On October 16, 2014, Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro García Padilla signed Law No. 174, a new incentive plan for employers to become current and eliminate any arrears of any outstanding debt owed to the Puerto Rico State Insurance Fund Corporation ("SIFC") that oversees workers' compensation funds. Law No. 174 grants a 20% discount of the SIFC debt as long as the employer pays the debt within 180 days from the date of the publication of the guidelines.
With its enactment, Law No. 174 amends Article 2 of Law No. 15 of January 3 of 2014. Law No. 15 provides incentives, such as the elimination of interests, surcharges and administrative expenses of past due amounts owed to SIFC, the Unemployment Insurance Fund, the Chauffeurs Insurance Fund and the Non-Occupational Disability Insurance, as well as the creation of interest-free payment plans, among others.
Law 174 further instructs the SIFC to adopt and publish the necessary regulations and guidance for implementing the incentive plan within 30 days of the law's enactment. From the date the guidelines are published by the SIFC, employers will be required to pay their debt before the end of the 180-day window.
Employers that need to ascertain the full amount of their debt with the various governmental agencies or establish a payment strategy should seek legal counsel.
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