• Service: Tax, Global Indirect Tax
  • Type: Business and industry issue, Video
  • Date: 10/15/2012
  • Length: 4:49 Minutes

Managing Indirect Tax in Mexico 

César Catalán, Partner, Tax, KPMG in Mexico:

I’m César Catalán, I’m a tax partner in the Mexico City office and in charge of the indirect tax practice.

What is the situation in Mexico?

I think that the Mexican government is proposing several social programs that could be supportive on several reforms. For example, the anti-money laundering law, the labor law, and the tax reform that is focused on the VAT. In that case, they are also combining these different laws to get more resources to support the social programs. For example, the VAT law could increase the tax rate, or include, say, the food and medicines that now are not taxed in Mexico. So actually, we can see the trend in the world, around the world, that medicines and food are taxed for 90% of the countries, so that’s important, and Mexico is going on the same trend.

What is the biggest challenge today?

I think that the tax authorities are more aggressive to collect and support the social programs, as I said. So the most important challenge that the companies could face is the compliance work, fulfill the compliance work in efficient and efficacious manner, so the technology, the tech or systems support that they could have, it’s pretty important to fulfill these obligations.

Can you highlight the differences for Mexico?

We can see that the Mexican companies need to increase their system supports for the tax obligations, because the challenges that now the tax authorities have require more time, focused on planning, cash flow, or risks, evaluate the risks of the company, the reputational issues, so now we think that it’s pretty important that the companies invest in technology to support the compliance and leave more time to those different functions that are more important than the compliance.

What should tax directors be thinking about?

I was suggesting to the tax directors, the main suggestion would be that they have to be specialized. For example, in that case, in the case of the tax reform related to the VAT, we think that they need more specialization on that kind of taxes, indirect taxes, but also they need to invest in technology to compliance in order to have more time to the planning, to evaluating risks or reputational issues, board meetings, and cash flow objectives.

What is the biggest challenge for tax directors in the future?

The most important challenge that they have is precisely the specialization. I think that to leave the crisis behind, they need to be specialized and use technology as a tool to comply with tax obligations.

Cesar Catalan, Tax Partner with KPMG in Mexico discusses the trends he sees in the country for indirect tax and provides a future outlook.

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Iberoamerica Tax Summit 2012

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Videos and articles on views captured at the Iberoamerica Tax Summit 2012.