On January 1, 2014, a series of tax reform measures took effect in Mexico that have widespread impact on the country’s maquiladora operations along the US border, which account for 85% of Mexico’s manufacturing exports.
As reported in CGMA Magazine, among the changes are:
- Tightening the definition what constitutes a “maquiladora”
- Eliminating the maquiladoras’ exemption from VAT on imported materials and replacing it with a tax credit
- Increasing the VAT in Mexico’s border states from 11% to 16%, in line with the rest of the country
After outcry from the maquiladora industry, Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto issued a decree that addressed some of these concerns, including:
- Imposing a two-year period that permits foreign owners to meet the criteria of the new definition of “maquiladora”
- Allowing maquiladoras to claim the VAT credit in the month the VAT is paid (rather than the following month)
However, in his decree, Peña Nieto also abolished income tax exemptions for maquiladoras, so their tax rate will increase from 17.5% to the standard 30% Mexican tax rate.