Whether individuals need to pay personal income tax, and whether income tax returns have to be filed yearly [COL37813.E]

The information that follows was provided by staff at the Embassy of Colombia in Ottawa during a 16 November 2001 telephone interview.

Employees and other individuals whose income is below a certain amount do not need to file an income tax return (Declaración Jurada de Renta); employees who work in a legally-constituted organization and whose salary is below that amount receive a statement of income and deductions (ingresos y retenciones) once a year.

A detailed description of the Colombian tax system, including obligations and exemptions for filing or payment of income tax, can be found in a 94-page summary in Spanish prepared jointly by of the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and published by the Centro Interamericano de Administraciones Tributarias (CIAT), at http://www.ciat.org/doc/docu/descr_colombia.pdf. The document also refers to wage-earners (asalariados) and other taxpayers (contribuyentes) who are not required to file a tax return (no obligados a declarar), and provides a description and calculation table to indicate the rates of tax "deducted at source" (retenciones en la fuente) according to their taxable income (CIAT 2001, 22-23).

A Colombian tax information Website provides the calendar for submitting personal income tax returns for the year 2000, indicating that the yearly deadlines were assigned according to the last digits in the taxpayer's registration number; however, all deadlines were in the month of May 2001 (BusinessCol.com 30 Oct. 2001).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


BusinessCol.Com [Bogota]. 30 October 2001. "Personas Naturales--Plazo para declarar y pagar." http://www.businesscol.com/tributcal.htm [Accessed 16 Nov. 2001]

Centro Interamericano de Administraciones Tributarias (CIAT), Panama City. 2001. "Sistema de Informaciones Tributarias Básicas (SITRIBA) Proyecto BID-CIAT--País: Colombia." http://www.ciat.org/doc/docu/descr_colombia.pdf [Accessed 14 Nov. 2001]

Embassy of Colombia, Ottawa. 16 November 2001. Telephone interview with staff.