Tax reform continues without conciliation due to inconsistencies in the text approved by the Senate

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The Conservative and Liberal parties would vote against the bill in the conciliation and with this the initiative would risk sinking

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Tax reform continues without reconciliation due to inconsistencies in the text approved by the Senate

Gustavo Petro's tax reform bill has already been debated in plenary sessions of the Senate and Chamber of Representatives. REUTERS/Luisa González

It passed on Wednesday and the tax reform projectof the Government ofGustavo Petro still had no conciliation between the Senate of the Republic and the House of Representatives.

Everything indicates that the text approved by the Senate does not coincide with what was published. In addition, it has several flaws. It was also known that there would be serious differences in one of the most controversial taxes of the project, related to churches and worship.

According to the representative to the Chamber Wadith Manzur, of the Conservative Party, to find a solution to this, an erratum should be madeand publish again the text that coincides with what was approved so that it can be reconciled and then sanctioned as a law of the Republic by President Gustavo Petro.

Yes If these difficulties are overcome, the conciliation will be announced on Tuesday of next week and will have a vote next Wednesday, since there would not be enough time to do it this week.

According to Caracol Radio , the Conservative and Liberal parties would vote negatively on the proposal of the tax reform, which could lead to the project sinking if the necessary agreements are not reached.

Issues to be resolved

Before of this Wednesday's meeting, Senator Gustavo Bolívar, of the Historical Pact, explained yesterday that there were still two issues to be resolved and that is why another session would be held this Wednesday .

Bolívar stated that under discussion follows the reduction of the income rate from 35% to 30% for companies with revenues of less than 155,816,400 pesos (4,100 tax value units – UVT), as well as the business tax of churches outside the cult.

Although most of the text is approved, there are still differences on these two points and that is why the designated congressmen, including Clara López, Juan Diego Echavarria, Álvaro Monedero, Jorge Bastidas, Bolívar and Katherine Miranda, they must reconcile what they believe is best for this economic moment in Colombia.

Other taxes under review

Other taxes that are under review are the one on hydrocarbons and the one on sugar-sweetened beverages and ultra-processed foods.

Regarding the first, there are several paragraphs that should review, especially the point related to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (mypimes), since it was requested to reduce the income tax for these, which does not have the endorsement of the Government, despite the fact that it was approved in the House of Representatives. This being the case, this would be declared unconstitutional.

Faced with the second, the House of Representativesproposed that it begin charging from November 2023< /b>, but the Senate approved that the collection begin in September 2023.

Key tool

< p class="paragraph">Prior to the start of the conciliation, the Minister of Finance, José Antonio Ocampo, showed that this is a necessity for the Colombian State, since it will allow the collection of resources for social programs, among other projects that are within the government plan :

“The tax reform is a key tool to obtain more resources for social programs. We will work as a team with our employers for peace, equality and social justice. Healthy finances in a responsible reform for change”, the official stressed.

In fact, last week, at the end of the extensive debate in the House of Representatives, thus ending the conversation in Congress, the head of the economic portfolio thanked all the corporations for approving what he called a historic law, which seeks to reduce a social debt, which helps to eradicate hunger , reduce poverty and inequality, one of the fundamental promises of President Petro.