After Patricia Ariza, appointed Minister of Culture, indicated that one of her proposals would be to charge a consumption tax on mobile phone plansa debate has been opened around this topic.
And it is that according to Ariza, the tax would be 4% and would be applied to those users who have a plan from $38,000 plus VATthat is to say about $47,000.
Faced with this, Samuel Hoyos, president of Asomóvil, an association that integrates operators Sure, Tigo Une and Movistarstated that this initiative must be evaluated within “a telecommunications sectoral policy”, since there are more than 8 million customers with plans greater than $38,000.
“It must be evaluated very carefully because this could have an impact on the poorest Colombians and on the lowest-income households that need access to internet and mobile telephony services. In the country, there are between 8 and 9 million plans above plans at $38,000Hoyos said.
Likewise, the president of Asomóvil stressed the importance of connectivity. “It is an essential public service and this is recognized by law and it is essential because it is an enabler and other rights stem from it, such as the right to information and education. Taxing it with a consumption tax discourages access and use” .
Alberto Samuel Yohai, president of the Colombian Chamber of Information Technology and Telecommunications (Ccit), stated that “it would be a serious mistake” to generate any new tax for services related to information and communication technologies.
“This would harm citizens and increase the digital divide in the country. These types of taxes were conceived for luxury products and services. After the confinement experienced as a result of the pandemic, it was proven that telecommunications services are not a luxury, but rather tools to create all kinds of opportunities throughout the country”, added Yohai.
(Also: Petro will seek to make the tax system more ‘fair and progressive’).
For her part, the appointed Minister of Culture, Patricia Ariza, in a statement, pointed out that the National Tax on Mobile Telephony Consumption (INC) came into force in 2016 and that was not her idea. “Thanks to this tax today culture, heritage and sports have a certain source of income. However, the collection of this tax has been drastically decreasing in recent years,” said Ariza.