Given the emergency that Puerto Rico is experiencing as a result of the ongoing earthquakes, the Puerto Rico Restaurants Association has asked for an additional 60 days of the elimination of the Sales and Use Tax on prepared foods.
Marisol Vega-Cuoto, president of the trade group known as ASORE in Spanish, said “many citizens, volunteers and professionals from different parts of the island still visit the southern area daily to help the victims, so they spend extended periods outside their homes with the need to eat out.”
“That is, the island hasn’t recovered, so we believe that an extension of the Treasury Department’s order for the benefit of the consumer should be approved,” said Vega-Couto.
On Jan. 9, 2020, the Treasury Department issued Administrative Determination No. 20-01 to exempt prepared food from the sales and use tax during January, given the emergency. Alcoholic beverages were not included under the exemption.
Although she said it is hard to know if the temporary sales tax exemption has helped increase sales at restaurants, “it’s a fact that people pay less, so it makes it easier for them to buy food outside the home.”
“We respectfully call on Gov. Wanda Vázquez, Treasury Secretary Francisco Parés and all the government entities that are involved in making this decision to reflect on this matter, always thinking about what’s best for the island,” he said.