Dear client and friend:
Given the increase of tax collecting approved in the Revenue Act of 2018 compared to the same bill from 2017 for the quantity of 43.291 billion pesos, the Tributary Administration Service (Servicio de Administración Tributaria (SAT)) will proceed to carry out more aggressive audit campaigns and, naturally, the seizure of assets, including taxpayer bank accounts.
Nevertheless, it is important to mention that SAT is not the only administrative authority with the powers to seize or secure bank accounts of those governed, given that the Unit of Financial Intelligence (Unidad de Inteligencia Financiera) can block bank accounts when they are conducting an investigation dealing with money laundering or terrorism.
In this way taxpayers, trying to access funds, may be surprised that they are unable to withdraw funds due to a blocking or seizure of said deposits ordered by a fiscal or administrative authority.
Because of this, it is necessary to identify, guided by an attorney with expertise in fiscal and administrative law, the type of seizure, blocking or securing that the accounts of the client may have, to plan a legal strategy to reverse said seizure and nullify, in its case, the fiscal credit for which the seizure was made.
Suspension of seizure of fiscal credits
A fiscal credit seizure or an administrative debt can be derived from a determination by the fiscal authority or administrative debts that have not been covered in the legal time to do it (30 days after the fiscal determination), for which there exist means of defense with which said debts can be fought and, derived from the same, a suspension can be requested so that the seizure does not continue or even free the taxpayer bank accounts from the seizure, depending on the particular needs of the taxpayer.
Such is the case of the appeal brought before the Deconcentrated Legal Administration of SAT (Administración Desconcentrada Jurídica del SAT), with which upon being lodged, the seizure can be ordered without need of granting a fiscal interest guarantee, with the continuance of the suspension of the power of the authority to exercise the seizure until the appeal for revocation is resolved.
Nevertheless, in case it is decided to lodge a traditional administrative lawsuit before the Federal Tribunal for Administrative Justice (Tribunal Federal de Justicia Administrativa (Court)), the seizure of the bank accounts can be suspended provided that the fiscal interest is guaranteed, and even the seizure of the bank accounts can be substituted by a bond or with real estate or even intangible property.
Filing an administrative lawsuit can also be opted for in the exclusive background modality before the Specialized Chamber of the Court in Mexico, in which case no guarantee will be necessary to suspend the seizure. It should be mentioned that this modality of litigation can only be lodged when the amount of the fiscal credit exceeds the amount of 200 times the Units of Measurement and Updates annualized that to date the litigation would have to amount to 5,882,800.00 pesos.
Blocking and securing of accounts without fiscal credit
Not in all the cases in which bank accounts are blocked or secured it is because the authority seized due to a fiscal credit, since it can be supposed that the Unit of Financial Intelligence (Unidad de Inteligencia Financiera) is conducting a money laundering investigation, and, for that reason, ordered the blocking of the bank accounts, in which case an indirect Action for Protection (amparo) may be filed asking for the suspension due to the constitutionality of said block, obtaining success in freeing the resource if it is detected in time.
In the same way, bank accounts may be secured because the taxpayer impeded the exercise of a competence of inspection be it that he/she did not receive the fiscal authority or because he/she has not been found at their address for some reason, in which case an administrative lawsuit must be filed so that the act be declared illegal.
From this it can be seen that if an authority seizes, secures, or blocks bank accounts, there needs to be a tailor-made legal strategy, filing the corresponding means of defense and making use of suspensions or corresponding precautionary measures to protect the taxpayer’s assets guided by an expert administrative and fiscal attorney.
If you have any question or comment, our firm is at your service to help.
Daniel Ruiz de la Peña Sandoval, Attorney At Law
Ruiz de la Peña and Associates