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Puerto Rico Treasury launches 1st IVU tax amnesty

The Treasury Department is looking to shore up $8 million in uncollected IVU. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

The Treasury Department is looking to shore up $8 million in uncollected IVU. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

Puerto Rico individual and corporate taxpayers who have a sales and use tax (known as IVU for its initials in Spanish) debt with the Treasury Department will be able to pay without penalty through a tax amnesty good through June 30. The agency expects to collect $8 million through the initiative, Treasury officials said Monday.

“The tax amnesty is a unique opportunity, which I do not foresee repeating, for citizens and businesses to catch up with their taxes, and in turn is a mechanism to raise funds for the fight against tax evasion by business who collect sales and use tax from citizens, but don’t remit a payment to Treasury,” agency Secretary Melba Acosta said.

To be eligible for the Tax Amnesty 2013 break, taxpayers will have to either pay the entire principal sum they owe — which will be free of interest, surcharges and penalties — or agree to a payment plan subject to the aforementioned additional charges, on or before June 30. Taxpayers who opt for payment plans must make a down payment of 10 percent of the debt.

Treasury noted that the following types of debt are eligible under the terms of the amnesty: income tax; inheritance and donations; excise taxes; IVU; withholding at source of income tax; any taxes related to Law 7 of 2009 pertaining to special taxes on real estate; any taxes associated with Law 73 of 2009 related to economic incentives for the development of Puerto Rico; any tax imposed under Law 74 of 2010 related to tourism development; any tax imposed under Law 83 of 2010 related to green energy incentives; any tax related to Law 27 of 2011 related to film industry incentives; any tax related to Law 20 of 2012 on exported services; and any tax imposed by any law of a similar nature or that has a special income tax rate.

Taxpayers looking to pay or set up a payment plan can go to any of the 16 service centers Treasury has set up islandwide in: Barceloneta, Caguas, Guaynabo (2) , Mayagüez (2), Ponce (2), San Juan (2), Arecibo, Bayamón, Caguas, Carolina, Humacao, and Río Piedras.

This is the first amnesty approved related to sales and use tax debt. Treasury plans to use the money collected to achieve its goal of fighting tax evasion related to collected, but unremitted IVU money. The portion of the funds earmarked for Treasury will be used to improve the oversight and IVU uptake by hiring additional staff and improve collections by updating and modernizing the agency’s information systems. At present, the IVU uptake is estimated at around 60 percent.

To read the full press release in Spanish, click HERE.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 29 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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