In the Ordinary Session of Thursday, September 12, 2019, the Senate did not gather the necessary votes (23 out of 45 possible) to ratify the version of the Tax Reform Bill passed in its Extraordinary Session of June 19, 2019 and thus reject the modifications introduced by the House of Representatives in its Extraordinary Session of July 10, 2019.
Of the 24 Senators present when the Bill was discussed at the said Session, only 18 voted to ratify the version passed by the Senate. Consequently, the version of the House of Representatives was passed. Within the next few days the Bill should be sent to the President of the Republic, Mario Abdo Benítez, to promulgate and publish it as a law.
It is uncertain the time that would pass between the Senate submits the Bill passed as law to the Executive Branch, but, judging by the times of remittance from one House to another that were handled for this Bill, it could be estimated that no more than 2 weeks should pass before for this to happen. Once received the President receives the Bill passed as law, he has 20 business days to issue his veto since such Bill has more than 20 sections.
Once the aforementioned term has elapsed without the Executive Branch approves or vetoes the Bill passed by the Congress as law, it is automatically enacted, accordance with section 205 of the Paraguayan Constitution.
The Tax Reform Bill passed as law in its version of the House of Representatives is very unlikely to be vetoed by the President, since it does not present almost any changes with respect to the text presented by the Executive Branch on May 9, 2019, when it began the legislative process.
The entry into force (total or staggered) calendar of the Tax Reform would be set by Decree of the Executive Branch within 90 days after its enactment, as established in section 154 of said regulation, and as it is confirmed by the experience of the entry into force of the major modifications to the current tax regime occurred under Laws 2421/04 and 5061/13, provided by Decrees 4306/04, 1012/13 and their supplements.
According to comments from some exponents of the State’s Department of Taxation (Subsecretaría de Estado de Tributación), the entry into force of almost the entire Tax Reform would be planned for January 1, 2020, with the exception of specific issues whose implementation would require more time, such as regulations on transfer prices, which could enter into force on July 1, 2020, thus replicating what happened with the entry into force of Law 5061/13, which was sanctioned in October of one year while its tax modifications and the adjustment of prices entered into force on January 1 and July 1 of the following year, respectively.
For more information or assistance regarding this or other tax issues, please contact Andrés Vera (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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