Worldwide: Tax Reform Changes And Challenges Across The Americas

Last Updated: January 21 2019
Article by Stacey Palker

Many tax reform regulations, laws and bills came into effect in 2018 in countries all across the Americas region, with even more changes coming in 2019.

The tax environment is dynamic and challenging with new laws that can make compliance quite the headache for businesses around the world. Staying on top of the amends to tax laws in the region can give your company an advantage.


Brazil already has a complex tax environment with many regulatory changes but now Brazil's new president, Jair Bolsonaro, has a bold tax plan that is not concrete yet. There are possibilities of a unification of individual income tax rates at 20%. The tax plan could include income tax exemptions as well as changes to the VAT. There are many questions surrounding the possible new tax reform and businesses must remain vigilant to understand the implications it could have.

United States

The US had the biggest overhaul of its tax system in decades and businesses are still feeling the effects. Corporate tax rates have been lowered from 35% to 21% and simplified, in regard to a removal of some of the historic deductions that corporations used to apply. A territorial tax system was introduced, that will allow companies to avoid additional US taxes on future foreign source earnings. With incentives like reduced tax rates, US companies are able to sell more goods and services abroad with higher earnings. Personal income tax has changed as well. While there are still seven income tax brackets, the ranges and rates have been adjusted. With these changes, there are great benefits for businesses operating in the US but also challenges that must be understood.


Colombia ranked 6th out of 94 countries as surveyed in TMF Group's annual Financial Complexity Index 2018, making it one of the most complex countries in the world when it comes to tax regulations and compliance. The latest reforms hope to fix some of the complexities. Tax Law (Law 1943/2018) will have a progressive reduction of the presumptive income tax during the next two years. There will also be a reduction of the corporate income tax rate to 30% in 2022. For natural individuals, the ranges of withholding tax and income tax have been modified from 0% to 39% with only three factors (instead of five) assessed, dividends, pensions and general. The VAT rate remains same at 19% but the list of goods and excluded services has been changed. Colombia has also added electronic invoicing with obligations starting now for higher taxpayers and will gradually become a requirement for all taxpayers by the end of 2019.


Chile is in the process of approving a new tax reform bill that aims to modernize and simplify the current system of corporate taxation by returning to a single and integrated system, in which the owners reduce their corporate taxes paid from their personal taxes. This initiative also contains pro-growth measures, with incentives for the acquisition of fixed assets, changes in the VAT Law and also increased tax collection with the implementation of taxes on digital services.


The new Mexican government has already proposed that there will be no significant changes in tax rates of federal taxes and no new taxes generated in 2019, however, a fiscal stimulus has been published for the northern border cities of Mexico. This includes a reduction of the VAT rate from 16% to 8% and a corporate income tax rate for all income obtained in the northern region. It aims to stimulate and increase investment in the area, as well as contribute to the creation of new jobs. There are proposals for tax simplification to encourage the payment of taxes throughout the country. The new government maintains its position to fight corruption at all levels of government, mainly focusing on auditing high-level politicians and businessmen.


The tax laws changes in Curaçao were enacted on 1 January 2019 and will mostly affect special regime entities that were operating internationally. These changes were mostly driven by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recommendations for tax compliance on a global scale. E-zone and royalties companies will be affected by the tax changes, but especially Curaçao tax exempt companies that will have to show real economic activity, or substance, on the island going forward. There are other new requirements, such as country-by–country reporting and ultimate beneficial owner disclosures that must be part of filing taxes in Curaçao.

Dominican Republic

A new, more efficient tax system has been enacted in the Dominican Republic. There are requirements that companies must submit monthly in the VAT declaration as well as adjusting the format of invoices to help mitigate deduction fraud. The Dominican Republic will also be implementing electronic invoicing starting in 2019 to help alleviate concerns surrounding tax avoidance and evasion.

Costa Rica

In an effort to increase public finances, Costa Rica will put their tax reform law into effect in July 2019. There will be many changes including moving from a general sales tax to a Value Added Tax, a new income tax law that includes capital revenues, changes to public administration salaries and the enactment of fiscal responsibility laws to limit government expenditures as a way to increase economic growth.

TMF Group

With tax reform and laws changing all over the Americas region, it can be a challenge to make sure that your business is compliant in all jurisdictions. That's where a local partner comes in. A knowledgeable expert located in a specific country will not only know the laws but be able to provide all the tax and accounting services needed for your business, leaving you time to focus on your day-to day operations. Talk to us.

Learn how to successfully navigate foreign rules and regulations.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Events from this Firm
3 Oct 2019, Webinar, Rotterdam, Netherlands

To view this Webinar in full click here

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A.
In association with
Practice Guides
by Mondaq Advice Centers
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A.
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions