Reporters Daniel Trujillo and Velasco Sury writing for the newspaper El Mundo, explain the main changes introduced by the reform.
1. Income exempt from payment
Employees with monthly incomes of less than or equal to $503.01, without discounts, no longer have to pay tax. Therefore, in 2013, when its time to declare for the fiscal year 2012, they do not have to present documents. However, this year they will, taking into account that they must declare for the year 2011, when they are still liable for this tax and therefore should receive their respective return.
2. Pay less income
The tax reform includes a reduction of income tax and this applies to people who have a monthly salary of between $503.01 and $6,200. That is, workers in this income range will pay less than they did in previous years. This is calculated using a new set of tax tables. For example, those earning $800, who used to pay $56.91 in monthly tax, will now pay $43.42.
3. Retention recalculations
This involves recalculations of tax performed in June and December, with the aim that at the end of each year employers will retain the exact amount of tax due by employees, and not have to file a return. This new method will be applied to workers who add overtime and commissions making their salary subject to tax.
4. Evidence and information for another job
All new employees in the company must submit tax details from their former employer for purposes of consolidation. Also, they must disclose the existence of any other employment for which they receive remuneration in order to determine the rate of tax to be paid. This will only apply from the year 2012.
More on this topic
The reforms include provision for a fine for non payment of partial income taxes, facilitation of tax refunds, and streamlining of tax collections on luxury homes.
The Legislature has approved the "Project for urgent reforms of the tax administration", the first of the proposals included in the tax reform promoted by the Chinchilla administration in the package entitled "Solidarity Tax Act."
Among other measures, the bill proposed by the government examines establishing regimes for income tax and eliminating accreditation for VAT returns, a method that has encouraged evasion.
The new Guatemalan government has refined its proposed fiscal law reform, which includes proposals such as removing the accreditation of the VAT tax and setting different levels for the deduction of income tax.
Minimum Wage 2011 and maturity dates in January 2011 for tax liability of December 2010.
In a publication made on December 30, 2010, in the Official Newspaper, the Government Agreement No. 388-2010 of the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, establishes the new minimum wages for agricultural activities, and for non-farming export activities ruled by Decree No. 29-89, effective January 1st, 2011.
Although rates of income tax for employees have decreased, so have deductions and exemptions, meaning that ultimately the taxpayer will pay more than before.
Prensalibre.com reports that "the rates still in effect in 2012 are those of 15%, 20%, 25% and 31%, which will be charged up to 2012, and the new rates in 2013 are 5% and 7%. "