Taxes: Supermarket Chain Investigation

After inconsistencies were detected between purchases reported by taxpayers and sales that the company declared to the tax authority, an investigation was initiated in Guatemala into the "La Barata" supermarket chain.

Monday, December 7, 2020

During the morning of December 7, representatives of the Public Ministry (MP) and the Superintendence of Tax Administration (SAT), held a press conference in which they explained some details about a new case of alleged tax fraud by the chain of stores "La Barata."

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According to the authorities, an audit was carried out with compliance verification tools. Through this investigation, it was possible to identify some omissions in the declarations for the payment of the Value Added Tax (VAT).

Marco Livio Diaz, SAT's superintendent, told that "... the purchases reported by the taxpayers are compared to the sales of a company and the investigated entity did not generate any tax payment. The sales were not declared before the SAT. The VAT on sales would not have been paid in recent years. For this case the first allegation is related to credit cards for which VAT was not paid."

Simply Group, a corporation, is the business group that operates 35 supermarkets known as La Barata nationwide. According to preliminary estimates, the tax fraud could amount to about $20 million.

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Francisco Sandoval, head of the Special Prosecutor against Impunity (Feci) of the MP, explained that "... the warehouse where the accounting information is located was closed. Also, the Prosecutor's Office had access to previous periods and will require the SAT to extend the period of the audit."

So far, the MP has requested the arrest warrant against the legal representative of the company Francisco José Barrios Hernández, for the crime of tax fraud.

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