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Gimme a break…NAH!

21 May 2019

Apparently, you can’t just ask the Prez of Mexico that any more.  Until yesterday, anybody (at least if you were a major corporation, a movie star or a mogul) could get their tax bill reduced by presidential order.  In the last two administrations, it’s estimated that 153,000 taxpayers were allowed to underpay their taxes by 400 billion pesos (about US$21,000,000).

Andres Manuel López Obrador had made a campaign promise not to raise taxes, but he never said anything about not collecting taxes, so yesterday, by decree, the president has limited his own ability to grant reprieves to “beleaguered” taxpayers (i.e, at least 100 of the largest taxpayers in the country, including Carlos Slim and Televisa, who were permitted to underpay the taxman by something like 11 billion dollars over the last 12 years) to two cases:  when the taxes would damage an economic field (say, the tourism industry as a whole, or electrical power production) or as disaster relief.

The taxman, by the way, is a woman… and a poet by profession.  So, with poetic justice, Margarita Ríos Farjat is  threatening to release the names of those 153,000 “special” people (and corporations), several thousands of whom (or which) are running to the courts to get an injunction against the information being made public.

(Source: Luis Pablo Beauregard, “México pretende poner fin a la evasión fiscal de grandes contribuyentes” El País, 20 May 2019)

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