After getting a work permit sorted out earlier this year, I can say that Mexican bureaucracy really isn’t that bad. I would wager that US bureaucracy sucks just as much, possibly worse, depending on your preferences.
The main difference is Mex doesn’t really give you an overview of everything you need to do/expect during your experience as a trámite (a special word meaning “applicant for anything bureaucratic”), whereas US bureaucratic procedure is pretty well laid-out in an accessible place. The advantage Mexican bureaucracy has is that it’s not as rigid, and the bureaucrats are generally nicer to deal with and willing to help you figure things out.
I am now in the process of registering with the tax man (so I can get a taxpayer ID number and print up recibos de honorarios). For anyone using this as reference, I made an appointment with SAT here for 10 days from now, my cita para inscripción al RFC.
If it’s towards the end of the month when you try to make your appointment and they are not showing any availability for the location you select, try other locations in your region. I think they don’t open up the next month for appointments until all locations are booked up for the month you’re in. The same seems to apply if you call the number to make a cita— if you can’t get an appointment in the service center you request, they just ask if you if you want to go to a different one; if you say no they tell you to call back the next day to check again.
I will refer you onward to this Inside Mexico article for advice on the rest of the process, since that is what I am going by.
“Vivir Mejor: el Gobierno Federal.” I find it radical that el Gobierno Federal has such a similar slogan to Walmart’s, “Ahorras dinero. Vives mejor.”
oh, P.S. Also radical for me is the fact that I am going to hire an accountant to deal with my taxes. I am a freelancer, after all. Within the system, things are complicated for self-employed people here, as they are in the US (though I think I will be taxed at a significantly lower rate here than back home). This is new for me, and I feel kinda weird about. Also a little excited, I have to admit. Fortunately I know a surprising number of contadores, so…