New tax bill will impact doing business in Puerto Rico, experts say

By Paula Machado, Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, December 21, 2017, 6:09 PM EST

The new tax bill legislation could potentially impact companies wanting to do business in Puerto Rico.

  • New tax bill poised to impact business in Puerto Rico
  • Puerto Rico governor says bill will hurt island
  • Lawmakers say there will be opportunties to revise tax code

"Puerto Rico will receive the same tax treatment as other offshore locations as far as business taxes are concerned,” said Sean Snaith, Director of Institute for Economic Competitiveness at UCF.

Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the United States; it's treated as part of the mainland in most realms except taxes.

Under the new bill, businesses could be looking at paying a 12.5 percent intangible tax. This would apply for business who have patents or licenses being worked on in Puerto Rico.

"We don't know exactly all the items and all the businesses that will actually get affected by it,” said Sonia Narvaez of CPA of Orlando Accounting.

The new tax code didn’t sit well with Puerto Rico’s Governor Ricardo Roselló, who said this tax bill would ultimately hurt the island's economy and steer businesses away at such crucial time.

Snaith said Puerto Rico has even bigger problems to deal with.

"I think the tax issue is not as much of a concern as infrastructure and the electrical grid, and the overall fiscal crisis,” he said. “I mean, it certainly doesn't make things better, but I'm not sure if it will necessarily make things much worse.”

Some lawmakers said there will be opportunities in the near future to make changes to the tax code.