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Taxation in El Salvador
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Taxation in El Salvador

El Salvador's taxation system is recognised as being inequitable and the amount of tax actually collected is very low, thus affecting the level of public investment. Decades of civil war and economic chaos left the country without an established tradition of fiscal management and controls. Changes in the taxation system began in 1993 when the former patrimonial tax on personal and business property, including real property, and the 5% sales tax were both abolished and replaced by a 13% sales tax. These taxes, and an ongoing income tax, are all collected by the central government.

Residents of El Salvador, whether citizens or not, are subject to progressive taxation on both domestic and foreign income ranging from 10% to 30%. Amounts received from insurance policies, interest on savings accounts, gifts, and inheritances are tax exempt. Taxes on corporate income are levied at 25% for amounts over the first $75,000, which are exempt. Dividends are not taxable. The main indirect tax is the value-added tax (VAT) introduced in September 1992 at a standard rate of 10%. In 2003, the standard rate was 13%. Excise taxes are assessed on alcoholic beverages and tobacco products. A 3% real estate transfer tax is imposed when the real estate involved has a market value above $250,000. There are no local taxes.





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