This tax guide provides an overview of the indirect tax system and rules to be aware of for doing business in Colombia.

Colombia - 120x120.pngIndirect tax snapshot

Please click on each section to expand further:

What is the principal indirect tax?

In Colombia, the Value Added Tax is the main indirect tax, which is monitored and controlled by our tax authority, called DIAN.

It is a tax on consumption which is applied during the production and distribution process to most goods and services, thus, is paid by the final consumer, being responsibility for the collection the person that invoice the goods and services, and the responsibility for the payment the acquirer of them.

It also applies for the imported goods, and services rendered by non-residents.

The general rate is 19% and is applied in the moment of the billing.

The Colombian regulation in force dispose some benefits for exporting businesses, which have the right to ask for the reimbursement of the credit balance of the VAT in the corresponding declarations. 

Depending on the income of the previous year, VAT declarations has to be submitted every two or four months.

Is there a registration limit for the tax?

 Yes, there is, and it depends on the income received in the year.

Does the same registration limit apply to non-established businesses?

Applies only for people and local businesses, it does not apply for non-residents businesses.

Is there any specific legislation to tax non-resident supplies of electronically supplied/digital services to private consumers resident in your country?

Some computer devices are VAT excluded, also computation services in the cloud.

Does a non-established business need to appoint a fiscal representative in order to register?

It does not apply in Colombia.

How often do returns have to be submitted?

Depending on the income of the previous year, VAT declarations has to be submitted every two or four months.

Are penalties imposed for the late submission of returns/ payment of tax?

Yes, there are penalties for late submission of the declarations and is calculated based on the tax to pay, if there is not a tax to pay then is over the income and if there is no income, then is calculated over the equity.

Are any other declarations required?

In relation to VAT, there are no additional declarations required.

Are penalties imposed in other circumstances?

Yes, there are penalties due if the person who submitted the declaration is not the indicated, the information filed on the declaration is inaccurate, wrong filling, reduce the balance in favour, or for not updating the information toward the tax authority (DIAN).

Can the VAT incurred by overseas businesses be claimed if they are not registered in Colombia?

It does not apply in Colombia.


What information must a VAT invoice show?

A VAT invoice must:

  • be denominated expressly as sale invoice
  • show the last and first name or business name and Tax ID Number of the seller or who provides the service
  • show the last and first name or business name and Tax ID Number of the acquirer of the goods or services, together with the discrimination of the VAT paid
  • show a number that corresponds to sequential numeration system of invoice sales
  • show the expedition date
  • feature a specific or generic description of the goods sold or services rendered
  • include the total value of the operation
  • show the name or business name and Tax ID Number of the printer of the invoice
  • indicate the quality of the withholding agent of the sales tax.
Are there any current or anticipated Standard Audit File for Tax (SAF-T) or similar electronic/digital filing requirements eg invoice listing data file/real-time VAT reporting?

It does not apply in Colombia.

Contact us

For further information on indirect tax in Colombia please contact:

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José Hernán Flórez Pachón
T +57 (1) 7059000

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Pedro Andres Monsalve Caycedo
T +57 (1) 7059000

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Michelle Gaitan Oviedo
T +57 (1) 7059000


International indirect tax guide
International indirect tax guide
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