SAN JUAN – The College of Certified Public Accountants of Puerto Rico (CCPA), through its president, the CPA Rosa Rodríguez Ramos; and the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce (CCPR) through its president, Juan Carlos Agosto and the president of its Legislation Committee, CPA Kenneth Rivera Robles, made an appeal on Monday to the executive director of the Municipal Revenue Collection Center (CRIM), to extend the date of filing the Personal Property Tax Return for 2020 for the benefit of taxpayers who are still going through this emergency period due to the pandemic.
“The state of emergency that Puerto Rico has lived and continues to experience mainly due to the pandemic; as well as the tasks and requirements to be able to access the favorable and necessary benefits granted to businesses and residents of Puerto Rico, have disrupted and transformed normal business operations. This has had an impact on the process of compliance with the tax obligations of said businesses and the practices of the CPAs that assist the business community, ”said the president of the CCPA in a letter sent to Reinaldo Paniagua Látimer, executive director of CRIM, on March 26 of this year.
The president of the Chamber of Commerce pointed out: “We share the concern of the College who is part of our affiliated organizations, due to this congestion in the filing of forms. However, our concern is not limited to the College, but also includes all small and medium businesses that do not have the resources to turn to a professional when completing their filings and this situation will adversely affect them. Let us remember that, although we are better than a year ago, our business sector has not yet recovered and still faces great challenges due to the pandemic ”.
On April 6, the executive director, Paniagua Látimer informed the president of the CCPA that they were “not in a position to extend the filing date of the Mobile Return corresponding to calendar year 2020, without the endorsement of the Fiscal Supervision Board, given that this may lead to non-compliance with the Fiscal Plan ”.
The CPA Rodríguez Ramos expressed in a reconsideration letter sent on April 14, that “in the face of all these challenges that both the CRIM and the business community and practitioners face, we consider it reasonable to raise and request that they reconsider the request we made to extend the filing date of the personal property tax return until June 15, 2021, without changing the expiration date of the three (3) month term of the extension, which would continue to expire on August 15, 2021. In addition , it was proposed that the payment of the last installment of the estimated tax remain payable on May 17, 2021. In this way, the CRIM will collect the last payment of the movable payroll on May 17, 2021, thus avoiding lack of liquidity and without affect essential services or the payment of municipal statutory debts ”.
Likewise, the president of the CCPA added “that being an estimate, no penalty is imposed, and the 5% discount provided by law can be claimed, to the extent that said estimated period is at least for the specified amount. taking into account the tax obligation of the previous year (2019). For these purposes, on June 15, 2021, the taxpayer must, at the time of requesting an extension or filing the return in a final form, pay any outstanding balance without entailing penalties, interest, or surcharges in case of any balance that results in excess of the estimate based on the previous year; as well as it will not lose the discount provided by the Municipal Code ”.
“We understand the concern that collections will not be affected and it seems to us that the College has provided a reasonable alternative. We would also like to think that the extension in the filing will have the endorsement of the Fiscal Oversight Board, which is actively working with initiatives to improve the business climate. This is something that clearly affects such management. We have reiterated that simplification should be an aspiration in our tax system and the accumulation of several filings takes us away from it, “said the president of the Chamber of Commerce.
The CRIM then issued Administrative Order 2021-01 in which they maintain the original date of May 17 for filing the personal property tax return. “However, given the burden and concentration of obligations in the same period, we have held several communications with representatives of the CRIM, including the executive director, to thank on the one hand for the administrative determinations granted, plus on the other to urge them to reconsider moving the date ”, Expressed the presidency of the CCPA. Due to the extension granted by other agencies such as the Department of the Treasury, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Department of State and the Office of Management and Budget for the month of May, basically all the The main annual tax obligations have been concentrated and now expire on the same day, May 17, or in the same month. Similarly, taxpayers will have to make the corresponding payments all in the same month. The CCPA informed that “the position of the CRIM continues to be not to move the due date, even with the approach of making the payment of the last installment of the estimated tax on May 17, responding to demands of the Fiscal Control Board.”
On the other hand, the CPA College had requested the Secretary of the Treasury in a letter dated February 17, 2021, exercising the authority provided by law, to grant the extension of the expiration date from April 15 to June 15. The date granted was only until May 17, thus also coinciding with other maturities.
Both the CCPAPR and the CCPR very responsibly recognize the municipal needs and responsibilities, but we consider that the extension of one month to liberalize the month of May of so much tax burden under the expressed terms is more than reasonable for all parties, especially in the moment of emergency that we find ourselves. Let us know that it is about achieving efficient, effective and responsible compliance with tax and tax obligations, not only because it is about taxpayers responsible for their obligations but because ultimately it is for the benefit of all citizens.