I started a Facebook Group of Act 20 / 22 members and those interested here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1193474797381907/
January 11: Submitted application online
January 19: Sent email on pre-evaluation status for application completion. Talked with staff indicating one person is in charge of prequalifying all apps.
January 21: Talked with prequalifier over phone and discovered application website was down.
January 26: Requested a manual review if the application website was still down. It was down 9:00 PM PST, January 25, but it seems to be back up now.
February 2: Called in on status update, and discovered pre-evaluation was complete. I should had received an email indicating a notarized affidavit and $750 application fees were required, but I didn’t receive that email for some reason. Mailed out via 3-Day Priority mail my notarized applications and Cashier’s checks for application fees.
February 11: Check was received by their offices and I received a detailed email describing the next steps on how my application status will proceed according to certain milestones as described below.
- FILED: Payment has been received and my application will be forwarded to the appropriate agencies.
- IN EVALUATION PROCESS: Background checks are conducted and evaluations are conducted on the provided documents. No specific time frame.
- ELIGIBLE CASE: This is the final “stamp of approval” required stage passed onto the highest departments such as the Department of Treasury and The Department of Economic Development. Time frame is listed at 20 working days. This is where I’ll need to pay the one-time fee for $5,000 for Act 22.
- APPROVED: THE DAY I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO!
February 16: Act 22 Application is now “In Evaluation Process.” Act 20 is still in “Pending Filing”
February 18: Act 20 Application is now “Filed.”
February 23: Act 20 & 22 now “In Evaluation Process.”
March 1: Act 20 & 22 “In Evaluation Process.”
March 2: I just heard through various people experienced with the process that Act 20 has been taking upwards of 6 months to complete. Since I officially “filed” February 12, that’s looking to be completed sometime in middle August which means not enough time for me to move AFTER approval, and still qualify as a bon-a-fide resident. It turns out that upon approval, the Decree is backdated to your approval date, so assuming the decree gets approved the same year, you could move in expectation of approval.
March 7: This group has been helpful. Just be wary of the people trying to “sell” you stuff. There seems to be a higher concentration here than I’m used to, but that may be because there are a lot of “Internet Marketers”: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1570113163276010/
March 9: Realizing I could’ve moved to Puerto Rico upon my file date (dumb mistake!), I’ve sought professional representation to help increase my odds of gaining approval. At least with enough certainty that I make the move earlier than I had anticipated.
Based on the Facebook group I listed, I discovered that there are three main organizations that got in from the start: BDO, PMA, & AMG. BDO is the only group that has CPAs licensed. The other groups are attorneys, so they have the advantage of having 100% attorney-client confidentiality, if that’s your thing. BDO can’t necessarily promise that, but they offer a blended rate which puts them at being cheaper overall than the attorney firms, while still offering Attorneys within BDO mixed in with CPAs.
I’m checking with my contact at BDO if he wants me to post his contact info so you can give him mad referrals! I wish I found that Facebook group at the beginning. I have no idea why I didn’t do a quick search in Facebook at the beginning. Stupid me! Oh well, you can learn from my mistake now.’
March 10: Upon some soul searching, I’m ready to make the plunge. My contact at BDO is below. The basic rationale is that there have been essentially zero cases where someone from Act 20 has been flat out denied. Even if the application doesn’t get approved until after the 2016 tax return deadline, I can still submit it as though I was approved.
Unfortunately, the Internet has not been doing Act 20 / 22 any favors with all the people trying to monetize information (only reinforcing the “scammy” feeling), and it’s taken some time for me to shake off the “feeling” of this being a scam. Seriously, a 4% tax rate seems “too good to be true!” The Facebook group helped bring an authentic and more trustworthy assurance that this is, in fact, THE REAL DEAL! Time to GET SOME!
GIOVANNI MENDEZ, ESQ.
Tax Advisory Services
Tel: 787-754-3999 Ext. 2154
Also, since I’m going to be a Puerto Rican resident, I didn’t need to also apply for Act 22 since Act 20 allows the dividends from my company to be tax free for Puerto Rican residents. Oh well. Even if I knew that before, I’m glad I did it anyway since I’ll probably be glad I did so within the next 20 years.
March 23: Confirmed that even if my application isn’t approved this year, I can still file as though it is approved. So I ended up flying in Sunday, March 13. Moved into my house in Monte Claro, Bayamon, March 21. I’ve learned a lot, and perhaps I’ll do an updated podcast soon.
April 28: APPROVED FOR ACT 22!!! I just received the letter via email this morning. Act 20 is now listed as “Eligible Case” which is defined from one of my earlier emails as:
o Act 20: it means that the draft of the decree has been sent out to the agencies for their determination or recommendation. It has a time frame of 20 working days, however the public policy of this administration is that no case will be approved without the recommendation of the Department of Treasury. Once we receive the recommendations of the agencies, we send a final draft of the decree, where a team of the DDEC will evaluate your petition, this will not change the status but we call it the Final Stage. Once they understand that the case is ready for approval they send it to the Secretary of DDEC. Once we receive it the status will change to Approved and we will contact you so that you can pick your decree or we can send it by mail.
DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY OR CPA. I HAVE NOT CONSULTED ANY PROFESSIONALS, AND THIS IS BASED OFF RESEARCH ONLINE. NO ACTUAL EXPERIENCE. FOLLOW MY ADVICE AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!
♦ 4% Corporate Tax Rate (ACT 20)
♦ 0% Tax on Dividends (ACT 22)
♦ “Source of Income” not from the US are exempt from US Federal Income Tax (https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc901.html).
“Source of Income” defined: http://www.nd.gov/spo/connectnd/1099-information/irs-def.pdf
Pay yourself market salary for Arm’s Length Transactions
STEP 1 – CREATE CORPORATION
United Corporate, $250.00
$150 for Minimum Registration Fee
Bylaws & Minutes
STEP 2 – APPLY FOR EIN
STEP 3 – APPLY FOR ACT 20 & 22
– Request Access for Company & Individual
– Go through process, hit “Save Application”
– Go Back to Main Screen
– See all documents needed to Upload
Criminal Background Check (https://oag.ca.gov/fingerprints/security) ~$50
Two Commercial Bank References
Social Security Card
Find the official list here: http://www.oeci.pr.gov/SiteCollectionDocuments/Instructions%20-%20DDEC%20Online%20Applications%20Platform.pdf
ACT 20: 6 months?
ACT 22: 2 – 3 Months?
TIME TO ACT NOW
MAP OF LOCATIONS
Dorado & Palmas Del Mar
PALMAS DEL MAR
Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
Peter Schiff moved there