The Never Ending Problem of Tax Refunds

Guatemalan businessmen claim that their operations are being affected by delays up to three years in the tax refunds, when the established periods are 30 to 60 days.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Last week, the Public Prosecutor's Office announced the dismantling of a structure that facilitated refunds of the tax credits through means of illicit payments, operating both internally and externally in the Superintendency of Tax Administration.

The generalized delay continues to harm the majority of companies, whose operating costs are being affected, with the consequent deterioration in competitiveness.

The excessive delay in returning these credits diminishes companies' capacity to operate. In regards to this, the president of the Commission of Clothing and Textile, Alejandro Ceballos told that " ... 'they are holding on to capital and sooner or later utility bills come, debts accumulate and there is an overdraft that ends up affecting the payroll, suppliers and other commitments'."

In the same vein, the executive director of the Association of Coffee Exporters, Jean Paul Brichaux, said that " ... 'many exporting companies face capital problems because they can not count on having the resources within the corresponding times. With the emerging plan that was implemented last year, a break was provided for some, but not for all."

More on this topic

How to Improve Tax Refunds

May 2018

Standardizing procedures and applying administrative silence in favor of the taxpayer, are some of the proposals that Congress has received for reforming the current regulations.

Due to the widespread delay in the tax refunds which is still harming the majority of the companies in the country, the Central American Institute of Fiscal Studies (Icefi), the Center for National Economic Research (Cien) and the Association of Exporters (Agexport), delivered to the Economic Commission at the Guatemalan Congress, a proposal to modify the regulations that are currently applied. 

Guatemala: $109 million in Tax Refunds

February 2018

The Tax authorities have announced that during the first quarter of the year they expect to start making reimbursements corresponding to requests for the fiscal periods of 2013 to 2015.

The acting superintendent of the Tax Administration, Abel Cruz, said that companies that have already been audited will be able to receive the corresponding settlement. 

Guatemala: Tax Credit Refund Accelerated

August 2017

The almost $300 million in tax credit that the tax administration plans to return in the short term correspond to requests for fiscal years from 2013 to 2015.

A year after modifying the processes to provide more transparency in the return of tax credits to exporting companies, the Superintendency of Tax Administration is preparing to accelerate the procedures and return credits that have been delayed for more than two years. Intendant Leonel Villamar commented that "... "There is a dam that we need to evacuate and we are working with taxpayers to speed up delivery."

SAT's Multi Million Dollar Debt to Guatemalan Exporters

October 2013

The Tax Authority (SAT) owes to domestic exporters about $313 million in tax credit refunds.

This was explained by the superintendent Carlos Muñoz, adding that "... this amount represents the backlog in tax credit refunds of Value Added Tax (VAT) to Exporters and there are cases which have been awaiting payment since 2011," noted an article in

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