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Savers should prepare to pay annual income tax in 2023

For the 2023 annual tax return, to be filed in April of next year, savers should prepare a good reserve for the payment of Income Tax (ISR) on their earnings in investments such as Cetes, warned specialists.

Gustavo Leal Cueva, partner of Leal Benavides y Cía., in an interview for the newspaper El Norte, explained that this is due to the fact that nominal interest rates were very high, in an environment in which inflation was notably reduced, resulting in high real interest rates, which are the difference between the first factor and the second.

"Both factors, lower inflation to be discounted and higher interest rates, will cause real yields to be much higher and well above the 0.15 percent withholding that financial institutions calculate on invested capital," he said.

According to Banxico's series and projections from its surveys of private sector specialists reviewed by Grupo REFORMA, throughout 2023 the nominal yield of 28-day Cetes would end up with an average of 11 percent, compared to 7.6 percent in 2022.

But if we subtract the average inflation of each year from these figures, it turns out that the real interest rate of these instruments, on average, went from zero percent to 5.5 percent, and it is on this yield that the SAT will charge ISR.

"We are going to have a real interest, which is the basis on which the tax is calculated, which will be high, and a low withholding of only 0.15 percent, so surely the withholding will not cover the annual tax, as it did last year," Leal Cueva anticipated.

"So most savers should be prepared to make a tax payment on the annual return, so they won't be caught by surprise when their accountant tells them they are going to pay a certain amount of tax due and they didn't plan on it."

He exemplified the case of a taxpayer who maintained an investment of 2.5 million pesos during the year and to whom the financial institution will withhold 0.15 percent of that amount in accordance with the Income Tax Law, but will deduct it from his actual interest and not from the principal, in order to pay it to the SAT.

At an average interest rate of 10.5 percent, he would earn nominal interest of 257,500 pesos, but with an inflation rate of 5.7 percent at the end of the year, his real yield would be 115,000 pesos, to which the ISR rate would be applied, resulting in a tax payable of 8,706 pesos.

Since the financial institution would withhold an amount of 3,750 pesos from this saver in order to report it to the SAT, the Annual Tax Return will show a balance of 4,957 pesos against this saver.

"The withholding will not cover the tax that will be generated by the actual interest, which is what the SAT applies the ISR rate to."

Leal Cueva pointed out that taxpayers who, in addition to income from investments in financial institutions, received other income during the year, could fall into higher levels of the ISR Law's tax rate, which can reach up to 35 percent.

"If these taxpayers fall into a higher rate, they are going to have to anticipate; so the recommendation is that they approach their accountant months before filing the annual return, to see how much the tax cost will be."

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