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ONA closes 15 micro, small and medium enterprises, punishes 323 self-employed workers for “violations”

ONA closes 15 micro, small and medium enterprises, punishes 323 self-employed workers for “violations”

Madrid/The Cuban state does not know how much money it has stopped receiving due to tax evasion, although it has only identified, as of June, more than 162 million pesos, a figure that is beyond doubt. The official press devoted this Wednesday two dense grades To describe this type of crime, it was known that until the end of March, 210 complaint reports were issued, 117 of which were analyzed.

However, there are only six final sentences: two in Ciego de Ávila, two in Camaguey, one in Santiago de Cuba and one in Holguín. “We are still not satisfied and, above all, we have to be more flexible when working on these procedures,” said Belquis Pino Hernández, first deputy head of the National Tax Administration Office (ONAT).

Among the details provided by Onat, one stands out that could be the one that led a month later to the closure of the company Diplomarket, known as the Cuban Costco, in which the authorities supposedly intervened at the end of June, arresting its owner, Frank Cuspinera, and his wife on charges of “tax evasion, currency trading and money laundering.”

Pino Hernandez said that at the end of May there were already 15 people. Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Closed due to “accounting irregularities”. Some of these cases can lead to tax evasion crimes. Small and medium enterprises “She does not keep her accounts well, and in addition, she does not pay her tax obligations correctly, and shows an intention to evade, so we have the right to proceed with the complaint,” he said. Also up to the same date, the license of 323 self-employed workers has been withdrawn – temporarily or permanently – and 2,253 bank accounts of natural persons have been blocked.

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“Small, medium and micro enterprises” that do not maintain their accounts well and, in addition, do not pay their tax obligations properly, show an intention to evade.

in CubadebateThe tax authorities devote a lot of space to detailing the types of evasion, which in Cuba tend to include under-declaring income, omitting income obtained outside the country through a company or using third parties “to hide the existence of several companies,” “splitting the tax base and hiding the concentration of wealth,” which Cuban law prohibits.

It also details some of the evasion tactics that led to the alarms being raised at Onat. One is the lack of accounting records or an automated system. It is common for self-employed people to under-declare all their employees, and to under-declare salaries to reduce taxes and social security contributions, said Judith Navarro Ricardo, a specialist at the organization.

More precise are other techniques of some of their owners. Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises “Those who employ self-employed workers, who have a three-month exemption to make imports that are not theirs, but for Small and medium enterprises. And there we see a fraudulent way to pay less. The same thing happens in the technical sector, where there is a one-year exemption from payment for new graduates, which allows tricks such as making transactions through their accounts to avoid paying taxes.

The expert estimated that there are no less than 600. Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises which reported losses due to “accounting mismanagement,” including “accounting for equipment purchases as direct expenses rather than inventory, artificially reducing the company’s profits.”

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The focus was on Havana, the province with the largest number of taxpayers, where the figures were estimated. There are about 860 cases per month of discrepancies between the data provided by companies as salaries and the data provided by workers as personal income, explains Yandra Cruz Doval, director of Onat in the capital.

“If we compare this figure with the number of registered self-employed workers, about 121,000, we will conclude that 0.7% is probably under-reported. However, if we review the contribution that was not made to the State budget, in 2023, 148 million pesos were recovered through these reviews, an amount that represents the expenditure budget for one month of a medium-sized municipality.

In 2023, 104 intensive inspections were carried out in Havana, which revealed 241 million pesos in evasion, mainly among the self-employed and private sector workers, even though the state was not exempt. So far this year, 24 alleged cases have been reported to the provincial ONA, nine of which ended in complaints: six for self-employed workers with unpaid debts, three for self-employed workers with unpaid debts and three for other workers. Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Due to “irregular accounting records, false invoices and sales statements for products at prices far below the actual value at which they were sold.”

In 2023, 104 intensive inspections were carried out in Havana, in which 241 million evaded pesos were identified.

But not all cases of non-payment detected are tax evasion crimes. “At the end of May, more than 80,000 control actions were carried out, identifying debts of 819 million pesos,” said Pino Hernandez. Granma Referring to the total number of cases on the island.

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The official stressed that when non-payment is identified, taxpayers can correct the error or omission and pay the money under the “opportunity principle”. Only if there is intent is the evasion referred to the court. In this sense, he cites as an example a private company “that did not include in the calculation the incentive paid to workers, which led to the identification of the debt, with the corresponding surcharge and fine”, however, it was exempted from the process because it was considered proven that it was a wrong interpretation of the tax regulations.

Financial problems have prevented 8,764 people from leaving Cuba, although it is not known what percentage of the total number of people they represent. Organize -Another hidden fact- for “political” reasons.

Finally, the authorities presented data on the presentation of personal income tax returns, which improved this year, as only 0.8% of taxpayers (4,744) failed to comply with their obligations, most of them in Havana, Villa Clara, Matanzas and Camagüey. At the same time, the compliance rate in the agricultural sector reached 100%.

Regarding the profit tax, only 34 taxpayers (0.2%) declared and in the profit tax, 116 partners (1.5%), the majority of them from the province of Granma.

There are currently just over 1,109,000 taxpayers in Cuba, most of whom are natural persons (1,074,000), of whom 527,000 are self-employed; and 35,448 legal entities, of whom 9,084 are Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.