May 9, 2022 Update
The Tax Administration Service (SAT) reported yesterday that the entry into force of the Digital Tax Receipt by Internet (CFDI) 4.0 will be on January 1, 2023, instead of July 1, 2022. This means we will continue to get the 3.3 e-factura’s until then.
“Individuals and legal entities that today use the new billing version 4.0 , we ask you to continue with it in order to socialize its use. On the other hand, those who still do not use it are invited to continue with the transition process during the rest of the year”, per SAT’s latest public statement.
May 20, 2022:
All foreigners in Mexico on Residente Temporal & Resident Permanente visas, and anyone over age 18 with a CURP, face 3 new requiremnts by July 1’st, 2022. These Jan 2022 changes to Mexican law will require foreign residents to:
1. Get RFC numbers (Registro Federal de Contribuyentes) from SAT-Hacienda to register as a taxpayer-resident in Mexico, and then
2. Get a “Constancia de Situacion Fiscal” document from SAT-Hacienda, as proof of Tax – Fiscal registration with SAT, and
3. That “Constancia de Situacion Fiscal” document will be necessary at some point** to be an electricity (CFE), water, or internet customer in Mexico. Further, any buying or selling of a car or house or property will also require having an RFC and the Constancia de Situacion Fiscal document.
Código Fiscal de la Federación, artículo 27 … also see the Mexican DOF.
Background: Why, Where & When
Last Jan.3, 2022 SAT made what looked like minor changes to Articulo 27 of the Federal Fiscal Code requiring all adults (18 & over) to get an RFC. The purposes were to cut down on identity theft and increase tax compliance-collection by requiring people who already have RFCs to get new current Constancias de Situacion Fiscal (to prove who they are & that they have current valid RFCs), and by requiring all adult residents of Mexico to get a valid RFC. The old RFC application procedures were riddled with identity theft problems from strangers creating RFC’s online without having a formal account with password & personal ID confirmation. Under the new 2022 system, people without RFCs have to register in person to confirm their identity (Note SAT does not accept foreign passports as an ID), and those with RFCs need to create an online account with SAT and establish a password, to be able to print out the new official Constancia de Situacion Fiscal document needed to buy or sell a house or car, or to set up a CFE or internet, or water department account.
First (1) … Many people in Mexico think they have an RFC, while they actually don’t. There was over a decade when local branches of Mexican banks just made up RFCs for their clients who had no actual official RFC from SAT-Hacienda, just to allow the bank to open an account for the person. Those old bank-issued RFCs are not valid for anything – so, unless you personally went into a SAT-Hacienda office and got your RFC, instead know that the bank-issued RFC is likely worthless & that you still need to go get an official RFC from SAT.
1.a. … Still, this is Mexico: Some foreigners actually have RFCs that they were unaware of, because some banks, car dealers & some Notarios successfully created valid RFCs for their customers when the foreigner bought or sold a home, bought a car, or started a bank account, without your knowledge or approval => which WAS part of the problem of Identity Theft, because people created RFCs without the foreigner’s knowledge. So … Some foreigners are finding that when they apply for an RFC now, that the SAT system kicks them out of the online queue, because they already have an RFC. These people with RFC’s then need to create an official online account with SAT, and establish a password – to be allowed to print out their current Constancia de Situacion Fiscal document needed to buy-sell a property, car, or start a CFE, internet or water dept. account.
Second … Unfortunately, these actions directed heavily at identity thieves, fat cats & big criminals, also flow down over the rest of us, who are living simple lives, uncomplicated by money laundering, gun-running, & drug smuggling. These new requirements are partly being driven by the USA’s ongoing War on Drugs & USA’s War on Money laundering – pressuring Mexico to address these problems, which then flows down onto the rest of us, just like the USA’s 2009-2010 new laws on foreign bank accounts & the 2009-2010’s new laws driving US banks to cut off accounts by 2017 for Americans living abroad. … These changes also come form Mexico trying to increase tax compliance, by requiring all Mexicans over age 18 to now be registered at SAT with RFC numbers.
**Third … These new requirements come at a peculiarly difficult time, because the SAT-Hacienda systems for creating new RFC accounts are working very poorly these past months – so the systems are so jammed up with millions of Mexican applying for RFCs, that it may take until Oct – to Dec to get it all sorted out, and working smoothly. In the meantime, if you do not have to buy or sell a home, a property, a car, or start a CFE or internet account, then you can likely wait a few months till SAT gets their systems sorted out. In the meantime, online waiting lists are 2,500 to 6,000 people long – yet possibly 10 appointments per day are available at SAT offices of you arrive early enough (6:00 AM) & wait a few hours.
Notice that it’s a new requirement for ALL Mexicans over age 18 … so, the SAT-Hacienda appointment systems are backed up over 4 months with new applications, from Mexicans …. 4 months just to issue an appointment date … It’s not just gringos … and … It may take 6 months to work-off the current backlog of Mexican applicants.
Fourth … In theory, every CFE office processes 10 (?) or 15 applicants over age 60 to get their RFC, awarded by being in line early enough (5:30 AM?) to be one of that day’s special 10 or 15. We know 2 people who have done this in the past 2 weeks … but as happens in Mexico, we offer no promises that this will work for you. YMMV … Best of Luck!
International Context: … (Is Mexico so much worse than othre countries)
It’s just like how Obama-Biden cut IRS funding, resulting in 26 million unopened tax returns in 2021, still unopened by April 2022 … so the US IRS is now burning-shredding millions of unopened returns that are more than 3 yrs old. … Fortunately, Mexico is not shredding nor burning our SAT-Hacienda tax applications … yet they are at least 4 months behind in being able to issue appointments at most SAT locations.
So, unless you need to buy-sell a house, now, or open a CFE account, or open a new internet service account NOW … you will likely be OK waiting the 4 – 6 months in a “fila virtual” (virtual line, online) waiting to get your email notifying of your appointment with SAT-Hacienda (details below).
* * * * *
How to Register for an RFC Appointment with SAT-Hacienda:
SAT’s current system for registering for an RFC requires the foreigner to register online to get an appointment to come in to an SAT-Hacienda office, to both register, get ID fotos & supply fingerprints.
SAT Online Appointement Website:
When online at the SAT portal, we request an appointment ( “Registrar Cita ” ), and then choose the option as an individual taxpayer ( “Persona Fisica ” ), and then enter your CURP number. Also note that you will need to take an official copy of your CURP document to your SAT appointment – so keep it handy when you get it out to register online for your SAT RFC appointment.
The next parts of the online SAT RFC appointment request process are straightforward:
On the next page after entering your CURP, you select the service you want (RFC appointment), & choose the state you whant to appy in.
NOTE: … Our local Merida SAT-Hacienda office has been taking 2 – 4 months to issue appointments, so many people who need to buy or sell a house, property, or car have been making their appontments at either Campeche’s or Chetumal’s (Q. Roo) SAT-Hacienda offices.
After you select the state you want to apply in, you will either be given the option to choose a date on a calendar, or you will face a notice that says no appointments are available at this time – which is why many foreigners in Yucatan are jumping to Campeche or Chetumal (Q. roo), but even those appointments are filling up now.
If you face the “no appointments available” option, you will then have the option to choose to enter a virtual line – queue (“fila virtual“), which gets you in to the system, but the last 3 months of internet reports by foreigners show that you may not get a notice for an appointment for another 4 months. Applying for a spot in the fila virtual, and then entering your email, enables SAT to send you an alpha-numerical “token” that is used to join the virtual line.
At that point, you sit and wait, and moniter your email for a notice from SAT notifying you of your appointment date. As you go in for your appointment, you’ll need a short list of documents. The current SAT website lists:
~ A valid migratory document (your Residente visa card);
~ A comprabante, (proof of address), like a bank statement, CFE electric bill, or copy of your rental agreement-contract.
~ Your passport
Note … Assorted internet reports describe that many SAT officies are also requiring that you show a copy of your CURP document, even though this is not reported on the SAT website.
Recent internet reports also describe that you should bring a USB memory stick, for SAT to download a personal digital signature “firma digital” for future use. At that point SAT takes your ID foto, takes your finger prints (all at no charge). Finally, recent inteernet reports say that the process takes about 40 minutes.
Final Note: As these new requirements come online, there will be consequences from the new legal requirements: People who want to sign up for internet services, for water services, for CFE accounts … or to buy or sell a house, property or car, will have to provide both their RFC number, and their Constancia de Situacion Fiscal document.
We will continue to update this article as the situations evolve.
Stay informed … Stay healthy … Stay safe …
Dr. Steven M. Fry
Ph.D. in Chemistry, Public Health, & Laboratory Measurement Science.
Read On … MacDuff !