Saturday, April 01, 2006


Previously I pointed out that tax collections have increased dramatically under the Chavez administration. The Venezuelan tax authorities, Seniat by its initials in spanish, collection efforts have proven highly succesful and last year was a record year for tax collections.

But not being people to rest on their laurels they are off to another excellent start again this year. It was reported today that in March Seniat collected 5.7 trillion bolivares (about 2.6 billion dollars) which exceeded by 43% the goal for March which was 4 trillion Bolivares. Further, this doesn't even include all the income tax filings which were due on March 31st and may push the final total for March higher still.

Further, in carrying out audits of large private oil firms Seniat has found under payment of taxes and taken collection action. It was announced on Friday that Chevron agreed to pay $50.2 million in back taxes and fines while British Petroleum will pay $14 million. Total of France ponied up $19 milllion after they were caught having underpaid taxes and had their offices in Venezuela shuttered for two days as punishment.

It is great to see Seniat staying agressive in their tax collection efforts and making sure that the Venezuelan government has the resources it needs to fund its social programs and public works projects.


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