Peru’s regulatory agency – SUNAT attacks tax evasion using credit cards

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Living in Peru
Israel Ruiz

A suggestion made this week by Manuel Velarde, head of Peru’s tax regulatory agency – SUNAT, raised some concern and controversy among specialists and credit card users.

It was proposed that when customers use credit or debit cards in Peru, a percent of the sales tax be kept by Visa or Mastercard. This raised concern because consumers thought they would have to pay an additional tax.

Enrique Vejarano, an advisor for SUNAT explained that an additional fee would not be created. "When someone pays for a product or service by credit card the sales tax is included in the price. What is being proposed is for Visa or Mastercard to keep a small percentage of the sales tax."

Vejarano said this would help in reducing tax evasion because this would force companies to give receipts and hand in statements at the end of the month.

"If a percent of the operation is kept then establishments will be obligated to register the transaction and give a receipt," said Vejarano.

According to studies done by SUNAT, 91 percent of companies that offer services in the country do not pay taxes.

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