El Salvador – native gross sales to free zones in VAT issues

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Africa tax in brief - Lexology

Legislative Decree 791 of December 10, 2020, published in Official Gazette No. 20 Volume 430 of January 28, 2021, reformed the first paragraph of Article 25 of the Industrial and Commercial Zones Act, which stipulates that zero is applicable Percent (0%) VAT rate for domain transfers of movable property and for the provision of services that are necessary for the approved activity carried out by natural or legal persons in the national customs territory (VAT payer) to users of free zones or payments for inward processing (DPA ) the most important changes are:

  • Considers it necessary for the incentive activity:

a) Acquisition of goods and services that meet the deductibility requirements set out in Article 65 of the VAT Code:

1. Acquiring movable property for the attainable asset.

2. Acquisition of movable items that are intended for property, plant and equipment if they retain their individuality and are not included in a property.

3. Payments for the use of services in the course of business operations, unless they are intended for construction or real estate building, renovation or modification, wholly or partially owned by real estate or not by the taxpayer, regardless of whether such services are against a lump sum, construction management or other modality can be concluded.

The above in paragraphs 2 and 3 applies without prejudice to paragraph (b) below.

4. General costs that are intended exclusively for the purpose of realizing the object, the industry or the activity of the taxpayer, such as B. Freight or transport, electricity, telephone or water.

The transactions mentioned in the above paragraphs must be indispensable for the object, the business area or the activity of the purchaser and for the generation of transactions that are taxed at a tax rate of zero percent.

In the case of movable property, it is also necessary that the purchase of these goods is duly recorded in the inventory control register in accordance with Articles 142 and 142-A of the Tax Code, with reference to the relevant legal document and under the requirements set out in these articles.

b) Acquisition of materials for the construction, improvement, remodeling or modification of buildings belonging to the beneficiaries of the Law on Industrial and Commercial Zones, or the acquisition of services for the same purpose.

  • In addition to free zone users and data protection authorities, buyers must also benefit from the Industrial and Marketing Free Zones Act, including developers.

It is clarified that in order to apply this rate for the benefit of the buyer and thus the tax credits associated with these transactions in favor of the suppliers of goods and services can be deducted, credited or reinstated, the requirements set out in the Value Added Tax Act, the Tax Code and other applicable tax regulations be respected.

Article 25 paragraph 1 remained unchanged as soon as it provides that food and beverages, with the exception of packaged water, products containing tobacco, alcoholic beverages, leases, household furniture and equipment, luxury or luxury goods, vehicles for the transport of persons individually or collectively and goods, Hotel services are not considered necessary for the authorized activity; unless the beneficiary activity requires such goods or services for manufacture, assembly or the maquila, manufacture, processing or marketing. In this case, this must be communicated to the Ministry of Economic Affairs upon request of the required operating license and the Ministry of Economic Affairs must be entered in the corresponding agreement issued to the user or the data protection authority.

The reform went into effect on February 6, 2021 when it was finalized 8 days after its publication in the Official Journal.