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Prepared foods temporarily exempt from Puerto Rico’s sales tax

Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vázquez announced that Treasury Secretary Francisco Parés passed an administrative order exempting prepared foods from the island’s sales tax, effective today through April 19, 2020.

“This is an additional measure that’s taken in favor of all citizens in the face of the health emergency that we are facing due to COVID-19,” said the governor.

Parés said in addition to prepared foods, the temporary exemption includes carbonated drinks, bakery products and candy, but not alcoholic beverages. 

He said the temporary exemption of the sales tax, known in Puerto Rico as the IVU, had already been implemented in the crises caused by Hurricanes Irma and María and by the earthquakes in the southwest.

Parés also said the government is providing special permission to people who need to reprogram their systems to eliminate the sales tax outside the 24/7 curfew currently in place. Food retailers will have a day to complete the task and will be considered “essential services” providers.

Those people who will be on public roads during the curfew must have on hand a copy of the administrative order to prove they are conducting a permitted activity, he said.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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