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Tax News – Some relief measures adopted by Latin American countries

Considering the health situation due to the effects of COVID-19, and as a response to the volatility of oil prices and the uncertainty of international financial conditions, the Colombian Government decided to declare an economic emergency and create mechanisms to deal with the needs of the health sector, as well as mitigate the adverse effects on the national economy. 

Regarding tax matters, regulations that have been issued in recent days seek to offer a relief to taxpayers, ranging from the suspension of the terms in administrative processes and actions to the extension of deadlines for the payment of some tax obligations for some sectors of the economy. Below, we present the measures adopted to date:

Resolution DIAN 0022March 18Suspension of terms in processes and administrative actions in tax, customs and exchange matters 
  • Terms are suspended between March 19th and April 3rd, 2020, inclusive. 
  • During this time, attention to the public will not be enabled in the dependencies of the Colombian Tax Authority (DIAN) 
  • For the Tax Administration, the suspension includes the following: authorization terms, internal deadlines for visits, PQRR, special requests of the RUT, processing of SIE applications. 
  • For the taxpayer, the suspension includes deadlines for response to ordinary requirements, transits, storage and multimodal transportation, deadlines for re-importing merchandise, deadlines for importing household goods, deadlines for urgent deliveries. 
Decree 436 
Issued by the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit 
March 19Transitional customs measures 
  • The validity and recognition of permanent customs users and highly exporters users are extended until May 31st, 2020
  • Customs users or highly exporters who have approved a global guarantee as of March 19, valid until August 31st, 2020, must not present another guarantee to continue customs registration.
  • The requirement of the constitution of the import guarantee for urgent delivery is suspended until May 31st.
  • The application of the 100 UVT penalties for non-attendance to the proceedings ordered by the customs authority is suspended until May 31, 2020
Decree 435 issued by the Ministry of Finance and Public CreditMarch 19Modification of deadlines for the presentation and payment of tax returns
  • The term for the presentation and payment of the first installment of the income tax return and return of assets abroad is extended for Major Taxpayers, beginning on April 21 and ending on May 5, 2020. (Due dates began on April 14 and culminated on April 27, 2020)
  • The term for the presentation and payment of the first installment of the income return and return of assets abroad is extended, for Legal Entities, beginning on April 21 and ending on May 19, 2020. (Due dates began on April 14 and ended on May 12, 2020)
  • The deadline for payment of the VAT return is extended from the two-month period March - April 2020 and, the four-month period January - April 2020, until June 30, 2020, for those VAT responsible taxpayers who carry out the following activities (CIIU Codes):
  • 5611 Prepared Meal Table Expenditure
  • 5613 Expenditure on meals prepared in cafeterias
  • 5619 Other types of prepared food expenditure
  • 5630 Sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption within the establishment
  • 7911 Travel agency activities
  • 7912 Tour operator activities
  • The return of the consumption tax corresponding to the two-month period March - April 2020, for those responsible who carry out the aforementioned activities, may be paid until June 30, 2020. 
Decree 401 issued by the Ministry of Finance and Public CreditMarch 13Modification of terms for payment of tax returns
  • The deadline for the payment of tax returns is extended for companies that carry out the following activities:o Commercial air transportation of passengerso Hotelso Theatrical Activitieso Live music show activitieso Other live entertainment activities- Major Taxpayers income statement: Payment of the second installment (July 31) and third installment (August 31)- Tax return for Legal Entities: Payment of the first installment until July 31, 2020 and payment of the second installment, until August 31, 2020.- Two-month VAT return March - April: Payment until June 30, 2020.- VAT return Semester January - April: Payment until June 30, 2020.
Tax Bulletin issued by the Tax Local Authority (Secretaria de Hacienda Distrital)March 18Extension of the term for the payment of the real estate tax in Bogota
  • Taxpayers of the real estate tax of properties located in strata 1,2 and 3 will have a term to pay the tax, as follows:o June 4, 2020 with 10% discountor June 24, 2020 without discount
  • The term for the virtual declaration of payment by installments is extended, thus:o First installment: June 14o Second installment: August 14o Third installment: October 9o Last installment: December 11


At the same time, at the Latin American level, various actions have been presented that seek to reduce the economic impact of the current situation. To mention some of the strategies, below we summarize some of those adopted in Chile and Peru:


  •  Suspension of the Provisional Monthly Payments (PPM) of the Corporate Income Tax for the next 3 months.
  •  Extension of the terms for payment of VAT for the next 3 months for all companies with sales lower than UF 350.000 during 2019, making it possible to pay in 6 or 12 monthly installments at zero real interest rate, depending on their size.
  • Anticipation of the tax refund for income tax corresponding to the PYMES who will receive their refund in April.
  • Extension of the terms for payment of the PYMES income tax, until July 2020, according to what is declared in the April operation.
  • Extension of the terms of the payment of contributions in April for companies with sales lower than UF 350.000 and individuals with properties with a tax assessment of less than $133 million. The contribution will be paid in three installments, along with the following three contribution installments, with an interest rate of 0%.
  • Transitory reduction to 0%, from April, of the stamp and stamp tax for all credit operations during the next 6 months.
  • Relief measures for the treatment of tax debts with the General Treasury of the Republic (TGR) focused on PYMES and individuals with lower incomes: flexibility to enter into tax debt payment agreements with TGR, without interest or penalties from April.
  • All the expenses of the companies associated with facing the health contingency will be accepted as a tax expense.
  • Flexibility of the terms to file Affidavits associated with the income operation this year.


The National Superintendence of Customs and Tax Administration (SUNAT) has released some measures among which it has been foreseen that there will be no tax fines or penalties from March 16th until the entire duration of the State of Emergency. The entity decided that those who are paying their tax debts in installments and have problems paying them off this month will not be penalized; that is, this facility will not be lifted.

On the other hand, the Tax Administration ordered that individuals and companies can request the release of the fund from their detractions, in order to have availability in this emergency stage.

The deduction implies that those who pay the general sales tax (IGV) in advance, whether for sale or purchase of goods and services, must deposit the corresponding amount in a fund opened at the Nation Bank (Banco de la Nación), to ensure compliance with this tax obligation.

Regarding the filing of tax returns and information, the obligation to submit electronic books is extended by one (1) month (book of inventories and balance sheets, registry of fixed assets, registry of costs, among others) and the period is postponed for three months. Expiration period of the 2019 annual Income Tax Declaration, as well as the presentation of the monthly affidavit of February 2020 was postponed for three (3) months.


Portrait of Javier Orozco, LL.M.
Javier Orozco, LL.M.
Natalia Guerrero
Angélica Gómez
Juan Castro
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