File photo of the Salvadoran president Nayib Bukele (REUTERS)
Lawmakers from El Salvador’s ruling party have approved a bill to eliminate taxes on companies that develop artificial intelligence (AI) and other computer programming jobs for 15 years, in a bid to make the country a more attractive tech destination.
The initiative had been presented on March 30 by María Hayem, Salvadoran Minister of Economy, after an announcement by Nayib Bukele to try to “contribute to economic growth and sustainable development.” It was approved in Congress with 69 votes out of 84 deputies, mainly from the ruling party Nuevas Ideas (NI).
The Law for the Promotion of Innovation and Technological Manufacturing stipulates the exemption from Income Tax and “all kinds of withholdings” of this tax.
The regulation authorizes the “total exemption from municipal taxes on the net assets declared by the beneficiaries” and from the payment of the Capital Gain. It also includes exemption from customs duties on the importation of goods, raw materials, machinery, equipment and tools for “the development of the incentivized activities”.
The activities that the new regulation encourages are programming and software development, artificial intelligence, massive data analysis, cybersecurity solutions, manufacturing-based technologies in manufacturing for hardware equipment, among others.
The legislation also enables the signing of “bilateral agreements with advanced nations on innovation and technological manufacturing.”
El Salvador, which in September 2021 became the first country in the world to use bitcoin as legal tender, also approved a law in January to regulate emissions in digital assets.
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