Puerto Rico

Corporate - Income determination

Last reviewed - 04 February 2020

The gross income of a corporation generally includes business income, profits from the sale of property, interest, dividends, and income derived from any source, unless specifically exempted by law.

A corporation’s net income is generally calculated in accordance with the method used for financial statement purposes, except for various items of income and expenses, which are treated differently. For example, the cash method of accounting may not be used by a corporation with inventory or with an average annual gross income in excess of USD 1 million. Long-term contract methods and the instalment method can be used for regular tax calculations.

Inventory valuation

In general, inventory is valued at the lower of cost or market. Retail merchants can use the retail method of accounting.

Capital gains

Tax-advantaged treatment is provided for net long-term gains (holding period of more than one year) from the sale of capital assets. For corporations, net long-term capital gains, reduced by any short-term capital losses, are subject to an alternative (preferential) tax of 20% in lieu of the regular CIT rates.

Dividend income

Dividends from a corporation that derives 20% or more of its profits from sources within Puerto Rico are taxable in Puerto Rico. However, a dividends-received deduction may apply.

Dividends-received deduction

All corporations engaged in trade or business in Puerto Rico are entitled to an 85% deduction on dividends received from a domestic corporation but not in excess of 85% of the net income of the corporation. A 100% dividends-received deduction applies for dividends received from taxable controlled domestic corporations (if ownership in a corporation is 80% or more).

Interest income

Interest income is generally taxable, except interest from obligations of the federal government or any state, or territory, or political subdivisions; the District of Columbia; and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or any of its instrumentalities or political subdivisions.

Royalty income

Royalties from property located in Puerto Rico or from any interest in such property are included in gross income.

Partnership income

The income (loss) of a partnership passes through to its partners so that the partnership itself is not subject to tax. Thus, each partner generally accounts for their distributive share of the partnership's taxable income (loss).  

Also, sourcing rules were amended by Act 257 to provide that the sale of the interests of a partnership that is engaged in a PR trade or business will be PR-source income in the same proportion as if the partnership had sold all of its assets at their fair market value as of the date of the sale of such interest, regardless of the residence of the selling partner(s).

If the selling partner is a non-resident individual or foreign corporation not engaged in trade or business in Puerto Rico, the seller will be subject to a 15% income tax withholding on the amount of the gain that constitutes PR-source income.

Other income

Service fees are generally taxable as ordinary income.

Foreign income

Generally, a Puerto Rico domestic corporation is taxed on its worldwide income, including foreign income earned and foreign dividends when received. Double taxation is avoided by means of foreign tax credit or deduction. In the case of resident foreign corporations, these are only taxed on their PR-source income and on their effectively connected PR income. Generally, foreign income won't be taxable for Puerto Rico purposes. However, Act 257 provided a change in sourcing rule for revenue earned on contracts with the Puerto Rico government.  Broadly, the statute states that income generated on such contracts will be deemed PR source irrespective of where the service was provided, if the contract is not registered with the Office of the Comptroller in PR.