Barely two months have passed since the tax reform of the government of Gustavo Petro, which seeks to raise around 20 billion pesos in this 2023, and 14 lawsuits have already reached the law before the Constitutional Court.

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Of this total, one is against the entire law and the other 13 are partial, that is, they fall on specific articles, among which are some such as the sugary drinks, that of the non-deductibility of royalties in terms of income tax, that of free zones and that of higher education institutions (IES) that must assume the interests of some students with Icetex credits.

It must be remembered that the government of Iván Duque had already been knocked down by the Court for an entire tax, 1943 of 2018, known as the financing law, for having formal defects.

Most of the lawsuits are already being reviewed. Some of the speaker magistrates who are on the task are Natalia Ángel Cabo, Alejandro Linares Cantillo, Cristina Pardo Schlesinger and Jorge Enrique Ibáñez Najar.

Not deductible from royalties

For the subject of royalties, four have arrived. One is the one that I present representative to the Chamber for Tolima of the Carlos Edward Osorio Democratic Centerwho asks to declare that article unenforceable and which has been partially admitted.

«Do not allow the deduction of royalties that artificially increase the tax base of the income tax on companies, in such a way that they will have to pay part of the tax on an income that they never received,» the lawsuit argues.

Another is the one filed by the lawyer Juan Esteban Sanín, who also requested the Court to summon Juan Camilo Nariño, president of the Colombian Mining Association (ACM), and Francisco Lloreda, president of the Association, to intervene in a public hearing. Colombiana de Petróleos (ACP), enter, to illustrate the sectoral impact that this other measure will have.

He also filed another lawsuit against the stamp duty, which would rise to 3 percent, which, in his words, «is neither efficient nor equitable and implies an unjustified social and economic sacrifice.»

Drummond exports Colombian coal to Europe, Asia, the Middle East, the United States and South America.


Diego Santacruz / Archive EL TIEMPO

sugary drinks

There are two other lawsuits against the sugary drinks tax. It is presented by Juan Manuel Chary against article 54 (partial). According to the constitutionalist, the norm establishes a fixed or specific consumption tax rate for sugary ultra-processed beverages from 0 to 65 pesos depending on the sugar content per 100 ml, which violates the principles of tax progressivity, equity and efficiency.

«The fee is an unreasonable, inappropriate and disproportionate legislative measure, since it establishes an inequitable and regressive tax that does not effectively or efficiently fulfill the constitutionally legitimate purpose it proposes,» the lawsuit says.

In addition, it explains that the fact that all sugary drinks are taxed at the same rate, regardless of the market value of the products or the purchasing power of taxpayers, disproportionately affects small and medium-sized producers and puts them in jeopardy. situation of economic disadvantage compared to the large companies that dominate the industry, which violates their right to free economic activity and private initiative and violates the freedom of competition.

The sugar tax would harm the health of Colombians, according to Juan Pablo Gallo.

The citizen Miryam Elfriede Anaya also filed a claim of unconstitutionality on 54 (that of sugary drinks) for violating article 161 of the Constitution and paragraph 2 of article 187 of Law 5 of 1992. She says that although the accidental conciliation commission chose to accept the wording proposed by the Senate because the texts were different, it did not have the participation of the author of the project, the speakers or those who made objections.

According to the citizen, although the conciliation commission had two representatives of the Historical Pact and the Liberal Party, as well as two senators from the same parties, they belonged to Commission III of their respective chambers. “However, they were not speakers or authors of the project; nor do they represent the diversity of the political parties that make up both the House of Representatives and the Senate of the Republic”, see the lawsuit.

And he adds: «This is especially important, if one takes into account that, during the legislative process, different congressmen from various political parties expressed their concerns about the imposition of the tax on sugary drinks.»


The Constitutional Court has also received two lawsuits against article 95, which establishes the creation of a contribution to beneficiary to students who finance their studies in higher education through educational credits that are from Icetex.

Specifically, the article says that the beneficiaries will be those who will not have a rate subsidy granted by the Government and obtained credits that are not in the repayment period. The problem is that this contribution will already be taken out to apply by most of the country’s universities starting this semester.

According to the lawsuit filed by 10 citizens, this article violates the principles of consecutiveity and flexible identity, which are based on articles 157 and 160 of the Political Constitution. Among others because, they say, the norm was approved without explanation or democratic deliberation.

Law Entire Lawsuit

And the one that goes against all the law is the one filed by Humberto de Jesús Longas Londoño. He says that the reform violates article 149 of the Constitution due to unconstitutional meetings that members of Congress allegedly held for the purpose of exercising their own functions.