This tax guide provides an overview of the indirect tax system and rules to be aware of for doing business in Uruguay.

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What is the principal indirect tax?

Value Added Tax (VAT) is the principal indirect tax in Uruguay.

VAT is levied on operations dealing with the domestic circulation of goods, the provision of services within the national territory, the introduction of goods into the country, and the value added over real estate from works by means of administration performed by those who are not Income tax on Economic Activities (IRAE) taxpayers, at a basic rate of 22%.

Goods such as the family food basket, the first sale of real estate, and certain services such as health services have a 10% minimum tax rate.

The exportation of goods is zero-rated in all cases. Additionally, exportation of services is zero-rated if the services are included in a specific list (list that can be increased by a decree of the Uruguayan executive power). Below are some examples of services which are classed as exportation:

  • international freight of goods (in transit) outside Uruguay
  • services for construction of airplanes and boats
  • services in the free port and Uruguayan free zones, only if it is necessary to render the service in these zones
  • services rendered to non-residents regarding specific sectors, (eg, TV, cinema, logistical services, etc.)
  • advisory services rendered to foreign entities, involving activities developed, goods situated or rights used outside Uruguay, when the services are used economically outside Uruguay
  • advertising services rendered by advertising agencies to foreign clients, if the material is used exclusively abroad.

If the service is not included in the list, the service will be taxed at a rate of 22%.

VAT credit for exportation can be recovered.

If the goods a corporation sells or the services rendered are VAT exempt, the corporation has nothing to deduct from and the VAT paid on its purchases of goods or services will become part of cost. In the case of exports, which are zero-rated the VAT credit is still available against other taxes.

Is there a registration limit for the tax?


Does the same registration limit apply to non-established businesses?

Not applicable, there is no registration limit.

Is there any specific legislation to tax non-resident supplies of electronically supplied/digital services to private consumers resident in your country?


Does a non-established business need to appoint a fiscal representative in order to register?

Regarding VAT, there is no obligation to appoint a fiscal representative. In almost all cases, a withholding agent is appointed.

How often do returns have to be submitted?

The tax is calculated and paid either monthly or annually, depending on the taxpayer’s volume of business. In the case of annual calculation, payments are to be made on account, based on transactions for the month.

Sworn tax returns are to be submitted monthly or annually, depending on whether the tax is calculated monthly or annually, with accumulated data for the year underway and, at year-end, the outstanding balance is calculated and paid (or a tax credit is carried over to the following year).

Are penalties imposed for the late submission of returns/ payment of tax?

Yes. In case of late submission of the tax return a penalty (not significant) is imposed. In case of late payment, a penalty of 5%, 10% or 20% is imposed over the tax not paid (depending how long), and then surcharges are also imposed. Surcharges are generated every day.

Are any other declarations required?

In some special cases, some declarations need to be issued.

Are penalties imposed in other circumstances?

In some cases, if the VAT is not paid with the intention to avoid and hide the taxable event before the tax authority, our law states the existence of tax fraud as a monetary penalty and as a penal crime (defraudación tributaria).

If a company incurs in formal deficiencies regarding formal requirements only if is possible to understand that the company has the intention to commit tax fraud, our law states a judicial procedure in order to close the company for a certain period of time (six working days or more, depending the case).

Please note that according to our law, in some cases (not all of them) the penalty of ‘contravención’ could be applicable over each document which may contain a formal deficiency with a limitation of 1,000 penalties.

Can the VAT incurred by overseas businesses be claimed if they are not registered in Uruguay?

A VAT invoice must show:

  • an invoice number which is unique and sequential
  • the seller’s name and address
  • the seller’s tax registration number
  • the invoice date
  • the customer’s name and address, and sometimes the identification number in the case of individuals
  • a description sufficient to identify the goods or services supplied to the customer
  • the rate of any cash discount
  • the total amount of VAT charged.

Additionally the details of the print house shall be included in the invoice, as well as a QR code.


What information must a VAT invoice show?

Required details to be shown on the VAT invoice are:

  • invoice number which is unique and sequential
  • invoice date
  • seller's and customer's full or short names
  • seller's and customer's tax registration numbers
  • a description sufficient to identify the goods or services supplied to the customer, their quantity and volume
  • supply price exclusive of VAT
  • rate of VAT and amount of VAT in numeric value
  • total amount, including VAT
  • code according to Ukrainian classification of goods and services.

All VAT invoices and adjustments to VAT invoices should be digitally compiled and registered in the Unified Register of VAT Invoices.

Are there any current or anticipated Standard Audit File for Tax (SAF-T) or similar electronic/digital filing requirements eg invoice listing data file/real-time VAT reporting?


Contact us

For further information on indirect tax in Uruguay please contact:

Nicolas Juan 120 120.png

Nicolás Juan
T +598 2908 33 86


Carlos Estape
T 598 94 292 939

International indirect tax guide
International indirect tax guide
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