Vat Withholding Agent Directive




Caracas, August 12, 2015


Instructive Governing Withholding Agents for Value Added Tax

A  new  Instructive  governing  those  appointed  as  withholding agents for Value Added Tax was published in Official Gazette No. 40,720 dated August 10, 2015. The main changes made in this new Instructive are:

1. The following have been added as cases in which the VAT is not to be withheld:

a. When the supplier is an agent for collection of the tax and when the transactions involve the sale of alcoholic beverages, matches, cigarettes, tobacco and other tobacco products.

b. When the supplier’s total for sales or services rendered that are exempt accounted for more than 50% of total sales during the previous fiscal year.

c. In the case of suppliers enrolled in the National Exporters
Register, they must have filed applications for recovery of tax credits from these export activities during the previous six months.
In the cases described in sections b and c, interested parties will need to consult a “List of Taxpayers Excluded from the Withholding System” that will be available on the tax agency’s portal.

d. When transactions   are   paid   based   on   the   exception provided for in article 146 of the Tax Code, which allows for the possibility of paying the tax in a foreign currency.

2. For those cases in which the tax is not listed as a separate item on the invoice, when it is to be withheld in full, the Instructive includes the following formula to be used for calculating the tax to be withheld:

B.I. = Pfac/(Al/100)+1
Mret = Pfac –  B.I.


B.I.: Tax base
Pfac: Price invoiced
Mret: Amount to be withheld
Al: Tax rate

3. As for the term for payment of the tax, the Instructive eliminated the term of five (5) business days following each 2-week period, and states that it must be in line with the return-filing and payment schedules of taxpayers classified as special taxpayers.

4. The Instructive provides that the withholding voucher must include: Total amount of the invoice, tax base, tax payable and amount of tax withheld, details that were not required under the earlier Instructive.

5. The following articles have been eliminated:

a. Article 17, whereby, if a tax return could not be filed electronically, as  an   exception,   it   could   be   filed   by magnetic means at the appropriate tax office, and tax officials were under the obligation to process returns so filed.

b. Article 19, whereby  purchase  and  sale  books  necessarily had to be kept in electronic form.

c. Article 20, whereby suppliers were under the obligation to list operations carried out with withholding agents as separate items in the Sales Book.

d. Article 21, which stated that SENIAT would be determining the electronic formats or models for the reporting returns and for the withholding voucher

The new Instructive states that it will become effective on the first day of the calendar month that begins after publication in the Official Gazette, and will be applicable to taxable events occurring after the effective date.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or need further information regarding this issue.

Yours truly,


Ysabel N. Figueira G.

All rights reserved. This work is a contribution of BENSON, PEREZ MATOS, ANTAKLY & WATTS to its clients on legal topics of their interest for purposes of providing orientation. It must not be interpreted as a specific legal opinion.