Changes to taxation of Foreigners in Free Zones
On March 25th, 2019, the Ministry of Economy and Finance approved Decree Nbr. 86/019 which changes some aspects of the special tax regime applicable to foreigners working in a Free Trade Zone.
Foreigners working in Free Trade Zones can decide not to be affiliated to the Social Security system of Uruguay and consequently, elect not to make Social Security Contributions in Uruguay. Should they make this written decision, they could also choose to pay IRNR (Non-Resident’s Income Tax) on their labour income, instead of Resident’s Income Tax (applicable as a general rule to resident individuals).
Said legislation established that the special regime was only applicable for those activities that were exclusively undertaken in the FTZ, and to the extent the aforementioned services were not part of other services provided (directly or indirectly), to residents of the non FTZ territory.
The Decree establishes that the special regime can also be applied to those activities performed outside Uruguayan territory, as long as these are performed in the frame of a labour relationship. In such a case, the decree establishes that the whole compensation will be subject to IRNR, regardless the activities are performed in the FTZ or outside Uruguayan territory.
Individuals Tax Residence
In order to attract more investments to our country, Decree Nbr. 163/020 added additional circumstances in which an individual may become a resident for tax purposes. It brings down the amount of investments required to be considered tax resident in Uruguay. In that sense, the Decree states that, except for taxpayers who are able to prove their tax residency in another country, it will be considered that an individual has his/her basis of activities or economic interest, when he/she has in Uruguay the following investments:
- Real estate property for an amount higher than 3,500,000 Indexed Units (approximately USD 375,000), provided that it is carried out from July 1st, 2020, and the individual is present in Uruguay for at least 60 days. If no new acquisitions are made, the updated fiscal cost will be considered for each property.
- A direct or indirect investment in a company which value is higher than 45.000.000 UI (approximately USD 1.600.000), provided that it is carried out from July 1st, 2020 and at least 15 new (full time jobs) in dependent relationship are created (during the civil year). New jobs are those generated from 1st July 2020 and are not related to a reduction of jobs in a related party.
A bill of law recently submitted to Congress consideration foresees for --fiscal-year 2020 and onwards-- the possibility for individuals becoming tax residents in Uruguay to choose one of the following tax benefits:
- extension of the so-called “grace period” from 5 to 10 years. Actually, individuals are allowed to choose (one-time option) to be subject to Non-Residents Income Tax (NRIT) on their foreign-sourced holding movable capital income, in the year in which they become tax residents and for the next 5 years (i.e., the grace period). As such income is not taxed by IRNR, the option represents a tax relief during this period
- being subject to Income Tax on Individuals on foreign-sourced holding movable capital income at a 7% rate, instead of the 12% regular rate.