Many professionals pay no tax, study says

The nation’s budget watchdog reported Wednesday that 56 percent of independent professionals reported no income in the years 2011 to 2015.

The professionals include physicians, surgeons, dentists, engineers, architects, lawyers, notaries, accountants, auditors and veterinarians, said the Contraloría General de la República.

The tax agency within the Ministerio de Hacienda has been complaining about this for years, too. The report is bound to provide impetus to plans to tighten tax reporting controls. Among other actions, the Dirección General de Tributación wants to centralize the billing process so it can keep track of who pays whom.

The Contraloría said that 10,893 had reported no income for five periods under study. In some cases that report of no income may be legitimate if the individual was working for a salary that was reported in another fashion.

The Contraloría blames part of the problem on technological limitations in the collection of taxes.

The agency urged the director general of Tributación to set up better systems to track the independent professionals.

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