23 of October of 2020
Colombia’s Constitutional Court ruled on Decree 678 of 2020

Through Ruling C-448 of 2020, the Constitutional Court declared the partial enforceability of Legislative Decree 678 of 2020, which sets measures for tax and financial management of the Territorial Entities, within the framework of the economic and social emergency caused by Covid-19.

Thus, after studying the Decree, the Court concluded that it complied with the formal and material requirements established in the Constitution, except for Sections 6, 7, and 9, which: (i) granted powers to governors and mayors to defer the payment of tax obligations; (ii) Set benefits to taxpayers in relation to unpaid taxes; (iii) Set the possibility for territorial entities to request the resources of their pension funds in the central sector.

With that in mind, the Court stated that the tax levying strategies of sections 6 and 7 belong to the jurisdiction of the territorial entities and not of the central sector. Therefore, these sections were in contradiction with the Constitution.

Finally, it stated that section 9 of the decree ordered the disbursement of the resources of the National Fund for Pensions of the Territorial Entities (FONPET), without them being returned. This provision directly violated section 48 of the Constitution, which forbids that the resources of the social security institutions be destined or used for other purposes. In this sense, it declared the unconstitutionality of that section.

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