A legislative committee approved Thursday night a substitute text for the anti-tax fraud bill presented by the central government more than a year ago.
The bill is designed to close loopholes. The vote by the Comisión de Asuntos Hacendarios mean that the measure now goes to the full legislature for passage.
The bill is the least controversial of those presented by the Luis Guillermo Solís administration as a financial package. A lot of the requirements appear reasonable. For example, those offering a service would be obligated to accept credit or debit cards as payment. The tax collectors like this because they can check with the credit card companies to estimate income.
The legislative staff said there were about 20 key points to the bill. There were some changes made to the document that lawmakers said have been approved by consensus of the political parties represented on the committee.
The bill also requires persons doing business with the state to be up to date with tax payments.
Municipalities would be required to check with the Dirección General de Tributación, the tax agency, before issuing a business license to make sure that the firm or individual was listed as a taxpayer.
Deductions would be forbidden for expenses incurred in countries considered tax paradises, and there would be similar restrictions on some aspects of creative accounting to reduce tax liability.
Financial institutions would be fined for failing to provide information needed by the tax authorities on clients.
Also established are limits on deductions for interest expenses.
Lawmakers on the committee said they were giving the government the tools it needed to collect more money to confront the current fiscal crisis.