The Legal Regime of Tax Returns in El Salvador 

April, 2018 - William Escobar

Speaking of compliance with tax obligations comes to our mind the duty to pay taxes (noun) as the Tax on the Transfer of Goods and Provision of Services (VAT) or Income Tax (ISR), which undoubtedly It is true; but equally certain it is that with the payment obligation exists another set of obligations formal or adjective. In this dual context of formal and substantive tax obligations, is of great relevance filing tax returns.

This special importance of the regulation of tax returns, derives precisely from its dual character (noun-Formal), because as it explains the Court of Appeal of Internal Revenue and Customs (TAIIA) in its final decision with reference I1207001TM ” in our tax system has established the declaration and payment of tax liability as a single action by the taxpayers, must comply as well with both formal and substantive obligation “. Also, because the Salvadoran tax system depends mainly on the tax self-assessment, as set out in Art. 150 of the Tax Code (TC).

Apart from the technical difficulty of the tax self-assessment as a way to satisfy the substantive tax liability, formal obligation to declare is of relative complexity by providing a highly detailed legal regime with a variety of requirements to be observase by taxpayers. In this context, we highly illustrative outline the main features of the regime of tax returns in El Salvador, in the following sense:

Legal regime of tax returns

They are required to submit tax returns, taxpayers taxes, whether as taxpayers or responsible, even if she does not give rise to tax in accordance with the provisions of applicable law (Art. 91 CT) , as is the case of excluded subjects Income Tax (Art. 100 CT). In the case of taxpayers with branch establishments or agencies conform with its parent a single entity, the declaration must be presented on a consolidated basis (Art. 96 CT).

The information contained in tax returns will have an affidavit (Art. 93 CT), and shall contain the legal formalities (Art. 95 CT), which will be presented in the appropriate forms (Art. 92 CT). For example, the income tax (ISR) is declared by Form F-11 and Tax Transfer of Movable and service provision (VAT) is declared by the F-09.

Currently the general rule is to be declared via the Internet, on the website of the Ministry of Finance ( In the module online service of the General Directorate of Internal Taxes (DGII). To this end, the Tax Administration ensure the accuracy of the information contained in tax returns using media as “encrypted process, digital or electronic signature, facilities for rekeying by the taxpayer authorized and receipt of electronic verification provided by Administration as proof of receipt “, as regulated in the Artos. CT 92 and 35 of the Implementing Regulations of the Tax Code (RACT).

As for his presentation, Art. 99 CT establishes the division between “original or amended tax returns.” The original tax returns are those autoliquidadas initially by taxpayers; and amended statements are those that seek to correct the statements originally presented. In any case, that provision states that the declarations submitted after the start of the audit have not submitted, unless in order to access the extenuating law, once the administrative offense set, eg typified in the Artos. 238 letter a) and letter h 254) CT.

. Particularly on the amended statements, Article 101 states that CT statements can be modified at any time and circumstance to increase taxes or decrease the surplus or balance remained in favor of the taxpayer; but favorably modify balances for the taxpayer must be submitted within two years, established for returns or refunds (Art. 212 CT), provided that the defendant was not notified self ordering the audit, and to be taken by it submitted verification by auditors Tax Administration previously practice, to establish the origin of such modifications. So long as there is no favorable decision of the Tax Administration,

Now these amendments statements may also correct errors formal requirements, within two years, provided that the audit did not initiate or sanction procedure (Art 102 CT.); and likewise, Art. 105 CT notes that this period may be corrected statements without penalty, provided they do not modify the value to pay or credit balance has been originally settled .Vencido that period, they shall be considered final and they can not be modified by taxable under any circumstances.

Also, statements must be submitted in terms established in the respective tax laws; Otherwise, they will be considered filed extemporaneously. As a rule, the law of each tax it regulates the deadline for submitting the respective tax return, so for example the tax on Rentra stated in the first four months of each year (Art. 51 Income Tax Law) and VAT is declared in the first ten working days of each month (Art. 94 LIVA).

Breach of the legal regime of tax returns

Failure to respect this legal regime brings among other consequences that the filing of returns generally for the following reasons is not supported: a) original statements and amendments submitted after starting the audit; b) Statements amendments favorable to the taxpayer filed after two years and have not been approved its origin by the tax authorities, after verification; c) amendments that correct formal statements or arithmetic errors, submitted after two years.

In addition, failure to comply with various legal requirements contained in tax returns, can lead to taxpayers commit the offenses described in Article 238 CT, which consist of the following behaviors: a) failure to file the declaration;. b) Late submission; c) incorrectly Declaration; d) Declaration arithmetic errors; e) Unallocated tax return or legal information or data as inaccurate or incomplete; f) Declaration IVA, without recording data or information in Article 115-A CT, or record it as inaccurate or incomplete. For its part, Art. 254 letter h) CT, considers that there is intentional tax evasion, when the taxpayer does not have the corresponding statement, the statement omitted understanding,


As we have explained, the formal obligation to declare is of relatively complex, given the diversity of requirements to be observase for compliance. Therefore, in view of the specialized content of the tax, taxpayers and responsible we recommend the appropriate accounting and legal advice, in order to avoid incurring violations involving the payment of additional shares of the tax and fines .


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