On March 8, 2016, the President of the Republic issued Decree N° 2,266, which grants an income tax exemption to residents on net income earned in Venezuela up to an amount equivalent to 3,000 Tax Units (TU). The exemption decree was published in Official Gazette Number 40,846.
The exemption will apply to fiscal years 2015 and 2016. Therefore, net income obtained in the country by resident individuals (such as salaries, wages and similar compensation) up to 3,000 TUs (450,000 Bs. for fiscal year 2015 and 531,000 Bs. for fiscal year 2016) will not be subject to income tax. This entails a retroactive application of the exemption in respect of fiscal year 2015, since Decree N° 2,266 went into effect after the fiscal year closing.
Income exceeding 3,000 TUs and extra-territorial income will be subject to income tax. However, there might be different interpretations as to how to apply the sliding rate schedule corresponding to natural persons (Schedule N° 1) on income levels above 3,000 TUs, since Decree N° 2,266 is silent on this particular matter.
Taxpayers who were subject to income tax withholdings in excess of their 2015 tax liability will be entitled to a tax credit that can be offset against other tax liabilities or assigned to third parties.
Decree N° 2,266 provides that only taxpayers who file their income tax return by the tax filing deadline, i.e., within the first three months of each year, may benefit from the exemption.