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  • Graham Byers

The Top 10 Most Common Questions Asked About Living in Puerto Rico

Updated: Feb 18



When I first decided to move to Puerto Rico in 2019, I was taking a massive risk. I hadn’t ever

visited the island, and my business was already doing well in Las Vegas. However, my business

partner was determined to take a leap of faith and, being young and open to new experiences, I

decided to pack up my life in Las Vegas, head to a place I knew very little about, and join him.

Our incentive for moving was the massive tax benefits that Puerto Rico offers. And, as an

entrepreneur and the owner of my own company, they were really difficult to turn down. Fast

forward two years, and I couldn’t be happier.


Not only am I saving an immense amount of money in taxes, but I’m also living the life of my dreams. Because I’ve personally experienced how great living in Puerto Rico is and how much money you can save by living here, I’ve become really passionate about spreading my knowledge with others looking to make the same move. In order to provide you with a good understanding of why so many people are locating to Puerto Rico, I’m going to answer some of the most frequent questions I get asked. Hopefully, by answering these, you’ll have an even better understanding of why relocating to Puerto Rico may be the best move you’ll ever make.


1. What Are The Tax Benefits That Puerto Rico Offers?

In 2012, Puerto Rico created two tax laws: Act 20, the Export Services Act, and Act 22, the

Individual Investors Act. When I first moved to the island, this is what they were both called.

However, today, it’s called “Act 60”, and is essentially the same thing. The goal of these acts

was and is to attract entrepreneurs to the island with tax incentives for establishing businesses

in Puerto Rico. This is why I always recommend checking out Puerto Rico if you’re an

entrepreneur or you do own your own business. There is a ton of information in Act 60 that you

should fully read before you do decide to make the move to Puerto Rico. However, to sum it up

as easily as possible: it’s all about tax savings and reduces taxes to 4% for Puerto Rican

companies that export services performed in the territory to people or companies outside of the

territory. This makes it ideal for online entrepreneurs. Additionally, capital gains tax is 0%. Keep

in mind that if you are going to move to receive these benefits, you need to establish your

business on the island.


2. What Do I Do for Work if I Move?

As I mentioned above, the tax incentives that Puerto Rico offers is really geared towards helping

entrepreneurs. That being said, I’m sure there are jobs you can get in Puerto Rico if you just

want a change of scenery. However, you may not benefit from the tax incentives if you do just

try to get a normal job on the island. I always tell people to keep this in mind before they decide

to move.


3. Is Puerto Rico Safe?

Just like any place you’d live, there’s a certain amount of crime in Puerto Rico. That being said,

it’s considered a very safe place and is actually one of the safest islands of the Caribbean and

has a lower crime rate than most U.S. cities.


4. What are the best areas to live in?

When I was first moving to Puerto Rico, I wanted to be in an area where I knew there would be

English speakers. My business partner and I settled on San Juan, which is a popular area for

English speakers. There’s plenty to do, there are amazingly beautiful beaches, and tons of

English-speaking people and other Americans who have moved to the island. The other popular

area that most people will relocate is Dorado. Dorado tends to be a bit more suburban and can

be more costly, but it also has tons of English speakers.


5. What if I don’t speak Spanish?

That’s totally okay. I don’t speak Spanish and I’ve had no problems in the two years that I’ve

lived in Puerto Rico. Thanks to the island’s amazing tax incentives, more and more English

speakers are moving to the island and settling in the areas I mentioned above: San Juan and

Dorado. If you don’t speak Spanish, you’ll still be able to easily get around and meet people.


6. Is it better to rent or buy?

This is totally dependent on you. Since I’ve been living in Puerto Rico, I’ve been renting.

However, I often meet other entrepreneurs who have bought homes or condos in Puerto Rico,

because it gives them an added layer of security.


7. How long do you have to stay in Puerto Rico at a time in order to receive tax breaks?

This is a super popular question that I often get asked. In order to receive the tax breaks that

Act 60 offers, you must first be a Puerto Rican resident. After that, you must be present in

Puerto Rico for a minimum of 183 days in the tax year. You must also spend at least 549 days in

Puerto Rico during the 3-year period of the current tax year and the two preceding years,

including at least 60 days in Puerto Rico during each tax year ( 7thheavenproperties.com ).


8. Is Puerto Rico Part of the United States?

Yes! Many people forget that Puerto Rico is part of the United States. However, it’s classified as

a “US commonwealth”, not a state. That being said, Puerto Ricans have U.S. passports, the

same president, and the freedom to move throughout the United States just like any other

American citizen.


9. Do I Pay Federal Taxes In Puerto Rico?

Although Puerto Rico is part of the United States, the island is in some ways independent. Its

tax system is evidence of this: it’s a hybrid that’s basically part U.S., part offshore in a sense.

Local Puerto Rican’s pay taxes to Puerto Rico, however, instead of the United States federal

government.


10. What’s Your Favorite Part About Living in Puerto Rico?

I absolutely love everything about living to Puerto Rico and am so happy I moved. Not only is

the country beautiful, the weather is amazing, the people are friendly, the food is great, and

saving money is always fantastic. My friends who are living in other parts of the country

constantly call me and ask me about my life on the island because it truly is unbeatable.



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