Accountants say Christmas bonus is complex

The public accountants organization says that figuring the Christmas bonus for an employee can be complex.

Guillermo Smith, president of the Colegio de Contadores Públicos, issued the reminder Wednesday and said that a stiff monthly fine awaits employers who fail to pay the aguinaldo.

The amount is normally one twelfth of what the employee earns in the 12 months preceding Dec. 1, but certain situations such as sick leave, can create confusion.

In addition, live-in maids who also receive food should be paid based on 50 percent of the value they received, said the organization in a release.

Commissions and extra pay also should be figured in computing the aguinaldo, it said. Sick leave is not included unless the leave is for maternity, it noted.

The monthly fine is based on 399,800 colons or about $740. Employers can face as many as 21 times that amount, the organization noted.

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