The presentation of the first debate on tax reform that will be filed in the legislature next week and that seeks to raise $25 billion to finance the new government’s social programs has everyone worried. Both citizens and businesses have expressed their concerns about what the ‘Contribution of All of Us’ policy will represent for them. And depending on where you look at it, Colombia may be a country that has already paid many taxes (this is the argument of some traders who demand more competition) or What happens in developed countries is where 70% of what happens is the amount received is deducted (the latter to guarantee citizens overall well-being in health, education, transport and infrastructure).
However, sometimes public policies are formulated without understanding the context of the people affected. This is the case of entrepreneurs who raised the alarm about what dissatisfaction would lead to investment in Colombian enterprises or even their relocation to other countries. As today it is not very easy to open a company in Florida, Delaware or Panama City without leaving home. It is wealth tax which includes those who do entrepreneurship and see their startups grow at a good pace based on their future value. In that world, the world of business ideas that come true, the biggest assets are the expectations that investors buy through cleverly sophisticated trading mechanisms.
Taxing entrepreneurs based on the cost of their startups is a deterrent to the consolidation of this entrepreneurial boom, especially the technology-based ones, which today represent thousands of better-paid jobs than the rest of the productive sectors (Fedesoft’s). Colombia is estimated to have an ICT talent shortage at 123,000 in 2022), a boost for regions where thousands of engineers, programmers, marketers, testers and data scientists connect remotely to work in national or foreign companies and face challenges. Solve the latent problems of a country full of poverty but which have been overcome by technology (financial inclusion, inefficiencies in public services, low incomes or access to quality health or education).
It’s no longer about turning Colombia into the Silicon Valley of Latin America (as when it comes to copying a brand of t-shirt) but about the brave people who have worked hard to create jobs. He took refuge in entrepreneurship instead of job. Solve problems, attract investors and make it a better country. We are going to support them and the good news is there is a government and a Congress that listens. The discussion is just starting.
Juan Manuel Ramirez m.
University of Rosario Assistant Professor