Puerto Rico Tax Lawyers
In Puerto Rico "taxes" are monies taken from individuals or corporations by the government, at a rate set by law.
The taxes that Puerto Rico collects pay for essential public services like roads, firefighters, police, courts, schools, and many other benefits that come with living in a modern society.
Everyone who legally resides in Puerto Rico is required to pay their taxes. If you don't pay the taxes assessed against you, you are committing a severe criminal offense, punishable by jail time and large fines.
Sources of Tax Revenue in Puerto Rico
Taxes in Puerto Rico can be derived from a large number of different sources, and in different amounts. The most common sources of tax revenue nationwide are Sales Tax, Income Tax, and Property Tax.
Sales Tax: Most states collect a tax on the sales of goods. In Puerto Rico, the sales tax is calculated as a percentage of the sale price of most (but usually not all) items. Technically, the tax is assessed against the sellers of goods. However, the vast majority of vendors pass this tax onto their customers, adding it to the marked price of a product at the point of sale.
Income Tax: Income tax is, as the name implies, a tax on income. Everyone in the U.S., including in Puerto Rico, has to pay the federal income tax. Most states also have their own income tax. You are also legally obligated to pay the income tax of your state, though the state income tax rates are considerably lower than the federal rate. The federal tax rate ranges from 10% to 33% of taxable income. Obviously, those with a higher income are taxed at a higher rate, for the most part.
Property Tax: The property tax in Puerto Rico is applied to every owner of real property (land and buildings). The state collects from every property owner a percentage of the property's value, on an annual basis. The state first calculates the value of every piece of property within its territory. It then notifies the owner of this assessment, and sometimes gives them an opportunity to contest it (obviously, people want their assessed property value to be as low as possible, so it will be subject to the lowest tax possible). Typically, the property tax is paid as a monthly payment, sometimes included in one's mortgage.
How Can A Puerto Rico Tax Lawyer Help?
If you participate in the economy of Puerto Rico, whether it's by running a business, earning a wage, or owning property, you're likely to have some tax obligations.
Tax Law in Puerto Rico can get fairly complicated. In fact, many lawyers in Puerto Rico who practice tax law specialize in that field, and don't practice any other area of law. This should give you a sense of how complicated tax issues can become. Therefore, if you have any legal issue that involves your taxes in Puerto Rico, you should consult with an experienced tax lawyer ASAP.
The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean. The islands were ceded to the United States in 1898, as an outcome of the Treaty of Paris. Although Puerto Rico is not a U.S. state, U.S. federal laws apply to Puerto Rican citizens, who were declared U.S. citizens in 1917.
Puerto Rico has a republican form of government similar to that of the U.S. with its three branches. Its capitol is located in San Juan, and is home to the Legislative Assembly. Puerto Rican law is a hybrid system of common law (similar to U.S. case law) and civil law (statutes created by legislature). Thus, lawyers in Puerto Rico must study and examine these two overlapping systems when assisting clients.
Puerto Rico's court system is composed of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico, a Court of Appeals, and the Court of First Instance. Selected fundamental rights from the U.S. Constitution apply to Puerto Rican citizens. U.S. Supreme Court cases have commented on which other specific rights apply to the territory. For example, residents of Puerto Rico generally do not have the right to vote in U.S. presidential elections
Lawyers in Puerto Rico assist clients by providing a wide range of legal services. Puerto Rico lawyers are available to assist with legal issues that can be very unique to the area. Attorneys in Puerto Rico are also available for representation in court during lawsuits and other types of legal claims.