April 23, 2020 Print

Transparency is a key element in understanding the impact of taxes. Through the efforts of Fundación P!ensa, an Atlas Network partner, every retail receipt in Chile will soon display the associated value-added tax (VAT) on each product purchased. 

Seeing the actual cost of government-mandated taxes printed during each transaction happened as a result of Fundación P!ensa’s viral campaign to raise awareness and change public policy. Fundación P!ensa produced four videos which made the case for VAT transparency, gaining more than 70,000 views in less than six months. As business leaders, student activists, and other influential leaders became educated about what a VAT is and how they are applied, calls for transparency reform grew. 

The campaign for VAT transparency is part of the broader mission of Fundación P!ensa to “seek decentralization of Chile, contribute to regional development, and strengthen citizen participation as a method of democratic control.” Their work has been featured on social media (gaining more than 130,000 views), published in La Nación and El Líbero, and been heavily featured on radio and TV.  

The new law will go into effect in August 2020. Fundación P!ensa hopes that as the country begins to see the added cost of government taxation on every receipt, the nation will begin pushing for lower taxation and greater freedom for business owners and customers alike. 

Fundación P!ensa received an Atlas Network grant in support of their work to raise awareness of the VAT in Chile.