up the process (…),” said the Deputy Minister of Finance, Fernando Rodriguez.

In the changes, the government also intends to punish advisors, if Taxation believes they actions was ill intended. In that case, the fine for the taxpayer would be only 5% of the debt instead of 20%.

With the alternative proposal, Partido Liberacion Nacional (PLN) legislator  Antonio Álvarez Desanti, announced yesterday that he will withdraw the 300 motions filed to stop the original proposal. Desanti said his withdrawal of objections is done as “a goodwill gesture”.

The legislator, however, said that “this is not a waiver for new motions.”

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