Gov. Ricardo Rosselló has signed Act 60-2019, known as the “Puerto Rico Incentives Code,” which will establish a new process for granting and overseeing all of the government’s allocated incentives.
Among the new incentives is the Student Savings Plan Program through which the government will establish an account and deposit $1,000 for each kindergarten student in the public school system, which will be invested so they are available once the students graduate from high school.
Another incentive is the repayment of student loans to doctors, dentists, veterinarians, and scientific researchers in the area of health, with the commitment to remain on the island for seven consecutive years.
Physicians residing in Puerto Rico now have an extended deadline of Sept. 30 to request the decree for benefits under the Act’s Retention and Return of Medical Professionals clause; and until June 30, 2020 for doctors who are away from Puerto Rico to return to practice locally and benefit from the preferential tax rates established in this law.
As part of the implementation process for the new Incentives Code, the Office of Incentives to do Business in Puerto Rico will be created under the Department of Economic Development and Commerce, agency Secretary Manuel Laboy said.
Furthermore, the Incentives Concession Portal will also be created to centralize, standardize, and streamline the processes related to the application and approval of decrees, cash grants, tax credits, subsidies, and other incentives, he said.
Changes established in the Incentives Code are prospective and do not affect companies or individuals with existing decrees, credits, or incentives.
Several sectors and guilds participated in the drafting and evaluation of the bill, presenting their needs and recommendations, Laboy said.
Regarding the film industry, a tax credit of up to 40% of expenses is established, but an additional 15% is added subject to compliance with several parameters established in the law; in addition to 20% in payments to non-resident productions.
In addition, as part of promotion efforts to establish specialized industries, an incentive is provided to attract professionals that are tough to recruit. Incentives and benefits to agricultural workers remain intact.
Likewise, cryptocurrency and blockchain are included as eligible for capital gains incentives to individual resident investors.
Lastly, the Code encourages the video game industry, eSports, and fantasy leagues, a growing industry that generates billions of dollars worldwide.