Puerto Rico: Hurricane Maria's Aftermath, Part II: Puerto Rico Government Provides Various Exemptions And Extensions To Multiple Upcoming Deadlines

In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria's catastrophic impact on Puerto Rico, in order to assist in rebuilding and recovery, Puerto Rico's governor and several agencies have issued multiple exemptions to previously established rules for operations, as well as extensions to multiple deadlines.1 Highlighted below are some of these exemptions and extensions. Given the scope of the damage caused by María, it is likely that additional exemptions and extensions will be approved in the coming weeks and months.

Office of the Governor

Executive Order 2017-053 (OE-2017-053), issued on September 28, 2017

This executive order:

  • Temporarily exempts contractors of any agency or public corporation, and any entity of the executive branch, from complying with multiple requirements for performing government contract work.
  • Temporarily exempts government agencies, instrumentalities, public corporations and Puerto Rico executive branch entities, from complying with various requirements for leasing real estate from private parties, as long as contracts expire on or before June 30, 2018.
  • Exempts individuals or companies engaged in the business of construction (including remodeling, modifying, altering, installing or performing essential repairs to residential structures, as well as those who, directly or indirectly, administer or direct such work) from having to register with the Contractors' Register mandated by Puerto Rico's Consumer Affairs Department ("DACO" for its Spanish acronym) in its Regulation No. 8172.
  • Exempts individuals who possess a Puerto Rico driver's license in categories 6, 7, 8 or 9, from having to obtain a certification to transport fuel (such as gasoline, diesel and other petroleum-based products) through Puerto Rico's roads, provided they obtain a special dispensation from the U.S. Transportation Department.
  • Authorizes the entry of any fuel transportation vehicles into any fuel distribution center.
  • Orders the Puerto Rico Treasury to exempt fuel transportation vehicles from tax payments, subject to certain requirements. In addition, this executive order directs the PR Treasury and the Ports Authority to ensure expeditious entry of these vehicles into ports, and orders the Public Service Commission and the Environmental Quality Board to suspend certain permit requirements for fuel and generator transportation vehicles.

Department for Consumer Affairs ("DACO" for its Spanish Acronym)

Administrative Order 2017-014, issued on October 3, 2017

This administrative order:

  • Extends until December 31, 2017 the validity of all DACO-issued licenses, permits and certifications that expired on or after September 18, 2017.
  • Extends until December 31, 2017 the validity of DACO-issued seals of approval to any machine used for measurement and weights requiring verification that expired on or after September 18, 2017.
  • Exempts for 90 days diesel and gasoline suppliers (dispensers) that are available and in suitable condition to be used from obtaining the required DACO-issued seal of approval.

Planning Board and Permits Office

Administrative Order 2017-07 (OGPe 2017-07), issued on October 6, 2017

This administrative order exempts all recovery efforts and essential activities from ordinary construction permits and tax payment processes for 120 days from the date of the issuance of the order. Under this administrative order:

  • Entities seeking to rebuild or repair Puerto Rico's infrastructure and improve basic needs are exempted from having to obtain and file certain construction and urbanization permits. Parties wishing to benefit from this administrative order must file a request for environmental compliance describing the construction to be performed related to infrastructure reconstruction and repair.
  • All requests for construction permits are exempt from the payment of permit filing fees and taxes.
  • All work to be performed must have the corresponding construction plan certified by a licensed engineer or architect, and must comply with additional requirements.
  • The order applies to applications related to government, commercial, industrial and institutional activities, industries and institutions that engage in providing basic needs, such as fuel, food (including food preparation), potable water and ice, transportation, medicines, medical and hospital services, telecommunications, production and sale of construction materials, and other related services, in connection with basic needs supply and attendance to the state of emergency.

Municipal Revenue Collection Center ("CRIM" for its Spanish Acronym):

Administrative Order No. 2017-002

This administrative order delays until December 31, 2017 the payment of interest, surcharges and penalties for real property tax payments due from September through December 31, 2017. This moratorium applies to the real property tax payment corresponding to the first quarter of fiscal year 2017-2018. Payments that were already in default at the time of the emergency will not accrue interest for the period from September 21 to December 31, 2017. In addition, this moratorium applies to payments that are being made based on previous amnesty programs and payment plans. For payment plans, the months included in this moratorium will be added to the end the payment plan period.

Puerto Rico Treasury

Internal Revenue Informative Bulletin No. 17-21 ("IB 17-21"), issued on September 27, 2017

This bulletin extends multiple tax-related due dates as a result of Hurricane María. For taxpayers that are not considered "large taxpayers"2:

  • Returns or declarations, including extensions with corresponding payments, due from September 19, 2017 to October 20, 2017, are postponed for an additional 20 calendar days.
  • Payments or tax deposits due between September 19, 2017 and October 20, 2017 are postponed for an additional 20 calendar days.
  • Returns, payments or declarations for which the original due dates were postponed by Internal Revenue Circular Letter No. 17-13 ("CL 17-13"), Internal Revenue Informative Bulletin No. 17-17 ("IB 17-17") or Internal Revenue Informative Bulletin 17-18 ("IB 17-18"), are automatically postponed for an additional 20 calendar days.
  • Notwithstanding, any businesses that wish to file the Declaration of Imports (Form AS 2970.1), the Tax on Imports Monthly Return (AS 2915.1D), the Sales and Use Tax Monthly Return (Form AS 2915.1), or pay the sales and use tax ("SUT") within their corresponding deadlines can do so through SURI at https://suri.hacienda.pr.gov.

With respect to large taxpayers, the 20-calendar-day extension discussed above will be applicable to all returns, statements and payments, except:

  • Any transaction that is made through SURI in connection with the SUT due during the months of September and October 2017, including but not limited to the filing and payment of (i) the Tax and Imports Monthly Return (Form AS 2015.1D (SC 2915 D)); (ii) the Sales and Use Monthly Return (Form AS 2915.1) (SC 2915); and (iii) the SUT bi-monthly installments. Such transactions are extended for an additional seven calendar days from the extension already provided in CL 17-13, IB17-17 and IB 17-18.
  • Excise Tax payments over the acquisition of certain services and personal property acquired pursuant to PR Code Section 3070.01 corresponding to the months of August and September, 2017, are postponed until October 6, 2017 and October 20, 2017, respectively.

PR Treasury Requests for Information

Any request for information by the PR Treasury, including but not limited to requests for information for regular audits and audits by mail under Internal Revenue Circular Letter 17-12, has been postponed for 30 calendar days following the due date of the request. This postponement does not apply to taxpayers who received a request for information through a form SC 6048 (Request for Information of Tax Credits Reported on Form 480.71), which already is subject to a two-week extension of the time to submit the requested documents due to the issuance of IB 17-21 on September 27, 2017.

For audits through the mail, the 30-calendar-day extension is in addition to the 5-calendar-day extension provided in Internal Revenue Bulletin No. 17-16.

This 30-calendar-day extension applies only to responses to requests due during the months of September and October 2017.

Tax Rehabilitation Plan

The PR Treasury will not impose fines, interest or penalties for any default by the taxpayer with respect to a Payment Plan Agreement under the Tax Rehabilitation Plan during the period of September 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017. This applies to payment plans with the PR Treasury in effect as of September 1, 2017.

Internal Revenue Licenses

Taxpayers with licenses renewal fees due during the month of September or October 2017, will not have to renew them during this period. Licenses will remain in effect provisionally for an additional two months from the date the license fees were due.

IB 17-21 also provides that any other document or requirement made with the PR Treasury that was not specifically provided in IB17-21, will have an additional 30-calendar-day extension.

Administrative Determination No. 17-28 issued on October 3, 2017

This administrative determination extends the due dates for the filing of administrative complaints or appeals under the Puerto Rico Uniform Administrative Procedure Act, and any information or documentation requested, which was due between September 5 and September 26, 2017 until October 26, 2017.

Internal Revenue Administrative Bulletin No. 17-24 issued on October 15, 2017

This administrative bulletin suspends tax liens against employees to satisfy any outstanding tax liability. Therefore, employers should cease making withholdings on wages, including those made as a result of a payment plan made by the employee with the PR Treasury.

U.S. Internal Revenue Service:

News Release PR 2017-02, issued on September 22, 2017

This document extends until January 31, 2018 certain filings, including Form 5500 and quarterly payroll returns otherwise due on or after September 17, 2017 and before January 31, 2018. There will be no penalties on deposits due on or after September 17, 2017, and before October 2, 2017, as long as the tax deposits are made by October 2, 2017.

Footnotes

1 For more information on hurricane-related assistance, see Mariela Rexach, Elizabeth Perez-Lleras, María E. Echenique-Arana, Vanessa Marzán, and Sashmarie Rivera, Hurricane Maria's Aftermath: Highlights of Available Government Assistance for Puerto Rico Residents, Littler Insight (Oct. 12, 2017).

2 Section 1010.01(a)(35) of the Puerto Rico Internal Revenue Code of 2011, as amended (the "PR Code") defines "Large Taxpayers" as those taxpayers who are engaged in trade or business in PR that satisfies at least one of the following requisites: (i) is a commercial bank or trust company; (ii) a private bank; (ii) a brokerage firm; (iv) an entity engaged in the telecommunications business; (v) an insurance company; or (vi) an entity whose volume of business was 50 million dollars or more, for the previous tax year.

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 Mondaq.com.

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

Authors
 
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must 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

Mondaq.com (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 www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com 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.

Disclaimer

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.

General

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