SAT Clarifies Mexican Income Taxes for Foreigners

Sept. 16, 2017 Update

Taxes and death are the two things most people want to avoid, but here at Yucalandia we suffer from a peculiar malady of grimacing and facing-off with distasteful-but-necessary issues.  We recently addressed Death** ,  so, now it’s time for taxes.

~ As with all legal issues, it’s BEST to talk with a talented expert about the details of how to comply with Mexican law, and the information offered on Yucalandia is solely for educational & informational purposes.  This is especially true for taxes, because the Mexican ISR is particularly dense, yet the ISR incudes some surprising exemptions & exceptions.

Still, it’s also really helpful to get a sense of the basic principles of our responsibilities, to know when to go see that good tax attorney &/or accountant. That’s the purpose of this short article.   In April, 2017, SAT put up a helpful website, in English, describing foreigner’s specific tax responsibilities,  and that website is the basis for this article:


~  Note that if you are a resident of either Canada or the USA, Mexico has tax treaties with each, and those tax treaties provisions take precedent over Hacienda~SAT’s ISR rules.

For USA-nians, Yucalandia offers detailed analyses of our responsibilities both in the USA & Mexico under the 1993 USA Mexico Tax Convention at:

IRS Tax Issues for Americans Living and Working Abroad in Mexico – Master Article


Tax legislation considers residents in Mexico the following persons:

  • ​To individuals, nationals and foreigners, who have their residence address in Mexico. When they also have a living place in another country they are considered to be resident in Mexico, if they are in the following cases:

 – When more than 50% of their annual income is obtained in Mexico.

– When the center of its professional activities is located in national territory.

  • Individuals who are State officials or Mexican national workers, even if the headquarters of their business is abroad. 
  • ​Legal entities (companies, associations and civil societies, among others) that have established in Mexico their business headquarters or main offices.

Individuals of Mexican nationality are considered residents of Mexico, unless they prove they have a residence status in another country. 

Individuals who according to the foregoing are Mexico´s resident, regardless of being a foreign nationality, are taxed as any national individual resident in Mexico. to know how you should be taxed, you may consult the main tax regimes, if you fall in this category. 

Individuals who are residents of Mexico will be taxed according to their activity or corporate purpose in any of the following regimes: “


Mexican Taxes on Foreigner’s Real Estate Income
KISS … Keeping it simple:   Foreigners who own real estate & rent it out owe 25% taxes (“without deduction”) on the rental income:

Income tax calculation  
Tax is paid by applying the rate of 25% on the income obtained, without deduction.

Payment mode 
People who make payments, calculate the tax and make the withholding and whole or payment corresponding to the Tax Administration Service (SAT). 

When the individual who makes payments is resident abroad, taxpayer who obtains the income must calculate and pay the tax by means of a declaration, which he presents either by Internet or bank teller, within 15 days after obtaining the income. 

Obligation to issue an electronic invoice for the income or revenue collected 

Tenants must issue electronic invoices for the income received, which must have tax requirements. 

When the rent is paid to a trust, the trustee must issue tax receipts and make the withholding and the corresponding amount.

Caveat:  The good attorney Spencer McMullen also noted that the furnishings of a furnished apartment can trigger the IVA  (16.5%),  but as this advice was published several years ago, talk with your tax attorney / accountant.

Interest Income for Foreign Residents of Mexico
There are multiple levels of interest rates depending on the source of the income, ranging from 4.9% to 35%.  e.g.  21% interest is owed on income “paid by banking institutions“.


Foreigners who reside and receive income in Mexico must meet the tax obligations imposed on them, like any national, the scheme for which they receive their income.

This includes income from leasing or subleasing of real estate owned by the foreigner.

Foreigners who own property in Mexico ” are considered nonresidents if their main business location is not in this country, that is to say, if more than 50% of their annual income does not proceed from a wealth source located in Mexico, or if the center of their professional activities is not located in national territory, among other reasons.

**Death & Taxes?  Here’s Yucalandia’s offereing on death:

Preparations & Key Actions for Dealing with the Death of a Loved One in Mexico


Happy Trails
… and …

Keep doing your best to color inside the lines,


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© Steven M. Fry

Read-on MacDuff . . .

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Updates on Temporary Import Permits from Mexico’s Aduana

Sept. 10, 2017

Aduana agents at various US-Mexico border crossings are shifting their stance on whether the US state registration paper is sufficient to get a Temporary Import Permit for US-plated vehicles.  In the past, US state registration paperwork was sufficient, but now many Aduana agents are also requiring that we submit a copy of the vehicle’s title. …  Most recently, the Nuevo Laredo & Columbia Bridge Aduana agents have been refusing to issue TIPs with US starte registration documents, unless the vehicle owner also supplies a copy of the vehicle title.

Further, the fine attorney Lic. Spencer McMullen explains some additional details about additional problems that can occur if you do get your TIP with just registration paperwork:  ….  ” The HUGE issue is that while you can technically get a TIP with the vehicle registration, without the title your car will sit in impound if towed due to improper parking or accident. 

An additional insight to handling the TIP process well:
“… Financed cars should get a US notary certified copy (of the title) with apostille to prepare for this eventuality. ”

So, as Aduana~SAT policies continue to evolve, we can save ourselves some hassles & headaches by following the latest guidance from good experts.

~ As in the past, Aduana officials recognize that Canadians do not get vdhicle titles, so their province’s registration papers are sufficient to get a TIP.

Happy Trails,

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Full details on bringing vehicles into Mexico (Permanent Imports & Temporary Imports) can be found at:

Importing & Driving a Car in Mexico

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143 Million Credit Information Accounts Hacked at Equifax – What to Do

Sept. 9, 2017

**See the end of the article, and the comments for new updates about a class action lawsuit and other new details on protecting our rights.  e.g.  The NY Atty General today asked Equifax to remove their buried ‘forced arbitration’ clause that applies to anyone who uses Equifax’s services, because the top NY Lawyer believes that using Equifax’s security service or even using Equifax’s ‘check’ function  could waive all of your rights to participate in the current national class action lawsuit against Equifax.

Public Service Announcement:
143 Million Credit Card Users   Personal Data   Stolen

The professionals at the Equifax credit reporting agency have again allowed hackers to steal our names, addresses, SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS, and credit information.  Equifax executives have known of the thefts since July, 2017, but they chose to not inform anyone that our personal information listed at this gigantic credit reporting agency was not sufficiently protected … and allowed to be stolen … again.

Even if you were never an Equifax customer,  they still lost:
~Your  Drivers License number,     ~ your Social Security Number (SSN),  ~ your birthdate,    and your address …. and the latest news update exposes that roughly 210,000 CREDIT CARD NUMBERS were also stolen “in May and July” 2017.

At least 50% of all American credit card holders personal information was lost.

Equifax is saying that it was NOT an inside job.  Equifax claims that the thieves entered through the Equifax website.

Equifax’s Chairman announced:
This is clearly a disappointing event for our company …

Editor’s Note:  Wow … Equifax really cares about the rest of us, whose information they lost, even when we have never used their services.


Experts are saying that there is NO NEED to change internet passwords, because those were not stolen (unless you have an Equifax account and use that same Experian password on other sites). …

It is our names, driver’s license information, birthdates. personal addresses & Social
Security numbers**   that may be sold to identity-thieves … from Equifax’s third massive security leak ‘event’.

Solutions ~ Practical Actions to take Now:
1.  Check … don’t enroll* …  to see if your information was compromised:
Equifax has created a website,, to help consumers determine if their personal information was lost … and at risk.  Note…  Equifax will NOT NECESSARILY  give you confirmation of whether your information was compromised … Instead,   If you enter your  last name   and the last six digits of your Social Security number …  Equifax  “enrolls” you in their “protection service” …  but Equifax says this service may not start for several days.

Equifax ‘generously’ offers this “protection service” for 1 year, if we sighn up by Nov 21 …. which means Equifax will begin BILLING US  for using their service if we don’t cancel within a year. ….

*Saying things another way: … Be cautious about “enrolling” with Equifax’s efforts at damage control … to BE SURE THAT YOU DO NOT SIGN AWAY YOUR RIGHTS …

Some websites are reporting that by ‘enrolling’ , you may be waiving your rights to any future damages from the current new multi-billion $$ class action lawsuit.

See the comments below for continuing updates & new legal details.

~ Caveat emptor ~

2. Sign up for some independent service that regularly frequently checks internet sites to see if your Social Security number appear there ~ as the expert computer programs then notify you by email or by text that your SSN is appearing on suspect websites data-bases.

Historically,  identity thieves have continued to sell our personal information for years after past security breaches at Equifax, Experian and TransUnion ~ hence the need for ongoing years of continuous monitoring of where our personal information is appearing.  Note that AVG is currently offering this SSN monitoring service, and some credit card companies are also offering  SSN monitoring services.

Here is an example link to Discover Card’s  free   SSN monitoring services to their card holders:

At this point, Yucalandia has no facts or data to support choosing one SSN monitoring service over another.

3.  Monitor your credit card statements for suspicious activity.

4.  Monitor your Credit Records by requesting a copy of your personal report:

5.   Contact one or all 3 of the USA’s big credit monitoring agencies, and consider freezing  your credit reports at all 3 agencies because thieves can use the information stolen from Equifax … to open accounts with creditors that use Experian or TransUnion.

Unfortunately,   THIS WILL NOT BE OVER IN JUST A YEAR.   Historically,  identity thieves have continued to sell our personal information for years after past security breaches at Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Final Notes:

The big 3 credit monitoring agencies have been regularly losing our personal data (to thieves) since at least 2012, so, it may be time to contact your local Congressman & your 2 Senators and demand that the US government make changes in the regulations …  because

… Do any of us really find it acceptable that Equifax has known of the thefts of over 143 million American’s personal information,    but said nothing for over a month?

**As the story continues to break~unfold,  Equifax was not fully open in their initial reports of the data breaches:
~In addition to our  Drivers License numbers, our Social Security Numbers (SSN), our birthdates & addresses …. Independent sources now expose the troubling additional news that roughly 210,000 CREDIT CARD NUMBERS were also stolen “in May and July” 2017.

This article also describes a class action lawsuit filed by citizens to try to recover some of the projected $69 billion in losses and harm caused by Equifax’s insufficient website security.

FURTHER NEWS about Equifax’s efforts at Damage Control:
Accoding to RawStory:   Equifax is trying to get us customers to sign waivers,  as Equifax tries to weasel out of potential $billions they may owe us from the class action lawsuit mentioned above.

*Saying things another way: … Be cautious about “enrolling” with Equifax’s efforts at damage control … to BE SURE THAT YOU DO NOT SIGN AWAY YOUR RIGHTS …

 Some websites are reporting that by ‘enrolling’ , you may be waiving your rights to any future damages from the current new multi-billion $$ class action lawsuit.
~ Caveat emptor ~

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© Steven M. Fry

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INM Continues to Increase Enforcement of Restrictions on 6 Month “Tourist” Visas & Taxable Income

Sept. 7, 2017 Update

For people who do not track multiple expat forums from around Mexico, there are some real-world updates  that are worth noting regarding both ~ taxes on Mexican sourced income~ and on “tourist” visas.

Example:  An acquaintance who has spent the few past winters in Yucatan as a snow bird, reports that he was unable to get a 180-day visa in Mexico City this time.
…  “For the first time flew into Mexico City during my recent trip to the States, and immigration stopped me from coming through as they said I could not stay for 180 days on a tourist visa. In Cancun, they have approved every time. Mexico City held me for 2-3 hours causing me to miss my connection [to Merida] and
~ having to sleep overnight in the airport ~ . ”

Since their 2012 rule changes, INM has been gradually cracking down on foreigners’ abuses of “tourist” 180 day Visitante visas.   INM’s general policy is that if we are frequently living in Mexico, even part-time, and that if we are working in Mexico (especially if we are renting out our Mexican property for income),  then we really must

1.  Get a Residency Visa  … either a Residente Temporal or Residente Permanente Visa
See ~ Current Rules and Procedures for Immigration, Visiting, and Staying in Mexico

2.  If we have Mexican sourced income, we must register with SAT/Hacienda by getting an RFC number
3.  We must report that income from Mexico & pay taxes on it.

A recent first-hand report from a popular expat forum described some dramatic new shifts in enforcement of INM immigration & SAT tax regulations:

A couple, which has been “coming and going on 180 day tourist permits (FMMs)”: technically not a “tourist permit”, but permission to be in Mexico, but not to work in Mexico, for a short period of up to 180 days] for several years” got off the plane recently, “they were then asked to step into the interrogation room and to hand over their phone and laptop, along with the password for their email. “

They hold an on-line job from outside of Mexico. They were questioned about where they live, how long and what was their source of income. The agent then discovered an email on the computer that was an exchange regarding a VBRO email. It was a rental confirmation for a house that they manage for a Canadian friend. The money went into a Canadian account but as far as he was concerned they had income in Mexico.

The lecture they got included three main points. They had been residing in Mexico on FMMs intended for Tourists. They would need a Resident Visa to stay in Mexico. They were not permitted to work in Mexico. ´Managing´ Mexican property is a lucrative activity. Lastly they would be responsible for paying tax on the rental income. [Although given a 30-day tourist permit, if they wished to return, the immigration officer said they would need “to visit a Mexican Consulate and apply for residency.

This report describes the increase in several trends of the Mexican Government no longer tolerating foreigners breaking Mexican laws.

1.  As Mexico’s INM, SAT / Hacinda / Aduana agencies gradually get all their local office computers connected to national databases, individual government agents (including clerks) can now pull up our personal records of past entrances & exits from Mexico and our past import/export & income generating activities, including violations of Mexican law.

2. The report (and many other similar recent internet reports by expats & ‘tourists’)  pretty clearly shows that some INM airport offices now are more closely scrutinizing foreigners trying to get 180 Day “tourist” Visitante visas when flying-into Mexico.

3.  INM no longer presumes  that foreigners are somehow entitled to automatically stay up to 6 months on a “tourist” Visitante visa simply because they exited & then returned to Mexico.

4.  We can no longer assume that INM & SAT/Hacienda will not track down income foreigners get from lucrative activities in Mexico.   This includes operating rentals or even managing rentals, pet sitting, house sitting,  etc.

5.  People who intend to earn Mexican sourced income need to get visas that allow working in Mexico:   Visitante con Permiso de Trabajo …  Residente Temporal with permission to participate in lucrative activities (like working or earning rental income) … and Residente Permanente visas.   These visas must be applied for outside Mexico at your local Mexican Consulate … and yes, some Consulates (like Laredo, San Antonio, Chicago, Portland & Phoenix) are far more friendly~lenient in granting these visas than the Mexican Consulates in California, Houston, Boston, et al.

See ~ Current Rules and Procedures for Immigration, Visiting, and Staying in Mexico

Note that foreigners who own real estate & rent it out …  owe 25% taxes (“without deduction”) on the rental income.   Details at:

6.  Foreigners who get visas that allow them to work must also register their work with SAT / Hacienda, reporting income using their RFCs.  Note that the RFC’s generated by Mexican banks are generally not valid for use for reporting & paying taxes on Mexican sourced income.

Happy Trails
… and …

Keep doing your best to color inside the lines,

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Feel free to copy while giving proper attribution: YucaLandia/Surviving Yucatan.
© Steven M. Fry

Read-on MacDuff . . .

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Map of Flooding in Houston

August 27, 2017 Update**

Public Service Announcement
For anyone who is concerned about specific Houston areas with family~friends, check out this map of red, yellow & green locations and their bayou water levels.
Now (9:40 pm Sat.): About 20 points show bayous with water over their banks (red), with another 24 points close to flood stage (yellow), and 70 or so that are green (below flood stage).
 **Be sure to click on the “Channel Status” button on the left side of the page, unless you want rainfall totals.
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    Feel free to copy while giving proper attribution: YucaLandia/Surviving Yucatan.
    © Steven M. Fry

Read on, MacDuff.

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Totality … Today’s Total Eclipse … A Wyoming Perspective of the Celestial Dance

August 21, 2017

Today’s eclipse was totality cool.


Scenic Bartlett Ranch NE of Torrington, Wyo had it all: (Fotos below)
~ Temperatures fell 7 degrees.

~ This spring’s calves & their cow-moms quietly got up as totality approached, started grazing (very different than their normal previous hour of resting during the heat of the day) , and then they started quietly grooming themselves during totality.

~ Spectral (radiant) temperatures (the warmth of the sun on our skin) fell dramatically , while air temperatures did not drop quickly.  This likely explains why the black Angus clearly would feel far more comfortable without any sunshine heating their coats => They felt much cooler when the sun was blocked about 75% – 100% & started moving around.

~ Previously-frenetic ants stopped darting-out of their mound, and the few who straggled-back to the mound as totality started were slow & sluggish … as only a few poked out their noses from the mound entrance  … waved their feelers … and ducked back down into the safety of their mound.

~ The meadow larks and lark buntings stopped their popping up & ceased flitting about, disappearing into the sage brush.

~ The grasshoppers stopped whirring … and in their place a chorus of hidden crickets started chirping loudly, especially during totality.

~ Our clear beautiful views across a 60 mile-wide valley shifted to grey then red around the horizon 70-80 miles away.

~ One diamond ring blazed out …
and quickly dimmed … leaving just a few stars …

Magical … or creepy grey dusk surrounded us ….

and then … everything … slowly … gradually
… returned to normal.

All of these wonders … just a 2 1/2 hr drive north of Ft. Collins.

… $17 of gasoline + our chips & apples budget.

Movies to come in future FB posts, as it’s naptime now.

Signing off from Colorful Colorado,

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Post Scripts:
I want to make a special shout-out to the best friend a guy could ask for … Bill Drennon.
His enthusiasm & passion were just infectious enough to get us to make a nice half-day little trip up into Wyoming for such a special event,
You’re the best.
Especially for giving us a shot at seeing this beautiful diamond ring:.



Here follow 3 pretty terrible videos that give you a sense of the our Bartlett Ranch spot w/ beautiful buttes nearby, the 70 mile views across a grand valley, + plus … grasshoppers, cows/calves & ant reports before & during the eclipse… (I’ll also report our cowboy-on-the-road interview with the jovial Donny-Ray .. a good ol’ transplanted-n-took-root ‘Bama boy)

Celestial shots ??? … I figure the pro’s shot lots of better videos & stills of the eclipse… so GO CHECK OUT Yucatan Bill ‘s FB page for his very-cool celestial shots & videos.

Be sure to turn on the sound … to compensate for the terrible videos.


Not all Wyoming ranchers are gruff’n’grumbly… 30 minutes more north … We then entered & wandered around the 90,000 acre Bartlett Ranch, ranging from the West Headquarters … over to the East Headquarters …. trekking at least 20 miles east to west trying to find a way North… just about leaving the property when a fellow in a fine Stetson wheeled up.

We exchanged “Howdy’s” … and got to know Donnie-Ray … the transplanted ‘Bama-boy. Donnie explained how there was only one route across the Bartlett ranch (other than cattle-paths) … and that was back past the East Headquarters (a place I hesitated to travel past, because it was clearly a road right through someones house & machine shed complex…

Donnie-Ray sensed my uneasiness… and warmly offered:
“Shoot… Drive anywhere’s you want to on this ranch. … Just tellum ‘Donnie-Ray says you’ve got his permission…”

Gotta love country folk

Gruff’n’grumbly? … Not even that lasts, as we passed Doug on our return trip … He pulled over & stopped as we approached from 1/2 mile away …
Rolled down his window … shut off the motor & hollered … “Welcome back …” with a gentle wave. … We chatted … & then thanked him again for allowing out 8 mile trek across his ~land~ (approx 50,000 acres)

” …Travel safe …” and a lusty “… B’sure to close the gate …”

Adios to some really fine new friends…
(as California ranchers were charging $150 a head to sit on their property during the eclipse)


This is the last terrible video … which is a lesson in why not to use your wife’s phone for taking videos (the first time for me) … if you care about the quality of the final product.

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Requirements for Bringing Medical Supplies, Drugs or Medical Equipment into Mexico

July 27, 2017 
Shipping Medical Items into Mexico:
Shipping drugs, medications, medical equipment etc require an import permit from COFEPRIS (Federal Commission for Protection Against Health Risks). A copy of the COFEPRIS approved permit must be in the package with the device when it arrives at Aduana. This is true for any device that arrives by itself, not in the company of its owner or someone else when entering Mexico. In the past COFEPRIS has taken 6-8 weeks to process import permit applications .

Start at the COFEPRIS link  “Permiso sanitario de importación de dispositivos médicos para uso personal ”  (“Medical Import Permit for Medical Devices for Personal Use”)

Bringing Medicines, Medical Supplies & Medical Equipment into Mexico:
When flying or driving into Mexico, only some medicines are allowed, while others are prohibited.**  Consult the following websites for lists of controlled substances in Mexico: … Specifically, check the “Lista Amarilla,” “Lista Verde,” and “Lista Roja”.

Lista Amarilla:

Lista Verde:

Lista Roja:

and .

For COFEPRIS allowed medications, we must have a current written prescription from a Doctor when entering Mexico with prescription medicines.

**It is illegal to bring even some common over-the-counter medicines into Mexico. The prohibited medications include inhalers, some allergy and sinus medications. Products that contain stimulants are prohibited. specifically medicines that contain pseudoephedrine, (such as Actifed, Sudafed, and Vicks inhalers), or codeine are prohibited.

Happy Travel,
.      .      .       .

Feel free to copy while giving proper attribution: YucaLandia/Surviving Yucatan.
© Steven M. Fry

Read on, MacDuff …

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