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  • Writer's pictureL.C. y E.F. José Luis Díaz Márquez

Very Direct, Indirect Fiscal Surveillance

Given the mass mailing of notices or "invitations" that the Tax Administration Service is currently sending to taxpayers, the dilemma arises as to whether to pay attention or not to pay attention, since they do not represent the beginning of the authority's powers.

By having control elements combined with technological advances, the tax authorities have information on practically all taxpayers and the transactions they carry out with each other.

For this reason, the information provided by taxpayers in the Digital Tax Receipts by Internet (CFDI), in the returns filed, and in electronic accounting; This has allowed the authority, through the use of computer programs and robotics, to make interesting cross-checks, which have given it the possibility of "noticing discrepancies" and "identifying differences" which it is informing the taxpayer through e-mails or the tax mailbox as " notices" in which it states that the information contained therein "does not constitute the initiation of verification powers" and urges them to review it and, if appropriate, regularize their tax situation as soon as possible, in order to avoid any tax penalties that may be applicable.

Therefore, the authority makes available to the taxpayer a section in its web page so that in case it is required, the corresponding clarification can be submitted. It is important to mention that when sending the clarification, the subject line should be "Deep Surveillance Messages" and a brief description of the reason for the clarification.

The reception of these communications that taxpayers massively receive generates "a state of alert" in addition to the perception of a clear message of "I am watching you".

The fact that the information provided by the authority does not constitute the beginning of the exercise of its verification powers, but rather an invitation to regularize their tax situation, places the taxpayer in the dilemma of making the decision of whether or not to pay attention to the communications.

In this article, we present the "pros" and "cons" of such decision.

For the past few weeks, taxpayers have been receiving " notices" from the tax authority via e-mail or in their tax mailboxes informing them that they have found discrepancies and/or identified differences when comparing information issued in the CFDIs and the information presented in the returns they are required to file.

The authority bases its action on the provisions of articles 33, sections I, III and IV b and c, as well as the last paragraph of this section and article 63 of the Federal Tax Code, which describe the powers of the tax authorities, such as providing free assistance to taxpayers, to promote compliance in the filing of tax returns and, if applicable, the correction of their tax situation. All this without being considered as the beginning of the exercise of their verification faculties.

These " Notices" are actually part of one of the programs of the Tax Administration Service called "Deep Surveillance". Derived from this and by means of technological and robotic tools (IA), the authority performs an analysis and cross-checking of information derived from the CFDI and returns filed by taxpayers and in case of detecting discrepancies, inconsistencies or differences, it will inform the taxpayers in order for them to carry out a review, analysis and, if necessary, file or correct the returns they were obliged to file and therefore regularize their tax situation.

On the other hand, it is true that the mass mailing of these communications is not regulated by any tax law since they do not represent a formal requirement of the tax authority, and therefore, the taxpayer is faced with the dilemma of whether or not to comply with the aforementioned " notices".

From our point of view, what the taxpayer should do when receiving them is to:

1. Keep calm, do not be alarmed.

2. Immediately analyze each irregularity, discrepancy and/or inconsistency reported by the authority.

3. Document the analysis performed and:

  • If applicable: Submit statements amending the irregularities pointed out by the authority.

  • In case it does not proceed: Create a file with the supporting information that clarifies the reasons why the observation(s) referred by the authority are not considered appropriate.

4. Present the clarification in the authority's platform following the procedure indicated in the " Notice".

The advantages for the taxpayer of attending the notices, from our point of view, are:

A. Perform a self-review of the amounts presented in the CFDIs and those presented in the returns, having the necessary supporting information.

B. Perform a regularization of their tax situation by filing normal or complementary returns, paying omitted taxes, as well as the respective update and surcharges.

C. To have the opportunity to improve controls in the records of the transactions carried out and in the filing of the returns to which it is obligated.

D. To have the evidence of having complied with the " Notice" avoiding the issuance of requirements, fines, and penalties that the authority may determine in the exercise of its powers of verification.

It is important that it should not be considered as a general rule to answer all these notices, since a case-by-case analysis will have to be made before determining how to proceed.

As disadvantages we consider:

A. The overwork involved in the analysis of the information referred to by the authority.

B. The cash flow that, in the event that the observations are appropriate, implies for the payment of the contributions, updating and surcharges that are determined.

In reality, it can be uncomfortable for any person to be watched. However, the control they must have when carrying out their transactions should allow them to generate and register correct information and with it the issuance of CDFI according to what has been done, counting on the possibility of presenting the declarations correctly and related to their accounting and fiscal information.

On the other hand, we must be aware that the authority has long had state-of-the-art information and technology that allows it to analyze, determine and require taxpayers to correctly comply with their tax obligations.

With this In-Depth Surveillance Program, the authority will carry out the tax review indirectly through the taxpayers themselves.

With the sole purpose of informing and orienting our readers, we emphasize that these " Notices" represent only a sample and the beginning of a "very direct" indirect surveillance by the tax authority, which is carried out with less effort.

Our firm has experienced professionals to provide advice for the strengthening of accounting controls and systems that will allow you to generate reliable information and the correct fulfillment of your tax obligations. We will be pleased to serve you.


Published on September 28th, 2023

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