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Prepared food sales tax cut takes effect in Puerto Rico

By on October 1, 2019

Treasury Secretary Francisco Parés (Courtesy)

Treasury: 6,113 establishments meet
requisite to charge reduced 7% rate

SAN JUAN — Puerto Rico Treasury Secretary Francisco Parés announced that 6,113 establishments on the island met the requirements to now charge the newly lowered 7% sales and use tax (IVU by its Spanish acronym) that took effect Tuesday instead of the 11.5% charged before.

Businesses that complied “with the four requirements that were established, will be charging as of today an IVU of 7% on prepared foods, carbonated drinks, confectionery products and sweets. The total number of participating establishments will be increasing daily, as the merchants complete the information we have informed them of through their SURI (Unified Internal Revenue System) account,” the official said.

Consumers can access SURI ( to see the list of businesses authorized to charge 7% and confirm if the restaurant they are visiting can charge the reduced tax. When accessing SURI, click on the link of Authorized Businesses to charge 7% on prepared foods and look for an establishment by municipality or using the name for a quick search.

Treasury recommends checking a purchase receipt before paying a business to confirm the 7% IVU. SURI has a “Confidencias” tool, which is an automated system for receiving and handling complaints related to tax violations. Investigations for the imposition of fines or penalties to those who fail to comply with the law are begun through this confidential system. In addition, referrals may be initiated for relevant investigations and audits by other areas of the Department of the Treasury.

Business owners “who did not receive their authorized business certificate automatically on September 24 must get up to date addressing the deficiency informed in the Department’s notifications, to then request it through SURI,” Treasury said.

It added that businesses “that sell prepared food and have debts with the Department can opt for an automatic payment plan, such as Taxpayer Rehabilitation, also through SURI. That payment plan request will be evaluated and processed quickly once the taxpayer completes and submits it.”

However, establishments that are “not qualified under the indicated NAICS [North American Industry Classification System] codes, should update, while those who need a tax terminal, may consult with any of the 13 processors certified by the Treasury, included in Administrative Determination 19-03,” the agency said.

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