Ferraiuoli LLC > Hato Rey, Puerto Rico > Firm Profile

Ferraiuoli LLC
Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico > Intellectual property Tier 1

Ferraiuoli LLC has a broad practice covering the full spectrum of IP law, handling trade mark, copyright, patent and trade secrets matters from both an advisory and a litigation perspective. The team is particularly well known for taking up patent infringement cases in Puerto Rico and in the Eastern District of Texas, the District of Delaware, the Northern District of California, the District of Utah, and the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The firm also offers internet and e-commerce, advertising, media and communications law expertise. Eugenio Torres heads up the practice, while Maristella Collazo-Soto acts as vice-chair. Jean Vidal specialises in compliance and the negotiation of IP licensing. Victor Rodriguez focuses on patent litigation and patent drafting and prosecution. Cristina Arenas-Solís primarily covers trade mark protection, prosecution and registration. Rafael Rodriguez has expertise in patent and trade mark prosecution and data privacy issues.

Puerto Rico > Corporate, Commercial and Banking Tier 2

Ferraiuoli LLC has a solid reputation in the corporate and commercial market, where it provides a full-service offering to clients. Start-ups as well as multinationals turn to the firm for its expertise in advising governmental agencies, and its assistance with workouts, IP transfers and licensing, joint ventures, partnerships and shareholders' agreements. Fernando Rovira Rullán heads the practice, focusing on private equity transactions, corporate governance and fiduciary duties. Jaime Mercado Almodóvar is also a key member of the department, and acts as chair of the banking, financial services and regulatory practice group.

Puerto Rico > Energy, natural resources and environment Tier 2

Ferraiuoli LLC‘s environmental law, energy and land use team advises on sustainable and renewable energy projects, alternative fuel facilities, zoning and permitting issues, and environmental impact reviews, among other matters. The multi-disciplinary practice has experience in cross-border transactions, regulatory compliance and disputes in these areas. Counsel Eugene Scott Amy, who focuses on real estate and commercial transactions, regulatory matters and environmental litigation, is a key contact, along with senior associate Eidalia González-Tosado.

Practice head(s):

Eugene Scott-Amy

Puerto Rico > Labour and employment Tier 2

Ferraiuoli LLC has a broad labour and employment offering, encompassing business immigration, dispute resolution, preventive advice and compliance. Litigator Katherine Gonzalez Valentin chairs the department and is best known for her representation of companies and management; her main specialisms include employment relationships and HR management. Co-founder María Judith Marchand handles discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage and hour, and unjustified termination claims. Rene Aviles heads up the tax and employee benefits practice group, focusing on pension plan design, operation and reorganisation matters.

Puerto Rico > Real estate, hospitality and leisure Tier 2

Ferraiuoli LLC has a broad real estate practice, covering acquisitions and sales (which the team handles in close co-operation with the firm's tax department), asset recovery and dispositions, workouts and restructurings of real estate assets, and real estate financing transactions, including related due diligence. María Fernández-Ginorio represents both landlords and tenants, assisting clients in matters involving tourist developments, shopping centres, industrial sites, planned communities, education facilities, and renewable energy and telecoms sites. Corporate lawyer Eduardo Tamargo Motroni heads the commercial real estate and notarial team.

Puerto Rico > Tax Tier 2

Ferraiuoli LLC houses a number of certified public accountants in its tax team, who are experts in both Puerto Rican and US corporate tax matters. Key areas of activity for the team include advising on the development and implementation of tax-efficient structures, tax compliance procedures, and the negotiation of government approvals and transactions. Pedro Notario leads the group and is particularly well known for the tax structuring of inbound investments in Puerto Rico and the operations of multinational entities, among other specialisms. Rene Aviles co-ordinates the employee benefits and estate and trusts practice groups. Angel Morales-Lebrón is also a key contact for advice on tax planning and incentives.

Puerto Rico > Dispute resolution and bankruptcy Tier 3

Ferraiuoli LLC is particularly well known for its expertise in IP litigation, while it also covers personal injury claims and commercial litigation in the media and entertainment, healthcare and insurance sectors, among others. The bankruptcy and creditors’ rights practice, led by Sonia Colón, offers additional expertise in complex bankruptcy litigation, especially with regard to dischargeability, fraudulent transfers and preference actions cases. Gustavo Chico-Barris specialises in judicial proceedings in Chapter 7, 11, 12 and 13 cases.

Practice head(s):

Sonia Colón; Gustavo Chico-Barris

Ferraiuoli LLC has in a very short period of time become one of the top firms in Puerto Rico. The reason is clear. As a forward looking firm, we consistently think outside the box and strive to be different. While we were conceived as an intellectual property and corporate law boutique, we have evolved into a top-notch, full-service firm. Since 2009, we have been consistently top-ranked by the leading legal ranking directories and are currently providing legal services to the United States and to the world.

Our secret?
Forward thinking vision, efficiency, precision and innovation. Our legal team is comprised of a group of pioneers and renowned practitioners who have joined Ferraiuoli from other law firms with an unrivaled passion for what they do. We partner with our clients to understand, from their perspective, the complex legal and business challenges they face. Our combined team has proved to be outstanding, not only for local businesses, but for clients worldwide.

With a legal team of more than 90 professionals, we continue to be the only Puerto Rico based firm that has an exclusive, full service intellectual property department, representing a wide array of clients, from innovative start-ups to international corporations. But we have branched out from our original niche and offer state-of-the-art legal and business consulting services including corporate and real estate, taxes, labor and employment law, commercial litigation, environmental, energy and land use, and government affairs practices, among others.

But even as we grow we know that drive and resources alone are not enough to really succeed in a highly competitive world. So we strive to stay true to our original core values: innovation, dependability, commitment and responsibility. Simply put, we make ourselves available for our clients whenever, and for whatever they need, because these things are better left unchanged.

From the very beginning, Ferraiuoli was founded as an alternative to business as usual. We recognized that in order to become one of Puerto Rico’s leading law firms, we had to partner with our clients and provide them with smart, cost-efficient, business-savvy legal advice. Our clients run the gamut from local entrepreneurs to multi-national Fortune 500 companies. They are innovators in technology, energy, finance and health care. They are in the business of looking forward.  And so are we.

Head of IP Department and Managing Partner Eugenio Torresetorres@ferraiuoli.com17877771117
Head of Corporate Department Fernando Rovirafrovira@ferraiuoli.com17877667000
Head of Labor & Employment Department Katherine Gonzalezkgonzalez@ferraiuoli.com17877667000
Head of Tax Department Pedro Notariopnotario@ferraiuoli.com17877667000
Head of Litigation Department Roberto Camararcamara@ferraiuoli.com17877667000
Eugenio Torres photoMr Eugenio TorresManaging Partner and Chair of Intellectual Property & Technology Department
English (fluent)
Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance (GALA)

Puerto Rico

Overview of Puerto Rico

  • Currency: United States dollar
  • Dimensions: 100 x 35 miles (160 by 56 kilometers)
  • Climate: Tropical, 82 degrees Fahrenheit (28° C) annual average temperature
  • Time Zone: “Atlantic Standard Time”. For most of the year, due to “Daylight Savings Time”, March through November has the same time as the East Coast of the United states.
  • U.S. Jurisdiction: Puerto Rico is a United States territory and, thus, offers businesses the security and stability to operate in a U.S. jurisdiction. Moreover, no passport is required for United States citizens when traveling from the mainland to and from Puerto Rico. Our main airport is easily accessible from most hubs (New York, Miami, Texas, Panama City and Madrid) and travel within the Island is extremely accessible and fast.
  • Legal system: Puerto Rico enjoys United States constitutional, legal, financial and regulatory protection, including for intellectual property and Homeland Security matters. Its banking system is regulated under the United States laws and insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Company (FDIC) and our access points are protected by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. Puerto Rico enjoys the benefits of being a United States free trade zone and our citizens and residents enjoy federal grants and funds available to the United States citizens located in the mainland. It also shares common military defense with the U.S.
  • Geographical advantage: Puerto Rico is located in the eastern Caribbean and is the smallest of the Greater Antilles. Its geographical location strategically positions Puerto Rico between North America and South America and makes it the link between the United States and the Latin America markets.
  • Workforce: Puerto Rico offers a skilled, highly educated, and talented bilingual workforce. The Island enjoys a wide cultural diversity founded in the different backgrounds of people that have converged in the Island throughout its history. Many of our residents, who are United States citizens, are fully bilingual (official languages are Spanish and English). Puerto Rico has highly educated human capital; more than 30,000 university degrees are granted annually, including 10,000 in the science, mathematics and technology areas. Therefore, most of its workforce is highly educated and focused on providing a high standard of quality and services.
  • Local tax system: The local tax system is regulated by the Department of the Treasury of Puerto Rico. Because Puerto Rico is a United States territory, corporations are not subject to federal taxes unless earnings are repatriated. In turn, the corporate tax structure provides benefits of operating at a United States jurisdiction while providing tax benefits of a foreign country. Puerto Rico has also developed laws providing incentives and tax exemption benefits for multiple industries and activities, including manufacturing, research and development, export services, tourism and film, among others. Legislation also provides attractive benefits to individual investors that become Puerto Rico residents.

Doing business in Puerto Rico

Incorporation of Registration to do Business in Puerto Rico

Businesses establishing operations in Puerto Rico usually organize as a Corporation or a Limited Liability Company (“LLC”) under the laws of Puerto Rico. In Puerto Rico, any natural or corporate person may organize a corporation or LLC. The entities are created by filing the Articles of Incorporation (corporations) or Articles of Organization (LLC’s) with the Puerto Rico State Department, where they become available for public inspection, and by paying an incorporation fee based on the authorized capital stock of the corporation. In most cases, the articles may be electronically filed using the Department of State’s website at https://estado.gobierno.pr. Newly incorporated or organized entities must apply for and obtain an Employer Identification Number (“EIN”) with the United States Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”).

Alternatively, businesses organized under the laws of a state of the United States or a foreign country may register to be authorized to conduct business within Puerto Rico as a foreign corporation. These businesses must file with the Puerto Rico State Department a “Certificate of Authorization to do Business”. The application must set forth its name, place and date of incorporation, physical address of its corporate domicile, address of its registered office and name of its resident agent in Puerto Rico, names and business address of its directors and officers, a statement of its assets and liabilities, a description of the business it proposes to carry on in Puerto Rico, and a statement that it is authorized to do business in the jurisdiction of its incorporation.

LLC Classification Election

The default classification for Puerto Rico LLCs under the Federal Internal Revenue Code is to be taxed as an “association taxable as a corporation”. Puerto Rico LLCs that desire to be taxed as a flow through entity (either as a Partnership or as a Disregarded Entity) under the Federal Internal Revenue Code must file an election to that effect (the “Federal Classification Election”) with the United States Internal Revenue Service. The Federal Classification Election must be filed using Form 8832 and may be provide for an effective date of up to 75 days prior to the actual filing date.

All (i) PR LLCs (regardless of their classification under the Federal Internal Revenue Code) and (ii) Non-PR LLCs that for Federal tax purposes are taxed as an “association taxable as a corporation” may elect to be taxed as either a corporation or a partnership for purposes of the Puerto Rico Internal Revenue Code. These LLCs must file a classification election (the “PR Classification Election”) with the Puerto Rico Department of Treasury (“PRTD”).

Non-PR LLCs that for Federal Tax Purposes are taxed as either “Partnerships” or “Disregarded Entities” will be taxed as partnerships for purposes of the Puerto Rico Internal Revenue Code. These LLCs must file a notice of their Puerto Rico tax classification as a “partnership” with PRTD.

Puerto Rico Treasury Registration

The Puerto Rico taxpayer account number will be the same as the federal EIN. Upon receipt of the EIN from the IRS, and prior to commencing operations, companies must inform the EIN to the PRTD by registering in the Uniform System of Internal Revenue (“SURI” for its Spanish acronym). The taxpayer must provide copy of the letter from the IRS assigning the EIN. To access SURI, the business must visit the PRTD’s website https://suri.hacienda.pr.gov. To register in SURI, the business must provide an email address and create a user account.

Merchant Sales and Use Tax Registration

Generally, all sales (or the use, consumption, or warehousing) of a taxable item or a taxable service in Puerto Rico are subject to a 11.5% sales and use tax (IVU for its Spanish acronym) that includes a 10.5% state sales and use tax, and a 1.0% municipal sales and use tax. In the case of services rendered to other merchants or designated professional services, the sales and use tax rate is 4%.

To comply with the Puerto Rico sales tax provisions and be authorized to collect the sales tax from their customers, all merchants are required to register in SURI. Once a company registers, it will electronically receive, through SURI, a Merchant’s Registration Certificate (Form SC 2918) which must be placed in a location of the business that is visible to the general public. If the company is engaged in a business that is exempted from the collection of sales taxes, it must still register. The exempted company will receive Merchant’s Registration Certificate indicating that it is exempt from collecting the sales tax. Each location from which the business will be conducting its operations will require a separate Merchant’s Registration Certificate.

Municipal Business License

Companies must apply for a municipal business license within 30 days of commencing operations in the municipality(ies) where it will conduct business. The notification must include a copy of the certificate of incorporation or authorization to do business in Puerto Rico, a copy of the lease agreement, and a copy of the “Use Permit” for the facility to be used within the Municipality.

Upon receipt of the notice of commencement of operations, the Director of Finance of each municipality will issue a provisional certificate or license free of tax for the semester corresponding to that in which such activity commenced. For the next semester, a business volume declaration, together with the corresponding tax must be filed with and paid to the municipality within the first 15 days of the semester. The business volume will be the one derived during the first semester of operations raised to an annual basis.

Local Labor Law Requirements for Private Companies

Social Security and Medicare Withholdings – per federal law, employers must generally withhold part of social security and Medicare taxes from employees’ wages and employees pay a matching amount.

  • Vacation Days – Non-exempt employees accrue vacation leave in every month they work at least 130 hours. In Puerto Rico, exempt employees are not entitled to statutory vacation leave. However, many employers in Puerto Rico consistently offer either the statutory, or some form of vacation leave to exempt employees, as part of the benefits to such employees. Non-exempt employees are entitled by law to the liquidation of the accrued but unused balance of vacation leave at the time of termination.
  • Sickness Days – Non-exempt employees accrue paid sick leave in every month they work at least 130. Payment for sick leave will be based on the regular workday at the time the benefit is used or paid. Sick leave is not paid upon termination of employment. In Puerto Rico, exempt employees are not entitled to statutory sick leave. However, many employers in Puerto Rico consistently offer the statutory, or some form of sick leave, to exempt employees as part of the benefits to such employees.
  • Christmas Bonus – Employees who have worked at least 1350 hours (or 700 hours if hired prior to January 26, 2017) within the twelve (12) month period between October 1 of the previous calendar year and September 30 of the current calendar year, will be eligible to receive an Annual Christmas Bonus. The amount of the Annual Christmas Bonus will depend on the employee’s date of hire and the size of the employer’s workforce. Employees hired on or after January 26, 2017, may be entitled to an Annual Christmas Bonus of at least two percent (2%) of their annual salary (up to a maximum of $300.00 or $600.00, depending on the number of employees).
  • State Insurance Fund – The cost of the premium payable by employers to the State Insurance Fund Corporation for workers’ compensation due to occupational accidents or illnesses depends on the salary of the employees and their employment classification under the State Insurance Fund’s risk classifications. Employees on leave due to a work-related accident covered by the State Insurance Fund have a 12-month (6 months in case of employers with 15 employees or less) reserve of employment from the day of the occupational accident or injury occurred, under certain circumstances.
  • Chauffeur’s Social Security Insurance – Employers are only obligated to pay premiums for this government-mandated insurance for non-exempt employees who, as part of their duties and responsibilities, regularly operate a motor vehicle (including fork-lifts). The premiums are .80 cents per week per non-exempt employee. The employer may deduct .50 cents from the employee’s weekly payroll and the company will contribute the remaining .30 cents. Reservation of employment applies to employees receiving these benefits.
  • Unemployment Insurance – The unemployment policy premium is based on the employer’s experience rating with the Puerto Rico Department of Labor. The percentage of the premium is notified to the employer once it requests its account number with the Puerto Rico Department of Labor.
  • SINOT (Short Term Non-Occupational Disability Insurance) – (SINOT) is calculated alongside the mandatory unemployment insurance and is also obtained from the Puerto Rico Department of Labor. The SINOT premium is .60% of employees’ yearly wages without taking into consideration those wages paid in excess of $9,000. (Employer and employee divide the cost at .30% each. Some employers, however, opt to voluntarily pay the totality.) Reservation of employment applies to employees receiving these benefits.
  • Termination of Employment – Puerto Rico is not an “employment at will” jurisdiction. Thus, indefinite-term employees discharged without just cause are entitled to receive a statutory severance payment based on the length of their employment and salary, pursuant to the statutory formula.
  • Meal period – Non-exempt employees are entitled to a meal (or rest) period of one hour in length, unless the employer and the employee mutually agree in writing to reduce its length if the reduction is for the mutual benefit of the employer and employee.

Statutory Filing Requirements of Companies Resulting from the Regular Course of Business after Commencing Operations in Puerto Rico

A. Corporate Income Tax Return

For taxable years commencing after December 31st, 2018, the taxable income of corporations is taxed at a regular tax rate of 18.5% (the “Regular Corporate Tax”). In addition, the taxable income of corporations is also subject to an additional tax at graduated rates that range from 5% to 19% (the “Additional Corporate Tax”).

In addition, dividend distributions made by Puerto Rico Corporations, or by Non-Puerto

Rico Corporations that derive at least 80% of their gross income from sources within Puerto Rico, to their Non-Puerto Rico shareholders, are subject to a 10% withholding tax.

Non-Puerto Rico Corporations that derive less than 80% of their gross income from sources within Puerto Rico are not subject to the withholding tax on dividends. However, they are subject to a 10% Branch Profits Tax (the “BPT”) on any reductions in their Puerto Rico net equity, but only to the extent that the Non-Puerto Rico Corporation has any current or accumulated earnings and profits that were derived from the conduct of a Puerto Rico trade or business (the “Dividend Equivalent Amount”).

The Puerto Rico Corporation Income Tax Return must be filed on or before the 15th day of the 4th month following the close of the taxable year. An automatic 6-months extension to file the income tax return may be requested through SURI. All businesses with a volume of business in excess of $3,000,000.00 must include, with their income tax return, audited financial statements prepared by a Certified Public Accountant licensed to practice in Puerto Rico.

B. Partnership Income Tax Return

As discussed above, under the Puerto Rico Internal Revenue Code, partnerships (including LLCs electing to be taxed as partnerships) are treated as pass-thru entities. Accordingly, the partnership will not be taxed on its taxable income, which will instead flow thru and be taxed to its partners. In that sense, partnerships must file an Informative Income Tax Return for Pass-Through Entity and their income flows thru and is taxed to the partners at the partners’ income tax rate.

Regardless of the above, the partnership is responsible for depositing with the PRTD, an amount equal to 30% of its Taxable Income (the “Tax Deposits”), which will be credited to the tax liability of the partners. All of the partners will be required to file an income tax return with the PRTD. The partners must include, as part of their taxable income, their distributable share of the partnership’s taxable income and will be entitled to a credit for their distributable share of the Tax Deposits.

The Informative Income Tax Return for Pass-Through Entity (Form 480.20 EC), must be filed on or before the 15th day of the 3rd month following the close of the taxable year. An automatic 6-months extension to file the income tax return may be requested through SURI.

The Partnership must also provide each of its partners with an informative return detailing all the information required by the partner for purposes of completing its income tax return. This informative return (Form 480.6 EC) must be filed on or before the last day of the 3rd month following the close of the taxable year through SURI. An automatic 6-month extension to file this return is granted to partnerships that have extended their Forms 480.20 EC.

C. Sales and Use Tax Returns

As a general rule, businesses must collect 11.5% sales and use tax (“SUT” or “IVU” for its Spanish acronym) on all of their taxable transactions. The 11.5% SUT includes a 10.5% state sales tax and a 1% municipal sales tax. In the case of certain designated professional services and certain services rendered to other registered merchants, the state SUT rate is 4% and the municipal SUT will not apply.

Merchants collecting the SUT are required to electronically file a monthly SUT return through SURI, which is due on or before the 20th day of the month following the month the SUT was collected (e.g. all tax collections derived from January sales must be reported and paid no later than the 20th of February), and to electronically remit the SUT to the PRTD.

Merchants importing goods into Puerto Rico are also required to electronically file a monthly return with regards to their introduction of goods into Puerto Rico, which is due on or before the 10th day of the month following their introduction of the property (the “Import Return”). All bill of lading documents related to shipments of goods into Puerto Rico must be submitted electronically to the PRTD, which must then authorize the release of the shipments to the recipient after payment of any SUT that may apply to the shipment. Some merchants are allowed to post a bond guaranteeing the payment of the SUT in exchange for the release of their shipments prior to the payment of the SUT. Furthermore, subject to certain limitations, merchant’s may be allowed to claim a credit on their SUT return for a portion or all of the taxes paid with regards to the Import Return.

D. Municipal Sales Taxes

The filing requirements for the reporting and payment of municipal sales taxes will depend on the municipality where the business carries out its operations. The municipal portion of the sales tax (1.0%) must be paid directly to the municipality using a “Monthly Sales Tax Return”. Most municipalities have an online platform where you may prepare and filed the monthly municipal sales tax return.

E. PRTD Informative Returns

The Puerto Rico Internal Revenue Code, as amended, provides for the required filing of certain informative returns depending on payments and withholdings made throughout the year.

F. Municipal License Tax (“Patente”)

Generally, the gross revenues of all businesses operating within Puerto Rico are subject to a municipal license tax. Depending on the municipality, the license tax ranges from .2% to .5% of gross revenues for non-financial businesses and may not exceed 1.5% of revenues for financial businesses.

In that sense, businesses must file a Volume of Business Declaration (“VOB”) with each municipality where they operate. The VOB is due five (5) working days after April 15th of each year. A 5% discount is available if the entire municipal license tax is paid with the timely filing of the return. Otherwise, the municipal license tax is payable in two installments, which are due on the July 15th and the January 15th following the due date for the filing of the VOB. Separate returns must be filed with the Director of Finance of each municipality in which the corporation conducts business.

If the total gross volume of business (gross income) exceeds $3,000,000, the VOB must be accompanied by financial statements, including a balance sheet, income statement, and cash-flow statement, as of the close of the fiscal year ending on the preceding calendar year, audited by a Certified Public Accountant licensed to practice in Puerto Rico. If the volume of business is less than $3,000,000, audited financial statements are not required, and the return must include a copy of the Puerto Rico income tax return filed with the PRTD which details its gross income and operating expenses, together with a statement to the effect that they are true and exact copies of what was filed with PRTD.

G. Municipal Revenue Collection Center (CRIM)

Personal Property Businesses in Puerto Rico are subject to a personal property tax on certain tangible property located within Puerto Rico. Depending on the municipality, the tax rates currently range from 5.83% to 10.33%. Personal property taxes are self-assessed by each business as of January 1st. The self-assessment is made by filing, with the CRIM, a Personal Property Tax Return (“PPTR”) which must be electronically filed with through the CRIM’s website (https://emueble.crimpr.net/). The PPTR and payment of the taxes are due on the 15th of May each year. A single return is used to pay the total tax due to all the municipalities.

An automatic extension of no more than ninety (90) days is granted for corporations by filing Form AS-I, “Request for Automatic Extension of Time to File Personal Property Tax Return”, on or before May 15. The automatic extension must be filed through CRIM’s website, https://emueble.crimpr.net/.

Taxpayers that are subject to the payment of personal property taxes are required to prepay such taxes in four equal installments that will be due on (i) August 15; (ii) November 15; (iii) February 15; and (iv) May 15 (the “Personal Property Tax Installments”). Taxpayers must compute their estimated tax obligation based on a reasonable estimate of the personal property that will be subject to tax on their personal property tax return.

H. Municipal Revenue Collection Center (CRIM) – Real Property

Local law imposes real property taxes on all real property located within Puerto Rico, unless specifically exempted by law. Real property includes the land and subsoil, plus all structures, objects, machinery or implements attached to a building on a permanent manner. Similar to personal property, real property taxes are assessed as of January 1st of each year and paid in two (2) installments due on January and July of each tax year. The real property tax rates vary by municipality and currently range from 8.03% to 12.33%.

I. Department of State Annual Reports

Every Puerto Rico corporation and every foreign corporation authorized to do business within Puerto Rico must annually file, no later than April 15, an annual report with the Puerto Rico Department of State. This report must be filed electronically in Department of State’s website and must be accompanied by an annual fee of $150.

LLC’s are not required to file the Corporate Annual Reports. In lieu of the annual reports, they are required to pay an annual fee of $150 to the Puerto Rico State Department.

A 60-day extension may be requested for complying with the filing of the Corporate Annual Reports. No extension is available for the payment of the LLC annual fee.

Payroll Filing Requirements of Companies Resulting from the Maintenance of Employees within Puerto Rico

A. Employer’s Deposit of Social Security and Medicare Taxes

Employers must electronically deposit through the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (“EFTPS”) the Social Security and Medicare tax withheld with the United States Treasury. The deposit schedule for a calendar year taxpayer is determined from the total social security taxes reported in a four-quarter “look back period,” which begins July 1 and ends June 30.

If the employer reported $50,000 or less of social security taxes during said look back period, the employer is a monthly schedule depositor and must deposit the taxes by the 15th day of the following month in which payments were made. If the employer reported more than $50,000 of social security taxes during said look back period, it becomes a semiweekly schedule depositor and must deposit the taxes on payments made on Wednesday, Thursday and/or Friday by the following Wednesday; and on payments made on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and/or Tuesday by the following Friday (i.e., within the next three (3) banking days).

If the employer’s quarterly tax liability is less than $2,500, no deposits are required, and it must pay the tax with the quarterly return on Form 941 PR. If the employer’s tax liability is $100,000 or more on any day during a deposit period,2 it must deposit the tax by the next banking day, whether it is a monthly or semiweekly schedule depositor.

B. Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return (Form 941 PR)

Employers in Puerto Rico must file quarterly returns on Form 941 PR, “Employers Quarterly Federal Tax Return,” if Social Security and Medicare taxes were withheld for the quarter, and must pay any undeposited income, Social Security, and Medicare taxes if total tax liability for the quarter was less than $2,500. The returns are due by the last day of the calendar month following the close of each calendar quarter (i.e., by April 30, July 31, October 31, and January 31) and may be filed electronically at the IRS’s website.

C. Employer’s Annual Federal Unemployment Tax Return (Form 940 PR)

Employers in Puerto Rico must file Form 940 PR, “Employer’s Annual Federal Unemployment Tax Return,” by January 31 of the year following the calendar year in which the unemployment tax was accrued, summarizing the unemployment tax accrued during the preceding calendar year.

D. Wages Withholding Statement (Form 499-R-2/W-2 PR)

The original of Form 499-R-2/W-2 PR, “Withholding Statement,” prepared for each employee from whom Social Security tax (“FICA Tax”) was withheld must be filed by the employer, with the Social Security Administration, together with Form W-3 PR, “Reconciliation Statement,” by the last day of February of the year after the calendar year for which withholding was performed through the Social Security Administration’s website, https://www.ssa.gov/bso/bsowelcome.htm.

E. Deposit Slip of Employer’s Monthly Deposit of Income Tax Withheld (Form 499R-1)

Every corporation that maintains employees in Puerto Rico must file Form 499R-1, “Employer’s Monthly Deposit of Income Tax Withheld”, accompanied with deposit of income tax withheld on wages during the preceding month with any PRTD Collector’s Office or any authorized bank. These forms should be filed through the SURI website, https://suri.hacienda.pr.gov.

F. Employer’s Quarterly Return (Forms 499R-1B and 499R-1C)

The quarterly return (Form 499R-1B, “Employer’s Quarterly Return of Income Tax Withheld”) will include information related to the taxes withheld from salaries paid during the preceding calendar quarter, and must be filed by the last day of the calendar month following the close of each calendar quarter (that is, by April 30, July 31, October 31 and January 31) including payment of any undeposited income taxes withheld from wages. Employers in Puerto Rico must electronically file their quarterly returns through the Department of Treasury’s SURI website, https://suri.hacienda.pr.gov.

Recent significant changes in local law

  • Puerto Rico Incentives Code (Act 60-2019): The Puerto Rico Incentives Code codifies various tax incentives laws into a single code, including tax incentives formerly granted under Act 20 (export services), Act 22 (relocation of individual investors), and Act 73 (manufacturing, research and development, software development and industrial operations), among others, as an economic development tool. Under the Puerto Rico Incentives Code, various sectors may benefit from tax incentives, including traditional sectors such as manufacturing, tourism and agriculture, as well as aerospace, biosciences, technology, renewable energy, entrepreneurship and export services. In addition, it defines new incentives to support emerging sectors, such as the creative, eSports and entertainment industries.
  • Puerto Rico Civil Code (Act 55-2020): The Puerto Rico Civil Code is the systemized set of rules of law that regulate our civil relations, including succession and hereditary rights, estate planning, family law, contractual relationships, obligations and torts, real property rights, among others. Puerto Rico’s Civil Code was approved in 1930 based on the Spanish Civil Code and, despite numerous intents to comprehensively amend it, no significant amendments were made until Act 55-2020. The new Civil Code becomes effective on November 28, 2020.

The information provided herein are for informational purposes only and is not intended nor it should be construed as legal, tax or financial advice.