Tax agency’s computer system crashes for a time

The nation’s tax collecting computer system, Tributación Direct@, crashed Monday, the last day to pay the luxury home tax and also to create forms for monthly sales tax payments.

Francisco Villalobos Brenes, the head of the Dirección General de Tributación, posted a statement on the agency’s Facebook page.However, taxpayers were not cut any slack.

The agency said the computer system failed between 11 a.m. and 2:35 p.m. and this prevented taxpayers and their accountants from presenting tax forms. The system also prevented the creation of special forms for paying the sales tax which are then presented to various banking branches along with payments.

The Dirección General de Tributación in a later statement said that there were other avenues for taxpayers to present their forms and pay, including going to a local bank.

Villalobos said that the system handled bigger loads in the past, including Dec. 15 when the annual income tax statements were due.

The agency just upgraded the EDDI-7 tax preparation program, and those using the system had to download the new version. This may have contributed to the overload. Villalobos said that the agency would conduct a port mortem starting today to see what happened.

Monday also was the day for employers to file the report and pay money that has been withheld from employee salaries for future payment of taxes. Usually the date is the 15th of the month, but this month that date was a Sunday.

The luxury home tax is an assessment on dwellings which had a value of more than 111,000,000 colons on Jan. 1. Owners have to declare the value and then pay the tax. The amount is about $221,000 at the current rate of exchange. However, the assessment is based on a unique replacement- cost-new-less depreciation formula. The tax agency has examples of how to calculate the tax on its Web site, but for some reason these documents are password protected.

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