Fenalco criticizes closure of the Doña Segunda picket site and calls for reform of sanctions for electronic invoices

Fenalco criticizes closure of the Doña Segunda picket site and calls for reform of sanctions for electronic invoices
Fenalco criticizes closure of the Doña Segunda picket site and calls for reform of sanctions for electronic invoices

Doña Segunda assured that she is not doing any harm to the national government – credit Bogotá Mayor’s Office/website

Jaime Alberto Cabal, president of the merchants’ union (Fenalco), expressed his rejection of the temporary closure for three days of the iconic Doña Segunda picketyard in Bogotá, as well as 18 other establishments. Cabal described the closure of these businesses due to the lack of implementation of electronic invoices as an “injustice.”

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The National Tax and Customs Directorate (DIAN) has closed 119 commercial establishments so far in 2024 for not complying with the obligation to use electronic invoices. This regulation came into force on December 15, 2020, after a process of pilot tests, massive training and orientation visits carried out during 2023, intended to facilitate the authorization of those responsible for billing.

Cabal stressed that a reform of the sanctions related to electronic invoices is essential. “A reform is urgently needed to prevent those who have not yet adopted or are in the process of implementing electronic invoices from being persecuted and punished as if they had committed a crime. The administrative authorities must act in consideration of the particular conditions of the citizens,” the union leader emphasized on social networks.

Jaime Alberto Cabal expressed solidarity with Mrs. Segunda after the closure of her picket line - credit @JaimeA_Cabal/X
Jaime Alberto Cabal expressed solidarity with Mrs. Segunda after the closure of her picket line – credit @JaimeA_Cabal/X

The president of Fenalco also expressed his solidarity with Doña Segunda, highlighting that she deserves respect and dignified treatment. “The absence of the electronic invoice cannot be seen or treated as evasion,” said Cabal, adding that the elderly, who generate employment and pay taxes, deserve dignified treatment.

The closure of Doña Segunda is an example of what small merchants face, especially those who, for various reasons, have not been able to implement electronic invoicing. Cabal insisted that Doña Segunda, like many other merchants, struggles daily to raise her family and keep her businesses running.

Jaime Alberto Cabal, president of Fenalco, assured that it is necessary that there be other measures - credit John Paz/Colprensa
Jaime Alberto Cabal, president of Fenalco, assured that it is necessary that there be other measures – credit John Paz/Colprensa

The debate on electronic invoices in Colombia began years ago, but its mandatory implementation has been a challenge for many businesses. Although the calendar for final adoption ended in December 2020, there are still merchants in the adjustment process. According to Cabal, it is necessary for authorities to take into account the difficulties and particular contexts of each business before imposing sanctions that could seriously affect their livelihood.

Dian’s punitive measures have been widely debated, with many arguing that there should be a more comprehensive and gradual approach. Cabal insisted that those who are in the process of adaptation cannot be treated the same as those who engage in deliberate evasion. The main criticism lies in the need for greater flexibility and support for small merchants who seek to comply with regulations, but face technical or economic obstacles.

The reactions of merchants and the general public have been mixed. Some support Dian’s measures, arguing that digitalization is a necessary step for the transparency and modernization of trade in Colombia. Others, like Fenalco, advocate for a more empathetic and proactive approach that includes ongoing technical assistance and deadline extensions for those who conclude in good faith.

Through tears, Mrs. Segunda assured that she did not agree with the decision, which would affect 14 of her employees, and with it their families - credit @piqueteaderodonasegunda/Instagram
Through tears, Mrs. Segunda assured that she did not agree with the decision, which would affect 14 of her employees, and with it their families – credit @piqueteaderodonasegunda/Instagram

La Dian temporarily closed, for three days in total, the famous Doña Segunda picketyard in Bogotá. The measure is due to non-compliance with the issuance of the electronic invoice and its requirements. The entity carried out verifications and, as a result, several commercial establishments were closed for not complying with this obligation. In the case of Doña Segunda, located in the 12 de Octubre neighborhood, the absence of the electronic invoice led to its closure. The Dian seeks to combat tax evasion and guarantee transparency in commercial transactions, which is why it ensures that it is always important to require an electronic invoice when purchasing goods or services.

After the temporary closure of her picket site, Doña Segunda expressed her pain and frustration. In statements to the media, she, visibly affected, regretted the sanction and criticized the entity, stating that “they are violating the law.” He assured that he complies with all tax requirements and that he is not evading taxes. In addition, he recalled that he started his business 60 years ago, selling in a little pot on the corner, and he has worked tirelessly to maintain it.

 
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