miércoles, 18 de febrero de 2009


Here's a look at many of the spending programs and tax cuts included in the stimulus legislation.

$87 billion for Medicaid health care coverage for the poor.
$19 billion to accelerate the use of health information technology systems.

$53.6 billion in direct aid to states, including $40.6 billion for local school districts, $5 billion in bonus grants for meeting key education performance measures and $8 billion for public safety and other critical services.
$2,500 annual tax credit for higher education expenses.
$500 increase in the maximum Pell Grant for low-income college students to $5,350 in 2009 and $5,550 in 2010.
$13 billion for Title I grants for schools in low-income areas.
$12.2 billion for special education.
$2 billion for the Child Care Development Block Grant program to help low-income parents.
$1.1 billion for Early Head Start and $1 billion for Head Start.

$29 billion to modernize roads and bridges.
$18 billion for clean water, flood control and environmental restoration.
$8.4 billion for transit.
$8 billion for high-speed rail.
$5 billion to upgrade Defense Department facilities, including housing for troops.
$4.5 billion to make federal buildings more energy-efficient.

Tax cuts
"Making Work Pay" tax credit of $400 for single filers and $800 for couples. The credit would begin phasing out at $75,000 of income for single filers and $150,000 for couples.
Allow low-income families earning as little as $3,000 to qualify for the child tax credit.
Expands the Earned Income Tax Credit for families with three or more children and increases marriage penalty relief.
Exempts 24 million taxpayers, for another year, from the Alternative Minimum Tax.
Revises the $7,500 tax credit for first-time homebuyers by removing repayment requirement.
Exempts from federal taxes the state and local sales taxes paid on the purchase of cars, light trucks and SUVs.
Temporarily exempts some unemployment benefits from income taxes.

Continues through December 2009 the program that provides up to 33 weeks of extended unemployment benefits.
$25 increase in weekly unemployment benefits.
A 60 percent federal subsidy for up to nine months for the cost of continuing an employer's health care coverage after a layoff under COBRA.

Increase monthly food stamp benefits by more than 13 percent.
$100 million for emergency food and shelter to help community groups.
$4 billion for job training.
$2 billion for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program to help communities buy and fix up foreclosed, vacant properties.
$1.5 billion for the Emergency Shelter Grant program to provide short-term rental assistance and other aid.
Payment of $250 to Social Security and disability recipients and veterans receiving disability compensation and pension benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Extends Trade Adjustment Assistance benefits in the next two years for at least 160,000 new workers who lose jobs due to increased imports or factory shifts to certain foreign countries.

$30 billion for a smart power grid, advanced battery technology and other energy-efficiency measures.
$20 billion in tax incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency over the next 10 years.
$6.3 billion for energy efficiency in multifamily housing getting federal assistance, such as HUD-sponsored low-income housing.
$5 billion to weatherize more than 1 million homes owned by "modest-income" families.

$8.5 billion for programs at the National Institutes of Health, including biomedical research on Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, cancer and heart disease.
$3 billion for basic research by the National Science Foundation.
$1.6 billion for the Department of Energy's Office of Science for areas such as climate, biofuels, high-energy physics, nuclear physics and fusion energy.
$1.5 billion for NIH to renovate university research facilities.
$1 billion for NASA, including $400 million for climate change research.

$7 billion to expand broadband services to underserved communities.

lunes, 16 de febrero de 2009


“We have to improve Hacienda’s service image and effectiveness and make taxpayer compliance a reality within a very short period”
–Juan Carlos Puig

Puig is resolved to make Hacienda a service-oriented organization. There will be a reinforcement of taxpayers’ rights, increased authority and visibility of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsman, improvements to the service provided to taxpayers’ complaints and tax education for the community. Compliance, however, will be priority No. 1, and will be strictly enforced. Therefore, this taxman is letting people know the ax will fall on those who don’t pay their taxes.
Hacienda to open a ‘window of opportunity’

A voluntary disclosure program (a.k.a. amnesty) will be implemented to provide taxpayers the opportunity to make a voluntary disclosure and pay their back taxes and accrued interest. Penalties will be waived as long as taxpayers are upfront, on a voluntary basis, about their status.

This “compromised offer” initiative allows delinquent taxpayers the opportunity for a fresh start. Hacienda collects the highest amount possible from delinquent taxpayers; they have the opportunity to pay and bring themselves back into compliance and commit to stay current for the next five years.
COMMENTARIO: Es una realidad que el gobierno necesita fondos. Si dan la oportunidad de poner al día sus planillas y pagar la contribuciones libre de penalidades, hay que tomarlo en cuenta.

‘The Treasury secretary is on the phone’

“We will take administrative [civil] actions for the timely collection of unpaid taxes, with an emphasis on withholding agents, the sales & use tax (IVU by its Spanish acronym) and income and excise taxes on motor vehicles. However, we also will pursue criminal prosecution for tax evaders, including withholding agents, nonfilers and under-reporters,” Puig said. Adding a personal touch, the secretary-designate plans to personally call on big debtors.

“I have the report on top of my desk on the taxpayers who have made withholding payments for professional services and/or nonresidents who haven’t paid Hacienda. Some have a debt to Hacienda of more than $1 million. There are businesses that owe more than $2 million and those will be the priority. I will personally call those big debtors, if necessary, to assure they pay. We will visit them and collect the money owed,” Puig stated.

“Although our resources are limited, we now are developing long-range initiatives and strategic plans, but we must implement short-term measures that create an impact with tangible results while the rest of the program is developed. We have to concentrate our resources on the large debtors, where there isn’t any controversy, instead of utilizing our limited resources to collect $10,000 in personal income tax that someone might owe,” he explained.

COMENTARIO: No se van a concentrar en los pequeños deudores, pero a la larga llegarán a ellos. El nivel corporativo es el que más debe y que no cumple.

Massive intervention of commercial establishments

In the short term, there will be unannounced visits to businesses to insure full compliance. There will be a prompt assessment and enforcement action to collect unpaid taxes. We will conduct compliance visits to insure withheld taxes are immediately deposited.

Withheld taxes include the IVU, excise taxes (as on vehicles) and income, such as on wage earners, contractors and nonresidents. The determination of liability and prompt assessment of withheld taxes will improve cash flow and future compliance.

COMENTARIO: Las visitas de sorpresa a su lugar de empresa será la orden del día.


To ensure compliance with and payment of the sales & use tax (IVU by its Spanish acronym) to Hacienda, Puig plans massive interventions of commercial establishments to identify those that aren’t registered with the Commercial Establishment Registry or don’t have their certificates in a public area. If not registered, it could be a $10,000 fine. If the certificate isn’t displayed in a public area, the fine could be $1,000. Noncollection of the IVU involves a $20,000 fine.

“Some businesses collect the IVU but they don’t pay it to Hacienda or they just simply don’t collect it. We will go out on the streets, be aggressive and force compliance with the law. We intend to increase IVU compliance through enforcement, inspection and oversight. If an Hacienda official walks into a commercial establishment and identifies him/herself as such, of course, they will charge the IVU but, if an Hacienda civil employee goes to an establishment and they don’t charge the IVU, it’s a $20,000 fine with potential criminal consequences. We will catch them,” Puig explained.

Two additional mechanisms under evaluation to improve IVU compliance and collection evasion are the creation of a lottery system and a fiscal print record that would record all sales of an establishment.

The lottery system will enlist thousands of new investigators in the fight against tax evasion: ordinary citizens. The sales-tax lottery would require receipts from business sales. This will help the authorities find businesses that don’t provide receipts and then don’t remit the collected tax to Hacienda. Failure to issue receipts is one of the principal forms of IVU tax evasion.
The IVU collection rate in Puerto Rico is estimated at approximately 65% while in other jurisdictions it averages more than 80%.

COMENTARIO: Con un 65% de cumplimiento, puede estar seguro que este será un área que van a darle mayor énfasis y más si está pensando el Gobernador subirlo a 10%.
Moratorium of tax credits

“Tax credits will be suspended until we can evaluate their effectiveness and efficiency in promoting the intended economic-development activities. So many tax credits have been approved that [Hacienda] doesn’t even know how many there are or how much forgone tax revenue they represent. That’s revenue already committed,” Puig said.

COMENTARIO: Esto será una medida temporera en lo que cuadran el presupuesto.
Money owed to suppliers

“To the extent that we have money available, payment to suppliers—estimated at around $723 million—will be made. As resources have become available, we have been making some indispensable payments, such as for school transportation. It is a priority [to pay the money owed to suppliers and contractors] because we believe it will help jump-start the economy. In a healthy economy, Hacienda’s revenue should increase,” Puig explained. The administration estimates the first checks could be going out to suppliers in about six to eight weeks.

COMENTARIO: Esto es parte del programa económico de inyectar dinero a la economía. Esto junto al plan de Obama puede en un momento dado lograr que entre sobre 10,000 milliones a la economía.

Use of technology a priority

Puig plans to use technology to help Hacienda improve quality of service and compliance enforcement.

“To identify noncompliance, we plan to match different databases to identify potential cases to be investigated. For example, assets identification—such as bank accounts in Puerto Rico and offshore, real and personal property and capital gains—will be used to compare living standards with taxes reported,” he explained.

Actions could include levies on bank and receivable accounts, offset measures to government contractors and seizures of assets such as bank accounts, receivables, vehicles (planes and boats), real property, filing notices of liens and providing information to the credit bureaus.
The use of technology will help identify taxpayers who are conducting business and haven’t made any deposits during the current year.

COMENTARIO: Esto es un asunto de presentar la información financiera correcta tanto en el banco como en los libros de sus empresas. Pueden adjudicarle que están reportando menos ingresos en sus planillas para defraudar el fisco. Mucho ojo.
The ax is going to fall on government agencies and municipalities
Government agencies and municipalities won’t be exempt from Hacienda’s ax. Traditionally, government agencies and municipalities withhold taxes but don’t pay Hacienda on time to use the cash flow.

Puig explained that those agencies that aren’t in compliance will be identified and an “offset procedure” will be implemented. Hacienda will withhold the amount due prior to making additional disbursements to cover operational expenses.

“Agency heads and mayors will be informed that the ax is going to fall,” Puig said.

COMENTARIO: Será interesante ver si esto funciona. Al menos la contabilidad del gobierno se va a limpiar de mucha deuda con este concepto.

Action plan for individuals

Puig explained that for individuals, Hacienda must efficiently identify current-year assessments and prevent the liability from getting to a point where taxpayers won’t be able to pay.
“We must concentrate on the two most recent years. We will issue notices inviting taxpayers to either fully pay or create an installment agreement. Government employees will be offered a payroll-deduction agreement,” he explained.

COMENTARIO: Interesante estrategia que indudablemente contribuirá a conseguir aumentar los recaudos. La actividad económica del 2009 estará bajo mucho escrutinio.

Collection task force

Puig plans to identify resources within Hacienda to establish a collection task force to conduct visits, perform compliance checks and collect taxes due. In addition, available resources in other offices will be trained in collection and compliance procedures. He also plans to detail employees from other government agencies for Hacienda. “The mission is clear: Collect the taxes that are due now,” Puig said. In addition, he plans to expedite the processing of balance-due returns and the issuance of notices within 30 days of receipt.

“We also will establish a uniform collection-due process, streamline the installment agreement requiring limited information so we can reduce bureaucracy and analyze a potential reduction of interest and penalty waivers. We will establish clear guidelines to refer cases to the Tax Evasion Division,” he explained.

COMENTARIO: Habrá mucha intervención del personal de Hacienda en la calle solicitando el pago de las contribuciones.

Better coordination with federal agencies

“We will improve coordination with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to achieve more proactive participation of income-source determinations of Controlled Foreign Corporations (CFCs). Hacienda needs to get involved in this matter since the IRS is making determinations that potentially affect Hacienda .There seems to be little involvement in an area that could represent additional revenue for the Puerto Rico government,” Puig said. Puig also plans to coordinate participation in federal agency task forces.

“Hacienda doesn’t have a single agent in federal task-force operations. My objective is to secure Hacienda’s participation with all federal task forces. First, we have to attack illegal drug trafficking and money laundering. Our participation will help attack a huge social problem and, at the same time, get revenue from that enormous source of funds in the illegal underground economy,” Puig concluded.

Within the next six months, Puig plans to identify the human resources available to beef up the collections division, expedite lien-filing procedures to expeditiously protect government assets, increase personal property seizures, prevent the pyramiding of taxes due, motivate delinquent taxpayers to return to compliance, establish a call center to provide tax payer services and follow up on delinquent taxes.

COMENTARIO: La mayor preocupación es el asunto de Seguro Social Federal para servicios profesionales y la información en las planillas de Puerto Rico. Luce que implementarán procesos federales en el sistema de Puerto Rico.

The IRS man moves again to Puerta de Tierra

Those who think Juan Carlos Puig is just another new face at Hacienda and the government bureaucracy will swallow him up need only look at his record. He probably has more hands-on experience (close to 20 years) in public sector internal revenue, both federally and locally, than any of his predecessors in Hacienda’s top post.

From 1990 to 1993, Puig was senior tax adviser for collections at Hacienda. From October 1993 through December 1994, he was branch chief of the IRS’ automated collections system with the San Juan IRS. From December 1994 through January 1996, he directed administrative reform in Hacienda and, until November 1998, was deputy assistant secretary for the Internal Revenue. Between November 1998 and January 2007, he was local taxpayer advocate for the U.S. Internal Revenue Service in San Juan and, since January 2007, in South Florida. Puig has a B.A. with a concentration in economics from Universidad del Turabo.

COMENTARIO: Uno de los pocos secretarios del gabinete que no estudiaron en universidades fuera de Puerto Rico, pero que a su vez tiene un resume interesantísimo que lo cualifica sin duda alguna. No es CPA, pero es un hombre de contribuciones de la calle.

Si tiene alguna duda o hay algunos de los comentarios que pueda aplicar a su caso en particular, deme una llamada para discutirlo. Igualmente, pásele esto sus listas de correo electrónico. Seguramente, alguien de sus amigos, familiares o conocidos, necesita conocer sobre este tan importante tema. Puede llamarme al 787-649-6289 o 787-620-7001.


El crédito adicional por hijos, como denomina el gobierno federal esa aportación, otorga a los contribuyentes hasta $1,000 por hijo, si la familia tiene al menos tres niños menores de 17 años
Y como requisito que haya pagado seguro social federal. El crédito es hasta $3,000 o la cantidad pagada en seguro social, lo que sea menor.

Los interesados en solicitar el crédito tienen ser residentes bonafide de Puerto Rico, tener tres o más hijos menores de 17 años y un ingreso bruto menor de $110,000 anuales para matrimonios que rinden planilla juntos. Si se trata de madres solteras o jefes de familia solos, el ingreso bruto no puede exceder los $75,000. Mientras, en caso de matrimonios que rinden planilla por separado, el ingreso bruto tiene que ser de $55,000 o menos.

Se indicó, además, que las personas pueden solicitar el crédito de forma retroactiva desde el 2007 o sea que si no lo solicitó previamente puede procurar el beneficio económico correspondiente a los pasados dos años.

Si necesitan alguna ayuda en formalizar las planillas federales que hay que completar, favor comunicarse con el que suscribe al 787-649-6289.


sábado, 14 de febrero de 2009


Nuestra constitución nos garantiza “la vida, libertad y búsqueda de nuestra felicidad” como uno de los derechos básicos de todo ser humano. De necesitar proteger nuestras vidas, recurrimos a nuestro médico sanar nuestro cuerpo y poder vivir. Si fuera el caso, apelamos a la justicia y buscamos el mejor abogado para no perder nuestra libertad. Sin embargo a la hora de asesorarnos económicamente,
sólo recurrimos a un experto cuando pensamos en la dolorosa- la planilla. No pensamos en cómo nos puede ayudar alcanzar el triunfo de cumplir nuestra metas y simplemente ser felices.

En los momentos tan difíciles y de gran reto que vivimos hoy día, el asesor financiero puede ayudar a lidiar los distintos frentes que tenemos que batallar durante toda una vida. Desde el momento que nacemos y hasta el momento de nuestra muerte, hay decisiones como la protección con seguros de vida, crecer nuestra fortuna con inversiones y ahorro, comprar nuestro hogar, proveer para la educación de nuestros hijos, nuestro retiro y hasta planificación de nuestro funeral que requiere conocimiento y asesoramiento de expertos.

Algunos piensan que los asesores son muy caros, otros piensan que no lo necesitan y otros se limitan a llegar la dolorosa, pagando lo menos posible al erario y cerrado el tema para discusión. La realidad es que estos asesores pueden ser tan accesibles económicamente como para servir de guía o mentor financiero a cualquier que lo necesite. Y entre las distintas posibilidades de esos asesores disponibles, está la figura del CPA o Contador Público Autorizado.

Quien mejor para orientarte en los procesos de la vida ya que lo vive en carne propia con su propia vida.
Desde el nacimiento hasta la fecha de su muerte, hay transacciones, planes y sueños que debemos o queremos cumplir para darnos felicidad y todos envuelven dinero o algún aspecto financiero.

Tres de las múltiples razones para tener un CPA son:

· Primero, el CPA tiene una preparación educativa rigurosa de cuatro años universitarios y tiene que aprobar una reválida. Igualmente deberá aprobar anualmente un duro programa de educación continuada que lo obliga al estar al día con los cambios de su profesión.

· Segundo, el CPA es un individuo común y corriente, algunos son empleados de empresa y otros son empresarios de sus propias empresas. Han vivido y siguen viviendo las experiencias de toda persona que tiene negocio o que es empleado pero con conocimiento técnico de las distintas alternativas disponibles para lograr sus sueños.

· Tercero, el CPA te educa y te transfiere conocimiento que en un principio pueden parecerte chino. Luego de un tiempo, estarás hablando de tu a tu de términos tan interesantes como flujo de efectivo, rendimientos, sociedades especiales y ganancias de capital con el primero que te encuentres.

Se acerca el día 15 de abril, como la fecha clave de la dolorosa y llega a tu CPA para completar los trámites de cumplir con el erario y más en estos momentos tan turbulentos que vivimos en la sociedad puertorriqueña. Evalúa si podemos visualizar esta fecha como el comienzo del primer día que tendrías tres asesores de cabecera—un médico, un abogado y un asesor financiero o CPA para verdaderamente, TRIUNFAR en tener vida, libertad y felicidad. Es lo mínimo que tú te mereces.

El autor es CPA y practicante individual en Hato Rey sirviendo a Puerto Rico por más de 25 años.


Se provee un cómputo opcional de la contribución en el caso de personas casadas que viven juntas, rindan planilla conjunta y que ambos trabajen. O sea, en el 2009, en un intento de favorecer a las personas casadas, se le permitirá calcular la contribución separada y en conjunto, permitiéndoles escoger la contribución menor entre las dos.

Se aumenta la exención sobre el ingreso recibido por concepto de pensión de $10,000 a $11,000 y de $14,000 a $15,000 en los casos de pensionados de 60 años o más.

Se aumenta la exención por dependientes de $1,600 a $2,500. Esto incluye los menores de 21, padres, y estudiantes universitarios.

Se aumenta el límite de la deducción por gastos ordinarios y necesarios a $1,500 ($750 si es casado que rinde planilla separada o si se acoge al cómputo opcional de la contribución) o el 4% del ingreso bruto ajustado por concepto de salarios, lo que sea menor.

Se concede un crédito contributivo de $2,000 por la compra de automóviles impulsados por energía alterna o combinada.Se concede un crédito contributivo por adquisición e instalación de equipo solar.

Se aumenta el crédito por trabajo en el caso de individuos cuyo ingreso ganado no exceda de $10,000 a 3% de dicho ingreso hasta un máximo de $300.

En el caso de individuos cuyo ingreso ganado sea en exceso de $10,000 y no alcance $20,000, el crédito máximo de $300 se reduce por el 2% del exceso del ingreso ganado sobre $10,000.