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The director of the National Integrated Tax and Customs Administration Service (Seniat), José Vielma Mora announced that the tax collection goal for next year is nearly 27.325.298 trillion bolívares (Bs.), a significant increase over this year’s collection.

This projection is based on the expected contributions through the Added Value Tax (IVA), Tax on Bank Debits (IDB), Income Tax (ISRL), as well as on the automation of the customs system. Added Value Tax collections in 2005 are expected to be 54%, for a total of 14.647 trillion Bs.

Collection through customs for 2005 was estimated at 3.111 trillion. Also, tax collection on cigarettes, liquor, matches, official stamps, inheritance rights, bingos, and casinos is expected to reach 3.185 trillion.

Such incomes, estimated for the 2005 budget, will be collected throughout 12 months, at a monthly average of 2.2 trillion Bs., and at a daily average of 200 billion Bs.

Vielma announced that the creation of the Seniat Mining and Hydrocarbons division, with the purpose of setting a fiscal ring around the Venezuelan oil industry. This ring will assess the processes of drilling, research, transportation, and all the activities related to the oil industry, with the purpose of impelling tax payments within Venezuela and preventing these payments from being made in other countries.

Single tax payments will be implemented as a means to tax the informal economy with the purpose of bringing it slowly to the legal market.

IDB, low impact tax

During his address before the Permanent Finance Commission of National Assembly, Vielma referred to the IDB as a tax of low impact on the sectors with low incomes.

He pointed out that, unlike the Tax on Banking Debits first implemented under Rafael Caldera’s government, today’s IDB does not tax consumers for routinely transactions (transfers between accounts, deposits, or withdrawals), but only those who make transactions or who have accumulated accounts of above 32 tributary units (approximately 8 million Bs.).

He added that as of 2005, this tax will be collected only on accounts or transactions above 40 tributary units, amounts that only 12% of the population handles. “We want to lower taxes, but in order to achieve this purpose, we need to widen the available taxable base”, assured the director.

Vielma Mora stressed the importance of fiscal control over the incomes in the oil industry.

“We are losing money everyday. The president of the state owned oil company, Pdvsa; Alí Rodríguez Araque has told me about his concern on this issue, since transnational companies make pre-operational discounts in Venezuela and pay their taxes abroad”.

Vielma pointed out the need for a legislation that regulates gambling games, and said that taxing these activities could well replace the IDB. “We lose more than a trillion Bs. for gambling games in Venezuela (bingos, casinos, horse racing, slot machines, etc). The Seniat can not monitor this activity because there is no law that regulates it”.

He assured that this year, the Seniat will render the National Treasury the sum of 20.4 trillion Bs., over the initially established goal of 19.9 trillion.

Published in Quantum N.40