New regulations on VAT withholdings

Publication August 2015

By way of Administrative Ruling N° SNAT/2015/0049, published in the Official Gazette of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Nº 40,720, dated August 10, 2015, the National Tax Administration (“SENIAT”) appoints taxpayers qualified as special taxpayers as Value Added Tax (“VAT”) withholding agents (the “Ruling”).

Below are the most notable changes introduced by the Ruling.


Exclusions

The Ruling establishes three new cases in which appointed agents shall not withhold VAT:

  • when the vendor of goods or services is a VAT collection agent and the transaction consists in the sale of alcoholic beverages, matches, cigarettes, tobacco and its derivatives;  
  • when the exempt sales or services of the vendor represent more than 50% of transactions performed in the previous month;
  • when the relevant transaction and the VAT is paid in accordance with the exception established in article 146 of the Organic Tax Code (“OTC”), which regulates the payment of taxes in foreign currency.

Additionally, the exclusion applicable to vendors registered with the National Exporters Registry is modified to include the condition that vendors must have filed export VAT refund requests within the last 6 months.

Calculation of the withholding percentage

The Ruling introduces the following formula for the calculation of the tax withholding in cases where the VAT is not stated in the invoice:

LA - Calculation image

Explanation:

B.I.: Taxable base;
Mret: Amount subject to withholding;
Pfac: Price of the goods and services on the invoice;
Ai: Tax rate

Two cases in which the withholding agent previously had to withhold 100% of the VAT have been repealed:

  • when the Tax ID of the supplier, including its tax address, does not match the information indicated in the invoice or similar document;
  • when the supplier did not file VAT returns.

In addition, the Ruling establishes that withholding agents must verify the vendor’s information in the SENIAT web page and perform a 100% withholding when instructed therein.

Deduction of the withheld tax from the VAT liability

A provision that allowed taxpayers to offset the withheld tax in subsequent periods when it was not deducted in the corresponding period has been repealed.

The taxpayer must indicate the amount of accumulated withholdings that have not been offset in the electronic statement “Declaration and payment of the VAT 99030” (previously they had to be stated in “VAT Form 30”).

In cases where the withholding agent delivers the withholding certificate after the return for the period has been filed, the taxpayer may offset the withheld tax from the VAT liability assessed for the period in which the withholding certificate was delivered only if the limitations period has not expired.

Remittance of tax withholdings

The provision that allowed withholding agents to file an informative statement of purchases and withholdings on a digital medium in exceptional cases in which it was not possible to file such a statement through the SENIAT website within the prescribed period of time has been repealed.

Issuance of withholding certificates

Withholding agents must deliver the withholding certificate to the vendors at the latest within the first two business days of the period that follows the withholding (previously such period was three calendar days).

A new provision requires that withholding certificates must state the full amount of the invoice or similar document, the taxable base and the VAT.

Accounting records of the vendor

The provision that established that vendors must identify transactions made with withholding agents in their Purchase Book has been repealed.

Effective date

The ruling will come into force on the first day of the month that follows its publication in Official Gazette (namely, September 1, 2015) and will be applicable to taxable events that occur after its coming into force.


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