Puerto Rico Act 20 & Act 22 Tax Incentives

Saving on taxes is something everyone (and every company) wants to do, whether it’s to reinvest in your company, save for retirement, or live more comfortably. The question is how you can best minimize your taxes. Many cities, states, and countries offer various tax incentives to lure new residents to their tax jurisdiction and Puerto Rico offers some of the best options for Americans. With Act 20 & 22, export service businesses and individual investors can pay as little as 4% corporate tax and 0% on capital gains, among other benefits.

Puerto Rico’s Act 20 & 22 tax incentives may sound too good to be true but for many they are a very real opportunity to minimize their tax burden.


What Are The Act 20 and Act 22 Benefits and Requirements?

Puerto Rico Act 20 infographicPuerto Rico Act 22 infographic 

Act 20

  • Who it applies to:
    • Companies
    • Export services that are rendered from Puerto Rico to elsewhere in the world
  • Tax benefits:
    • 4% corporate tax / fixed income tax rate
    • 100% tax exemption on dividends for non-Puerto Rico shareholders
    • 60% exemption on municipal taxes.
    • 100% exemption on property taxes for the first 5 years, and 90% exemption thereafter.
  • Requirements:
    • Services must be performed from Puerto Rico (learn more about residency requirements for Act 20)
    • *new July 2017*: You may be required to hire employees in Puerto Rico based on your specific business. There is no set minimum number of employees anymore. 
    • Open a bank account in PR


Act 22

  • Who it applies to:
    • Individual Investors
    • Those moving to Puerto Rico and were not residents for the 6 years leading up to January 2012.
    • Often includes owners of Act 20 companies
  • Tax benefits:
    • 100% tax exemption on Puerto Rico-sourced dividends
    • 100% tax exemption on Puerto Rico-sourced interest
    • 100% tax exception from Puerto Rico income taxes on all short-term and long-term capital gains accrued (after establishing residency)
  • Requirements:
    • Become a bona fide resident of Puerto Rico
    • Buy property within 2 years
    • Open a bank account in PR
    • Donate $5,000 annually to a non-profit in Puerto Rico


Read the detailed Act 20 and Act 22 guides for more information about each tax incentive.


How is this possible?

Puerto Rico’s unique status as one of five U.S. territories (‘possession’ in the IRS code) allows it to offer unique tax incentives. Without getting into the questions about whether Puerto Rico should be a territory (or a state or independent), it’s worthwhile to understand the implications of its status.

As residents of a territory of the U.S., Puerto Ricans are American citizens but do not have the right to vote in federal elections and do not have congressional representation. And since there can be no taxation without representation, Puerto Rico does not pay federal taxes. Instead, Puerto Rico has its own tax code and the IRS has special rules that apply to Puerto Rico.

Learn more about how Puerto Rico taxation differs from US taxation.

Within this framework, Puerto Rico is able to make its own taxation laws for bona fide residents and companies operating from Puerto Rico. The government of Puerto Rico has taken this opportunity to create the Act 20 and 22 tax incentives, among other tax incentives and economic development initiatives.


How can I benefit from this?

The possibility of paying less tax appeals to everyone but the tax incentives were created to spur economic development so it's not simply a matter of visiting the island and paying less in taxes. You need to meet the requirements established in the laws for Act 20 & 22 as well as the IRS regulations for moving to Puerto Rico.

One of the key factors for both Act 20 and 22 is residency. The easiest approach is to become a bona fide resident, living on the island for the majority of the year and earning your income in Puerto Rico. However, there’s flexibility in this depending on whether you’re Act 22, Act 20, or both and you’ll want to work with a trustworthy tax consultant on the specific details and structure that’s right for you.

Puerto Rico Tax ConsultantFind a reliable Tax Consultant.


Are you ready for the next step?

Join the growing number of Act 20 & Act 22 participants moving to the island. Check out the infographic of typical steps involved with the move and getting your business set-up in Puerto Rico. 



11 Jul 2017

By PR Business Link