With the promise of faster fiscal procedures, a tax process began in Cuba in which some 200,000 individuals will participate, according to the income for 2016 each one declares. Data from the authorities contribute as antecedent a substantial increase in the payment of income tax a year ago.
When announcing the start of the Sworn Statement Campaign of 2017, the National Tax Administration Office (ONAT) announced that more than 170,000 citizens out of the total that will pay this tax are private workers. This group, which is the equivalent of 33.7 per cent of the half million private workers registered in the country, is made up of people with higher-profit activities. The small private entrepreneurs, already accepted in the Cuban policy but still not having their own legislation, also enter into this classification.
The rest of the self-employed Cubans pay income tax throughout the year through a simplified regimen.
In addition to the self-employed, this tax is paid by artists and personnel from the cultural industry, social communicators and foreign company employees.
The fiscal exercise also includes the annual tax of the owners of land transportation and vessels, as well as the taxes of enterprises and mercantile societies, cooperatives and private agricultural and livestock producers.
The Sworn Statement Campaign, which began on January 9, will conclude on April 29. The head of ONAT, Yamilé Pérez, said that this year the benefit of a five per cent discount of the total amount continues in force for those who pay their taxes before February 28. In 2016, however, only 18,536 tax payers resorted to a similar benefit.
Last year 178,492 tax payers, 92 per cent of those who had to, presented their sworn statement for income taxes within the established term, for 8.474 billion pesos in gross incomes reported to the treasury.
ONAT maintains alternatives for sending the Sworn Statement by mail, as well as the option of paying the taxes through the telebank services in Havana. As a novelty, the Office has set up mobile telephony messaging services to inform tax payers about the period to pay them, the services of the administration and other issues of interest.
The first deputy head of ONAT, Yoandra Cruz, reported to the press that the gross incomes communicated by the private workers increased in 2016, though she denounced the persistence of indiscipline and tax evasion. A total of 5.1 billion Cuban pesos (CUP) were declared, 1.275 billion more than those reported in the previous fiscal exercise.
Cruz said that this increase was achieved with the participation of 144,370 persons, 2,247 less than in 2015.
The deputy head of ONAT announced, however, that 55 per cent of the tax payers declared amounts inferior to their real incomes and 10,000 did not pay, that is, they did not present the Sworn Statement corresponding to the incomes for 2015.
In the first months of the year, the treasury will also collect taxes on profits from 3,000 enterprises before March 31. (2017)
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