Mexico to tackle tax evasion

The head of the Fiscal Prosecutor's Office explains that the government will enforce the law against those who have turned tax evasion into a national sport

Mexico to tackle tax evasion
Mexico is one of the countries with the lowest tax collection levels - Photo: Yadin Xolalpa/EL UNIVERSAL
English 04/03/2019 09:26 Mexico City Editorial Actualizada 09:34

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The main measure used by governments to obtain financial resources is through tax collection but there are countries that are better at collecting taxes than others. Mexico is among the countries with the most deficiencies to increase its tax collection.

Despite the reforms implemented in the last years, organizations such as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) always places Mexico among the last in tax collection as a percentage of the of the gross domestic product (GDP). Even in Latin America, there a countries with a better performance than Mexico.

Tax evasion is one of the factors behind the low tax collection. In an interview with EL UNIVERSAL, the head of the Fiscal Prosecutor's Office explains that the government will enforce the law against those who have turned tax evasion into a national sport and emphasizes that it will focus on those who present fake invoices or other practices such as outsourcing.

The witch hunt or the implementation of strong measures in order to convince people to pay taxes might be necessary to face the fraudsters and it could also work and increase tax collection.

Nevertheless, the official said that not all taxpayers would be labeled the same way. Those who create fraud schemes and sell invoices will go to jail; those who acquire invoices and adopt these schemes will face a trial but they will be allowed to pay their taxes, and those who stopped paying their taxes for a wrongful administrative decision or for financial reasons, without malice, will be asked to pay their debt.

What is necessary for Mexican taxpayers to pay their taxes without forcing the government to assume coercive measures?

One of the ways to achieve this is through increasing and consolidating transparency and accountability. Every taxpayer wants to know how is their money, which is collected by municipalities, states, and the federal government, being used. The fear that has prevailed for years is that the taxes paid will end up in the corrupt authorities' pockets and therefore, it won't be translated into better services for citizens, such as public lighting and paved roads, public hospitals, or efficient transport.

The best path towards a conscious society and business sector, aware of the need to contribute to public spending, has to be full of clear official accounts and improved public services.

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