Planned tax reform expected to boost financial inclusion

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Colombian government is planning a "structural" tax reform for the country, which will allow for the expansion of financial inclusion to large portions of the population currently being left out, local financial daily Portafolio reported.

"Financial inclusion in Colombia is around 40%, that is 16mn Colombians," finance minister Juan Carlos Echeverry was quoted as saying by the daily, to which he added the tax reform seeks to expand access to financial services to lower income segments of the population.

"We want a tax reform that will impact the economy and change peoples' lives, as financial inclusion would do, which would allow Colombians to pay [goods and services] via their cell phones, others via their [credit] cards and that will help to lower taxes," the finance minister said.

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Echeverry also said that among the changes on the tax code is to shrink the size of the tax bill, from 900 articles to no more than 300, and announced that bill will be introduced to congress in April.