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Análisis del Proyecto contra la Evasión Tributaria

This article aims to make a critical analysis of the tax evasion bill that the Government has recently submitted to Congress. Legislation to combat tax evasion seems very reasonable in principle, for evasion is a social scourge that need to be rooted out. The Internal Revenue Service (SII) claims that tax evasion in Chile accounts for as much as 24% of potential revenue, or about US$4 billion per year. The bill would aim to cut this percentage to 20% by 2005, thereby generating an additional US$800 million. However, the legislation being proposed is more than a counter-evasion bill. It actually raises taxation by widening the tax base in a way that creates a series of distortions and has negative effects on investment. Its underlying philosophy confuses combating tax evasion with an attempt to eliminate legitimate and legal means of reducing the tax burden. The latter results in a bill that abolishes provisions reducing the negative effect of taxation on investment. As regards evasion itself, the bill contains some modernizing and positive elements, by simplifying and streamlining procedures, strengthening State inspection capacity, and correcting errors in existing legislation. It also contains more debatable aspects such as giving the tax inspection agency faculties that could undermine citizen rights or prove excessive.