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Business Fights Back in Guatemala Over Illegal Closures

Article Summary:

The private business sector in Guatemala is in an uproar over what they deem as unconstitutional closures of several establishments due to a new law known as the Anti-Evasion Act II, which allows the Guatemalan Tax Authority (SAT) to close a business with only a judicial order and have asked the Constitutional Court (CC) to declare unconstitutional Article 50 of Decree 4-2012. Between November 1, 2011 and April 30, 2012, the SAT has temporarily closed a total of 175 businesses by final judgment issued by a judge.

Photo Credit El Periodico

Original Article Text From El Periodico via Google Translate :

Against the Closure Trigger Preventive Business

The private sector yesterday asked the Constitutional Court (CC) to declare unconstitutional Article 50 of Decree 4-2012, Provisions for Strengthening the Tax System and the Fight against Fraud and Smuggling, known as Anti-Evasion Act II, which allows the Tax Authority (SAT) preemptively close a business without a judicial order, and Article 31 which empowers you to apply adjustments to taxpayers deemed to cheat the taxman.

The partial unconstitutionality was filed by the Chamber of Agriculture in March, and it joined the other associations that make up the Coordinating Committee of Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial and Financial (Cacif) and the Chamber of Commerce of Guatemala.

Ralón Stuart, a lawyer for the Chamber of Agriculture, explained during the public hearing that the two standards are in violation of the Constitution because they give discretion to the SAT that only correspond to a judge.

In this regard, two articles argued that injured the presumption of innocence and the right of defense, as the SAT can close a business without going to court and prove the offense, or if tax simulation, branding a business has vices.

Lawyers for the SAT argued at the hearing that the two articles of the new legislation will provide tools to increase revenues.

Abelardo Medina, Quartermaster Collection of the SAT, said they have no preventive program closing business, and has only been applied in several cases which accompanied the Interior Ministry and the Public Ministry in operations against the smuggling and sale of cellular stolen.

The idea of ​​applying the precautionary closures of companies is in those businesses that surprised them red-handed who are not registered or not issue invoice.

After hearing the arguments of the parties involved in the public hearing, the judges of the Constitutional Court has a deadline to decide whether those articles of the Law Evasion II are unconstitutional, in the case of Article 31 of tax simulation, this already was provisionally suspended by the CC.

Link to Original Article:

From El Periodico

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