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By KELIN DILLON

On Tuesday, Dec. 14, Mexico’s Tax Administrative Service (SAT) revealed its new methodology to acquire owed taxes from debtors in 2022, with the newfound jurisdiction to seize assets from taxpayers’ ​​bank deposits, properties, savings accounts, insurance investments, stocks, bonds and real estate as a form of repayment.

Now, taxpayers will be held directly responsible for reviewing notifications sent from the SAT about their debts to their tax mailbox, and will be given only three days to respond before their assets are potentially forfeited for seizure. Even if a person has not read the SAT’s message, they will still be legally recognized as “notified” after the three-day period has lapsed.

“To continue with the strengthening of the tax mailbox as a primary means of communication between the tax authority and the taxpayer, it is proposed to add an article 151 Bis to the Tax Code, in order to empower the tax authority to carry out the seizure of assets that, by its nature, can be carried out through this means,” reads Article 151 Bis of the Tax Miscellany 2022, which was recently approved by Mexico’s House of Deputies and Senate.

Under the new code, everyone in Mexico registered to the Federal Taxpayers Registry (RFC) is subject to seizure via the email associated with their tax inbox.

“If you forget to check, then the embargo applies to you,” said Silvia Matus, president of the Mexico Chapter of the Association of Certified Professionals in Financial Crimes, noting that the seizure process will be implemented after the end of the three-day grace period regardless of circumstances.

The move comes as a larger part of the strengthening of the SAT across all tax brackets, as Mexico looks to up its annual revenue from taxes and crack down on avoidance with hefty fines.

“The fines are being increased, not just for large taxpayers, but for any type of taxpayer, whether they are individuals or legal entities,” said tax attorney and professor Virginia Ríos.

With the new rules implemented, the SAT expects to acquire nearly 4 trillion pesos from tax revenue in 2022, up 6.4 percent from 2021.

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