The benefit offered by the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program has made more people formalize their work occupation in the Merchant Registry of the Department of the Treasury, where they have issued over 52,000 more certificates than in the year previous.
In total, the aforementioned registry in the Universal Internal Revenue System (SURI) has processed 118,645 certificates so far this year, which is 52,420 more than the total registered in 2019, according to the Treasury data.
“The self-employed have realized that the aid is managed through SURI, such as the incentives of $ 1,000 and $ 500 that were given with the system’s database. It was in September that registrations shot up to about 25,000, after joining the Fast PUA, although the number had already increased since March. In July and August the records were neutralized and then increased again last month. Certainly the self-managed people were forced to register ”, explained the Secretary of the Treasury, Francisco Parés, in an interview with EL VOCERO.
Between 2016 and 2020, the Treasury issued a total of 325,903 merchant registration certificates that are distributed in 25,675 new cases in 2016, a total of 52,852 in 2017, 62,506 in 2018 and 66,225 in 2019.
“The number of registrations has tripled in 2020, although they were already increasing since 2017. People were internalizing that they needed to register with SURI and little by little they were integrating into the Department of the Treasury system, which forces the taxpayer to be in compliance, ”Parés added.
Although at the beginning the PUA benefit was available, the Department of Labor and Human Resources (DTRH) did not require the merchant certificate, later it required it after the increase in cases of fraud to the federal program.
Parés explained that most of the businesses recently registered in SURI are those that generate a sales volume of less than $ 300,000 annually, which provide professional services, such as maintenance and gardening, among other tasks performed by self-employed workers.
“Common sense tells me that the increase is due to the integration of the Fast PUA. There are no more people doing business, what there are are more registered people, ”added the secretary, referring to the fact that many of the citizens who were part of the informal economy have registered to obtain the financial aid that is channeled through the DTRH and the Department of the Treasury.
Parés accepted that the increase in registration may also be due to a group of wage earners who have lost their jobs looking for new self-management alternatives as a measure to sustain themselves during the Covid-19 pandemic, creating a new company and requesting the Tax certificate. .
“Later is when we will find out who continues to request the PUA and who does not have forms or W2. Then we will be in a better position to measure in detail the people who registered according to the database that we have with the technological advances that we have achieved. The system has promoted compliance, because when tax transactions increase, there is more capture of taxpayers ”, concluded the head of the Treasury.