Jaime Aguirre: Digital platforms and their intermediaries in 2021

Jaime AguirreJaime Aguirre Source: Courtesy

For the digital economy in Mexico, Nuevo León has been one of the states with a high use of digital platforms, mainly for mobility and the restaurant industry, since given the drop in sales derived from closures due to the pandemic, they had the option to continue operating through digital platforms such as Uber eats, Didi, Rappi, etc. who have all the connectivity and delivery infrastructure between the Restaurant and the diner.

For this type of services, as of January 1, 2021, the digital platform will retain the Restaurant a fixed rate of ISR of the 2.1% on the sale, the same rate applies for the transport services of people such as the operators of Uber, Cabify, etc., in the provision of hosting services such as Airbnb the retention will be of 4%, and in the case of sale of goods and provision of services such as Amazon and Mercado Libre, the retention will be of 1%. For accounts without RFC, the income tax withholding continues to be twenty%.

The platforms that offer digital streaming services and those of commercial intermediation, who are Residents abroad without permanent establishment in Mexico, now in 2021, if they do not comply with their tax obligations, they may be temporarily blocked access to their digital service, through of the concessionaires of a public telecommunications network in Mexico, until said resident complies with the omitted obligations; said disconnection will prevent users from accessing content, as well as making purchases online, and exercising their right to freedom of expression, in the case of social networks; the platforms do not evade taxes, they act as retainers, the SAT uses them to collect taxes and those who do not want to act as retainers are the ones who are going to disconnect.

As of 2021, the sale of used or second-use goods through intermediation platforms, will cause 16% VAT and will be subject to withholding, the sale of used movable property that is exempt is not being taxed, but the service through the platform.

Until last year, digital intermediation platforms had to publish the price of the product or service without VAT; As of 2021, it may be offered with added VAT, as long as they are published with the legend: “VAT included”.

It includes the obligation to withhold 100% of VAT, to digital intermediation platforms, when they provide their intermediation services to other platforms residing abroad without an establishment in Mexico. that provide digital services to people located in the country.

In the case of commercial intermediation platforms, they will remain the same as in 2020, retaining the 8% VAT to individuals who sell goods, provide services to users in the national territory, and 16% for accounts without RFC.

In the case of intermediaries that use digital platforms to sell products, offer services or hosting, Let us remember that Moral Persons are not taxed, only to Natural Persons with business activities, and if they obtain annual income of up to $ 300,000, the Platform will make a definitive withholding that is required to inform the SAT every month, in this case, the natural person will not worry about filing statements before the Treasury; but if your income exceeds that amount, you will have the obligation to determine your taxes and submit your own returns, and the withholdings made by the Platform will be provisional on account of the tax.

During 2020 and when in doubt about how they would calculate those monthly income tax returns, since they are allowed to make deductions, the SAT clarified that they must make the payment applying the same retention rate of 2.1%, 4% or 1% according to their activity, directly to the income obtained through the platform, without subtracting deductions (expenses), and the result obtained may be reduced by the retention reported by the Platform; as it is a provisional payment, the problem will be presented for the annual declaration for fiscal year 2020 to be presented in April 2021, since the law did not include as such, a procedure to calculate the annual tax, and by not applying said deductions in the monthly payment or in an annual declaration, as if they would do so in a normal scenario operating outside a digital platform, determining a taxable income and filing an annual declaration, which instead of generating a profit or An opportunity to get on these platforms to market their products and offer services in these times of pandemic, could represent a higher fiscal cost and disproportionate to their real utility, discouraging their use.

The obligation to pay the annual tax by declaration exists, but when the individual from whom it is withheld pays their taxes monthly, it seems that even though these payments are provisional, in reality they are not, since at calculated on a total income, and by not having an annual calculation procedure in which you can reduce your deductions and apply the traditional annual rate used by other natural persons, these monthly payments that are provisional, could be becoming definitive.

Dear Reader, given the importance of these platforms for the survival of businesses, it is suggested to analyze each case to see the fiscal and financial impact they will have in this year 2021.

The author is a Certified Public Accountant, member of the Fiscal Commission of the ICPNL and Regional Trustee of the Northeast area of ​​the IMCP.

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