Tax amnesty: The end of the deadlines soon

The year 2020, which is about to come to an end, has seen the implementation of a panoply of measures by way of tax amnesty. The stated objective, under the 2020 Finance Law, was to strengthen the relationship of trust between the administration and the taxpayer and lay the groundwork for a strategy advocating a voluntary commitment to spontaneous payment of taxes.

Passed by there, the health crisis associated with the pandemic of Covid19 gave rise to a corrective finance law, which allowed a certain extension of the deadlines initially set for these measures. The idea is to give taxpayers a better chance to regularize their situation with the tax authorities, but not beyond next December. The countdown has already started!

In the context of the current version of the 2021 Finance Bill, and although it is still early to decide on the measures that will be introduced in terms of tax amnesty, the only measure that comes close to it so far, is an amendment, brought by the Finance and Economic Development Committee, to cancel totally or partially the penalties, fines, increases and costs of collecting public debts before January 1, 2020, reports the MAP.

Badreddine Ed Dihi, an accountant and auditor, pointed out that spontaneous regularization measures, or amnesty as they are commonly called, are generally intended to encourage the voluntary fulfillment of tax obligations by taxpayers who have not previously done so. not completed either partially or in full for a well-defined period. Through the amnesty, the tax administration offers the taxpayer the opportunity to regularize his tax position at a price lower than the value of the tax due on undeclared income, administrative penalties and interest, said Mr. Ed Dihi in a statement to the MAP, citing as an example, the measure provided for in Article 247 XXVIII of the General Tax Code (CGI) and which stipulates that taxpayers be excluded from control.

Coming back to the main spontaneous regularization measures scheduled for 2020, Mr. Ed Dihi, also chairman of the legal and tax commission of the Moroccan leaders’ club, also referred to the voluntary regularization operation of the taxpayer’s tax situation with regard to professional or agricultural income and profits, the regularization of property tax or even the regularization of assets held abroad. Regarding the amending declaration under article 247- XXVIII of the CGI (IS, professional IR, stamp duty, VAT, withholding tax, etc.), it concerns the finding of irregularities in the tax declarations, resulting in insufficient turnover or taxable income, specifies the expert. The taxpayer can thus regularize his situation by subscribing a corrective declaration for the 2016, 2017 and 2018 financial years, and this before December 15 of this year, he said.

With regard to the device relating to the voluntary regularization of the taxpayer’s tax situation with regard to professional or agricultural income and profits, it concerns in particular resident individuals who hold liquid assets (in the form of banknotes) from profits. or income relating to the exercise of a professional or agricultural activity that was not declared before January 1, 2020, he notes, noting that for this device, the new deadline, as extended by the amended Finance Law (LFR) is December 15, 2020.

Another flagship device is that of the regularization of land tax. This is the possibility of subscribing a spontaneous declaration on undeclared rents from years prior to 2018, explains Mr. Ed Dihi, specifying that, for this measure, the tax base is limited to the rental income of 2018. For the regularization on assets held abroad with the new deadline at the end of December 2020, it relates, for its part, to the possibility of subscribing a spontaneous declaration without penalties of assets abroad belonging to Moroccan tax residents, note t -he. In the opinion of Mr. Ed Dihi, this type of measure can have several advantages for public finances, in particular in terms of reducing the costs of tax audits and litigation, recovery of evaded taxes, not to mention the possibility of disclosing the income from the informal economy.

Nevertheless, continues our interlocutor, these devices have limits. He explains that the price paid by taxpayers who adhere to an amnesty does not include any penalties / surcharges that would be due in the event of an audit, and in some cases may be less than the amount of tax due on unreported income. . “Thus, the implementation of these measures has the effect that all taxpayers, in comparable situations, do not bear the same fiscal cost,” he said.

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