An amendment to the regulations of the income and sales tax laws, which will allow companies to issue electronic invoices in dollars, is in process.
The deputy minister of finance, Fernando Rodriguez, told Nacion.com that the purpose of the amendment is to adjust the regulations to the reality of the country, since"... if the laws allow transactions to be made in dollars, then we will allow invoices in dollars".
It has been announced that from March a group of large taxpayers will have to start using the electronic billing system mandatorily.
According to the Directorate General of Taxation, they will begin with a group of companies considered large taxpayers, who have already received training to implement the use of electronic invoices starting from March.
On February 14 a pilot project will start that will connect six previously selected major companies to a digital billing system that will be operated by the Treasury.
Publication of the resolutionin the official newspaper, La Gaceta, establishes the method for starting implementation of an electronic invoicing system, from February 2017, two years after the original planned start date. See resolutionDGT-R-48.Authorization for the use of electronic invoicing and associated electronic documents. In addition, publication was also made of thecriteria for gradual selectionof taxpayers last November 3 in La Gaceta.
Incorrect balances in the accounts of taxpayers are preventing the system from providing the "Paz y Salvo" (Safe and sound) certificate required for transactions with state institutions.
Companies claim that the appearance of false outstanding debts in their accounts has prevented them from receiving "...the "Paz y Salvo" document, needed to formalize the sale of land or businesses, collect payment when a company is a state supplier or participate in public tenders. "
The Ministry of Finance in Costa Rica has questioned the legality of the triangulated invoicing of goods imported under free trade agreements.
A threat to the legal security of the country is how the business sector describes the questioning on the part of the Ministry of Finance on the procedure used by many companies to invoice in a triangulated manner goods imported under existing trade agreements.The Treasury's concern is that companies can "inflate" the value when triangulating and leave a portion of revenues outside of the country.
In the tender to design and implement an electronic billing system for the Treasury, interested companies only have five working days in which to submit bids.
In a tender which requires, among other things, five years of experience in systems development, experience in project management and even a certificate from the Project Management Institute, Empresa de Servicios Público (ESPH) is only allowing five business days for interested companies to submit their proposals.
There is a striking difference between the offers received by the Ministry of Finance in Costa Rica, in a competition which was held exclusively between state entities in order to avoid mandatory controls on public procurements.
In Costa Rica, there is a new phenomenon not seen before: the illogical is no longer surprising, and, what is worse, the unexplainable is accepted as normal.
Business people are complaining that the recurrent failures in the new online system known as the Revenue Management Service is causing losses because of delays in billing.
The new system requires all registered entities to use the documentation demanded by the Revenue Management Service (SAR by its initials in Spanish), for which printing houses certified in fiscal registry have to connect to the system for authorization from the SAR, and it is precisely this part of the process that is failing.
Two years behind schedule, an announcement has been made that in January 2017 the electronic billing system will be implemented by Empresa de Servicios Públicos de Heredia.
From a statement issued by the Ministry of Finance in Costa Rica:
Empresa de Servicios Públicos de Heredia (ESPH), was selected by the Ministry of Finance for the development, implementation and operation of an electronic invoicing system, which will start in January 2017.ESPH together with another company which is a specialist in the subject, will be responsible for developing the software and putting into use the technology platform (networks, servers, connectivity, among other things, as well as the reception, validation and storage of electronic receipts or invoices.
A contract has been awarded for the design and implementation of an electronic billing system that automates the process of reporting taxes and tax collection.
Through adirect recruitmentprocessthe Directorate General of Revenue (DGI by its initials in Spanish) has selected Centro Interamericano de Administraciones Tributarias (CIAT) to design and implement an electronic billing system for the country.
Prensa.com reports that "...The contract, published in PanamáCompra, is valued at 2.2 million dollars and seeks to "strengthen controls and fiscal intelligence aimed at reducing levels of non-compliance, tax evasion and fraud," according to a document signed by Publio Cortés, Director General of Revenue. "
Regarding the future of fiscal printers implemented during the Martinelli administration, Cortes told Prensa.com that"...'In other countries where the experiences of implementing electronic invoicing have been successful, fiscal equipment coexists with electronic invoicing, especially in those segments where controls on billing are more efficient through use of this equipment, such as sales to end consumers.Other countries have implemented a process of progressive replacement of equipment with electronic tax invoices.In the case of Panama, this decision must be evaluated in due course in order to determine what would be best according to the characteristics of the Panamanian market. ' "
Electronic invoices not only reduce operational and administrative costs but also produce better competitiveness among businesses by increasing fiscal transparency in the market.
The slow pace with which the process for establishing the mandatory use of electronic invoices in Costa Rica has been carried out has prevented companies and the treasury itself, from being more efficient, in the first case in terms of controls and in the second of the collection of taxes.
Preparations are being made for a billing system which will allow companies to file reports digitally and in real time, replacing the tax printers implemented by the Martinelli administration.
The DGI has announced to the private sector that the new system is intended to streamline sales reports to the Treasury by large enterprises, in addition to ending the "... complications caused by use of fiscal printers".
A new billing system is in effect and all registered companies are required to provide receipts using the new documentation required by the Executive Directorate of Revenue.
Despite widespread opposition from the private sector, who assert that the payments of sales tax by companies who turnover at least $16,000 a year will have serious negative effects, the new billing system implemented by the Executive Directorate of Revenue (DEI) has come into effect.
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