Top 10 tax agency abusive practices
On May 14, 2015 PRODECON (Procuraduria de la Defensa del Contribuyente) [Tax Ombudsman’s Office] issued bulletin number 007/2015 which outlined the top 10 bad practices of SAT, the federal tax authority to alert taxpayers about these abusive practices and that they violate their rights.
The top 10 are
1.- Making a request that the taxpayer go to their offices, including by phone so that they can clear up “inconsistencies” respecting one or more tax years, using as a reason, abstract and generic expressions such as they detected “atypical behavior.”
2.- Contacting the taxpayer about showing up at the offices of the tax authority only verbally without putting anything in writing about any supposed irregularities.
3.- Pressuring the taxpayer to sign a declaration where they agree to self correct.
4.- Not allowing the taxpayer to bring their attorney or accountant to meet with the tax authorities in their offices.
5.- Citing legal provisions that contemplate procedures that will never happen.
Example: Letters of invitation due to cash deposits citing the legal basis of a tax discrepancy, even though that specific audit procedure was never initiated.
6.- Failure to explain to the taxpayer in an easy to understand manner how to explain their situation.
7.- Setting an arbitrary time frame deadline to respond to the “invitation.”
8.- Requesting burdensome amounts of information and documents which are more than the law permits them to request.
9.- Attaching to requests forms that are not official ones and that are designed by them for the sole purpose of placing the burden on the taxpayer to audit themselves.
10.- Notification of payment proposals to taxpayers without specifying the reasons and method used to determine the tax liability.
If you get a notification from the SAT tax office or any tax agency you need to act quickly to protect your rights and PRODECON exists to help taxpayers free of charge. They do not have English speaking personnel but they do tax litigation and intervention on behalf of taxpayers free of charge at all steps of collection actions. The ideal method is to have your attorney and / or accountant work directly with PRODECON to resolve your issue. There have been many recent success stories where PRODECON has helped people after their right to appeal has expired or where they were able to help the taxpayer get an offer in compromise accepted or taxes annulled.
PRODECON can help in any tax collection situation with agencies such as SAT, Aduana, IMSS, INFONAVIT, CONAGUA, Secretaria de Finazas del Estado, etc.