Application for tax refunds and compensation before the DIAN (National Tax Administration Office)
First of all, it is important to understand what is meant by refund and compensation. The National Tax and Customs Directorate (Dirección de Impuesto y Aduanas Nacionales), the first as an action by means of which the taxpayer is reimbursed the balances in favor, overpayments or payments of what is not due, determined in a private liquidation of the tax and/or customs returns, or in an official action, following the procedures and complying with the requirements established for such purpose. And the second as: action by means of which the taxpayer, responsible or customs user cancels its current obligations for taxes, advances, withholdings, interest, and penalties through the use of a credit balance determined in a private liquidation of its tax and/or customs returns, or in an official action, following the procedures and complying with the requirements established for such purpose.
Both the refund and the compensation may be requested by taxpayers who liquidate balances in favor in their tax returns. Except in the case of VAT taxpayers, which may only be requested by certain producers or taxpayers.
The refund process must be requested through the DIAN website and the term can range from 15 to 50 days.
The term of 15 days applies to those who proceed with the automatic refund, 20 days when guarantees in favor of the Nation are presented, 30 days in the case of VAT taxpayers and 50 days in all other cases.
The DIAN establishes that if the applicant has an electronic signature, he/she must file his/her request through the Electronic Computer Service for Returns. The applicant must ensure that he/she has made the change from digital signature mechanism to electronic signature. To learn more about this procedure you can access the link:
In case the applicant does not have an electronic signature or needs to file requests for refund of balances in favor in IMAS, IMAN or CREE Income, he/she must file the request at the competent Sectional Directorate (where the tax return was filed), attaching the following documentation:
- Application form duly filled out.
- Certificate of existence and representation in the case of legal entities, valid for no more than one month.
- Certificate of ownership of the applicant’s checking or savings account.
- Power of attorney in case of acting by proxy.
- Form 1220: list of income withholdings.
It is important to mention that the request for refund and/or compensation must be filed within the two years following the expiration of the term to file, if it is a private return, or within the two years following the date of execution, if it is an official liquidation and it is also essential to have the Single Tax Registry formalized and updated and not to have any suspension or cancellation from the time of the request in due form until when the administrative act defining such request is issued. This condition applies to the holder of the credit balance, Legal Representative or attorney-in-fact.