Contraloría finds more than half of corporations ducked special tax

The nation’s financial watchdog said Thursday that from 2012 to 2015 an average of some 55 percent of corporations subject to a special tax did not pay it.

The agency, the Contraloría General de la República, noted that the tax was declared unconstitutional in January 2015, but that the Sala IV constitutional court said that operators of corporations must pay the tax for that year anyway.

The tax is the subject of a bill in the legislature that would renew it. It was unconstitutional for technical reasons.

By October last year, 365,482 corporations have not paid the tax. At the same time 23,476 corporations were listed as having failed to pay the tax for three years. The Contraloría said that at the same time 250,501 corporations were delinquent for four years, the length of time the tax had been in force.

The Contraloría urged that the Ministerio de Justicia y Paz begin steps to collect the tax.

What was not reflected in the report is that the original law

gave those responsible for a corporation to resign without being subject to future actions.

That means many of the corporations in the unpaid category have no one in charge.

In addition, many corporate operators are waiting to see the nature of the new tax bill, if it is passed, to see if there is an amnesty or another way to duck the past-due taxes.

Chart shows contributors and percentage unpaid by year.

Chart shows contributors and percentage unpaid by year.

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