Educational and cultural tax deadline has to be met with computer

The bad news is that today is the deadline for paying the annual educational and cultural tax on corporations.

More bad news is that the average expat who is not in business has no chance of filing and paying the tax without professional help.

Several expats who went off Monday in search of forms to pay the tax got nothing but blank stares. The Dirección General de Tributación requires the use of its own special computer program, EDDI-7, to pay any taxes. The program is available free from the tax collectors. But expats should resist the temptation.

Experience has shown that the agency frequently updates the program, usually without any notice, and downloading and installing the updated version is not for the timid or those who cannot discuss the program fluently in Spanish with tax agency technicians.

The best bet is to find an accountant or lawyer who routinely files tax reports for third parties. With a computer that is up-to-date with the tax agency’s program, the job is about five minutes.

The tax ranged from 750 to 9,000 colons a year, which is why it has been called that pesky little tax. The amount depends on the net capital of the corporation. The amount of 9,000 colons is about $17 U.S. dollars, so many expats pay that amount. A corporation that contains a home or a new car certainly is in this category.

The tax is so unimportant that the tax agency does not include it on the deadlines posted to its Web page. And the agency did not send out a press release reminder this year.

Still, tax collectors will eventually seek out the tax with interest if it is not paid.

Expats can have those who create the form pay the tax online as part of the service. Or they can take a copy of the form, Recibo oficial de pago D-110, to most banks except Banco Nacional and pay the tax there.

Brave expats can visit their local regional office of the tax agency and ask for help on one of the computers that are available for the public.

The tax is due in February and March each year. There does not seem to be any penalty for failing to pay on time, but interest does accrue. The tax agency addressed the issue HERE!

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