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Act 14-2017 – Act for the Retention and Return of Medical Professionals

On February 21, 2017, Act 14-2017, known as the Act for the Retention and Return of Medical Professionals, was enacted to promote that health professionals establish or retain their practices in Puerto Rico and increase the number of medical specialists on the island.

Eligibility

Qualified Doctors are individuals admitted to practice medicine, podiatry or any specialty of odontology and practice their profession on a full-time basis. A Qualified Doctor will be deemed to practice their profession full-time if they dedicate at least 100 hours monthly to offer medical services in a private or public hospital, any state or federal agency, in a private office or any duly credited school of medicine. Medical professionals that are doing their residency through an accredited program will also be eligible to benefit from the Act.

Incentives

  • 4% fixed income tax rate on the net taxable income derived from medical services provided in Puerto Rico.
  • 100% exemption on the first $250,000 in dividends from a professional services corporation or a limited liability company that offers medical diagnostic and treatment services in Puerto Rico, be it a domestic or foreign entity.
  • Qualified Doctors may make voluntary after-tax contributions up to 25% of their net income to an individual retirement plan (Keogh) or up to 25% of their salary in the case of corporate retirement plans.

Exemption Period

All Tax Decrees will be granted for a 15-year period. Said period may be extended by an additional 15 years, if the grantee fully complies with its provisions.

Requirements

The Qualified Doctor must:

  • Maintain his status as a Qualified Doctor during the exemption period, including the extension, if applicable;
  • Practice medicine, podiatry, odontology or be a dental surgeon full-time;
  • Be a resident of Puerto Rico. If the applicant is not a resident, the Tax Decree may still be granted, but the Qualified Doctor must transfer his practice to Puerto Rico and become a resident within a 120-days;
  • Fully comply with his tax responsibilities throughout the exemption period;
  • Provide the required community service hours; and,
  • Comply with any other requirement set on the Tax Decree.

Community Service

All Qualified Doctors that are granted a Tax Decree must provide at least 180 hours annually of community services, or their equivalent, without compensation. Eligible community services include, but are not limited to: (i) assist in the education of students, residents and other professionals in hospitals and schools of medicine; (ii) offer medical services in regions determined to be in dire need of specialized medical services by the Puerto Rico Department of Health and the Puerto Rico Doctor Society; (iii) provide guard services in hospitals selected by the Puerto Rico Department of Health and the Puerto Rico Doctor Society; (iv) offer seminars on prevention and other health topics to communities or for the education or continued education of students and medical professionals in Puerto Rico; and (v) offer medical services to underprivileged communities through those non-profit organizations selected by the Puerto Rico Department of Health and the Puerto Rico Doctor Society.

Alternatively, a Qualified Doctor may comply with the community services requirement by offering medical services under a service contract with the Health Plan of the Government of Puerto Rico (known in Spanish as “Mi Salud”). Under this option, the Qualified Doctor may be remunerated for his services. In addition, the Qualified Doctor may offer his or her services as an employee or independent contractor of the individual or entity that has contracted with “Mi Salud”.