Resident individuals are taxed on worldwide in come. Nonresidents are taxed on Mexican-source income only.
Individuals who establish their home in Mexico are considered resident in Mexico. If individuals also have a home in another country, they are considered resident in Mexico if their center of vital interests is located in Mexico. An individual’s center of vital interests is considered to be located in Mexico in the following circumstances:
- More than 50% of the individual’s income in a calendar year is derived from Mexican sources.
- The center of the individual’s professional activities is located in Mexico.
Individuals who break residency ties with Mexico must notify the tax authorities within 15 business days before such change in their status and no later than a month following the change of residency. For this purpose, they must designate a legal representative in Mexico.
Income subject to tax. The taxation of various types of income is described below.
Employment income. Taxable employment income includes salaries, wages, directors’ fees, bonuses, gratuities, allowances, certain fringe benefits, benefits in kind and statutory employee profit-sharing distributions.
Education allowances provided by employers to their expatriate or local employees are taxable for income tax and social security purposes if the allowances are not generally provided to all the employees under the applicable rules for fringe benefits.
Nonresidents who receive salaries paid by resident employers or by employers with permanent establishments in Mexico are subject to withholding tax at source as described in Rates. Salary income and income for personal services paid by a nonresident individual or company are exempt from tax if the services are not related to the nonresident payer’s permanent establishment in Mexico (or the nonresident payer does not have a permanent establishment) and if the services are provided for fewer than 183 days (including Saturdays, Sundays, holidays and vacations). For purposes of this rule, the 183 days need not be consecutive in a 12-month period. If services are provided for more than 183 days, individual tax calculated using nonresident tax rates must be paid from the first day the individual begins to work in Mexico.
Self-employment and business income. A self-employed individual who earns income from business activities or professional services, including real estate rental activities, is subject to tax at the applicable rates established in the law and published by the tax authorities. The tax is calculated on the net income derived by the individual for each month corresponding to the period to which prepayment applies (see Section D). Self-employed individuals also must pay other taxes, such as value-added tax.
Professional fees paid by a Mexican resident to a nonresident for services rendered in Mexico are subject to withholding tax at a rate of 25%. If the services are rendered only partially in Mexico, income tax is payable on the portion of the income related to the services rendered in Mexico.
Investment income. A company resident in Mexico that distributes dividends to its resident and nonresident shareholders is subject to a 30% tax to the extent that such company has not already paid the tax on the underlying income. Dividends must be included in a resident’s taxable income. The corporate tax paid is credited against the resident’s final tax liability. Dividends paid by foreign resident entities to Mexican resident individuals are included in the individuals’ taxable income and taxed at the rates set forth in Rates.
A 10% withholding tax applies to dividends. For dividends paid by Mexican companies, the tax withheld by the paying company is final. Accordingly, individuals are required to declare the dividend income in their annual tax return and cannot claim a credit for the 10% withholding tax, thereby incurring an incremental tax cost. For dividends paid by foreign companies, individual resident taxpayers must pay the 10% tax by filing a monthly tax return by the 17th day of the month following the dividend distribution. They are also required to declare the dividend income in their annual tax return and cannot not claim a credit for the 10% tax paid, thereby incurring an incremental tax cost.
For 2016, interest on time deposits with Mexican banks and on publicly issued debentures is subject to a provisional 0.5% withholding tax on the capital invested that originated the interest. Interest derived from investments in other entities (other than publicly issued debentures) is subject to a 20% provisional withholding tax on the nominal interest. Gains derived from the sale of publicly issued debentures are also subject to this tax. Other interest income is included in taxable income and taxed at the rates set forth in Rates. Individuals accrue as taxable income the real interest gained during the fiscal year. Real interest is equal to the amount by which interest exceeds the inflationary adjustment effects of the tax year. For 2015, interest income received by nonresidents from Mexican banks is subject to a 10% withholding tax. Lower rates may apply under certain tax treaties. Stricter rules have been implemented for Mexican mutual funds. Gains and losses de riv ed from the sale of shares in a fund must be reported in a resident’s tax return and treated as interest.
Income received by nonresidents from the rental of real and personal property is subject to a final withholding tax at a rate of 25%, with no deductions allowed. For the taxation of real estate rental income derived by a resident, see Self-employment and business income. Resident taxpayers are subject to tax on their rental income from real estate located in foreign countries. They may elect to deduct actual itemized expenses incurred to determine the income or claim a flat 35% deduction from rental income.
Royalties received by nonresidents for the use of trade names, trademarks, patents or certificates of invention are subject to a 35% withholding tax. Fees received by nonresidents for technical assistance and royalties for know-how are subject to a 25% withholding tax. Lower rates may apply under certain tax treaties.
Directors’ fees. Directors’ fees received by residents in Mexico from Mexican or foreign resident companies are subject to income tax at the rates set forth in Rates. The paying companies may deduct these fees if certain requirements are met.
Exempt income. The following items, among others, are excluded from taxable income:
- Indemnities for accidents and illnesses
- Retirement benefits and pensions provided by public institutions and Mexican private retirement plans (partially exempt)
- Reimbursement of medical, dental, hospital and funeral expenses incurred in Mexico
- Social security benefits granted by Mexican public institutions
- Savings funds established by employers to which the employees contribute up to 13% of their salaries (Mexican funds only)
- Travel expenses properly reported by the employee
- Social welfare and fringe benefits received from Mexican government institutions
Certain exemptions are subject to limitations and specific requirements.
Taxation of employer-provided stock options. Employer-provided stock options are taxed as salary income for the employee. They are taxed at the time of exercise on the difference between the exercise price and the fair market value of the stock. The income is taxed at the tax rates set forth in Rates. Gains derived from the subsequent sale of the shares are subject to tax as capital gains (see Capital gains and losses).
For stock options granted before 1 December 2004, the difference between the fair market value of such shares at 31 December 2004 and the strike price (exercise price) agreed at grant is considered to be acquisition of assets income if such difference is greater than 10% of the strike price. If the difference is not greater than 10% of the strike price, the difference is taxed as salary income. The difference between the fair market value of such shares at 31 December 2004 and the fair market value at exercise is considered salary income.
Capital gains and losses. In general, gains derived from the sale of shares and real estate are treated as capital gains. Capital gains are taxed as ordinary income at the rates set forth in Rates. The gain calculation includes adjusting the cost basis for inflation. Gains derived from the sale of shares of Mexican or foreign companies through Mexico’s stock exchanges are subject to a 10% income tax (before 2014, these sales were exempt from tax). The tax payment is considered final and cannot be credited on the annual taxpayer’s income tax return. The taxpayer calculates this 10% tax on the net gain at the end of the year by using information provided by brokers. Capital losses can be carried forward 10 years.
A gain derived from the sale of a personal residence is exempt from tax if the amount of the proceeds does not exceed 700,000 investment units (UDIs; equal to MXN3,766,822.5). As of 31 December 2015, a UDI equaled MXN5.381175. Banking and credit institutions use UDIS to grant loans at a fixed rate. Gains derived from the sale of a primary residence are exempt from tax if the taxpayer demonstrates that he or she had been living in the residence during the five years preceding the date of the sale and if the title transfer is done through a notary public.
Capital gains derived from transfers of shares sold on Mexico’s stock exchanges and real estate are taxed using an income-averaging method. The taxable gain is calculated separately for each asset and then divided by the number of years the asset was held, up to a maximum of 20 years. The resulting amount is added to other taxable income. After the graduated marginal tax rates are applied to the total income, the average rate is then applied to the balance of the capital gain. Income averaging does not apply to capital gains derived from transfers of real property used in a trade or business. These gains are added to ordinary taxable business income.
Although computed the same way, capital losses are treated differently. The tax benefit for the year in which a loss is incurred is limited to the tax attributable to the loss, divided by the number of years the underlying asset was held, up to a maximum of 10 years. The amount of the loss equivalent to one year is deductible from the individual’s gain on the sale of other assets or from other income derived in that year, except salary, self-employment and business income. The remaining loss in the relevant calendar year may be carried forward three years and can be used only to offset the tax on capital gains derived from the sale of shares or real estate.
Nonresident taxpayers deriving capital gains from the disposal of shares or real estate may elect to pay tax on the gross amount at a rate of 25% or to be taxed at a rate of 35% on the net gain. An individual electing the second alternative must designate a legal representative who is a tax resident of Mexico.
Personal deductions and tax credits. Resident individuals are granted the following personal deductions:
- Fees and other payments for medical, dental and hospitalization services for the taxpayer and his or her dependents paid by personal checks of the taxpayer, electronic transfers from the taxpayer’s Mexican bank account or by personal credit, debit or service cards
- Funeral expenses limited to annual minimum salary
- Certain donations to public works or utilities, charitable or welfare institutions, and promoters of the arts or culture, capped at 7% of the preceding year’s taxable income
- Real interest paid on mortgage loans obtained from Mexican financial institutions with respect to the principal residence, if the credit does not exceed 750,000 UDIS (approximately MXN4,035,881)
- Voluntary contributions made to an individual retirement account, limited to five times the annual minimum salary and not exceeding 10% of the taxpayer’s current year taxable income
- Insurance premiums for medical coverage paid to Mexican insurance institutions for the taxpayer and his or her dependents
- Payments for the school-bus transportation of dependent children if it is mandatory for all the students in the school and if it is paid by personal checks of the taxpayer, electronic transfers from the taxpayer’s Mexican bank account or by personal credit, debit or service cards
- School fees paid with checks or electronic transfers, except
materials and registration fees, up to the following amounts:
— Preschool: MXN14,200
— Elementary school: MXN12,900
— Junior high school: MXN19,900
— Technician school: MXN17,100
— High school: MXN24,500
The total amount of personal tax deductions listed in the first, second, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh bullets above is subject to a cap equal to five minimum annual salaries (approximately MXN133,298) or 15% of the taxpayer’s total income, whichever is lower.
Business expenses. Ordinary expenses, including salaries, fees, rent, depreciation, interests and other general items, may be deducted from the amount of gross business revenue to compute taxable net income. Instead of deducting actual expenses incurred, individuals with rental income may elect to deduct an amount equal to 35% of rental income.
Employment subsidy. The employment subsidy is calculated on a monthly basis. It is a tax credit that is subtracted from the monthly tax due. No employment subsidy applies when calculating tax in the annual tax return. The following table provides the resident individual monthly employment subsidy for 2016.
|Monthly income (MXN)
Exceeding Not exceeding
|Employment subsidy MXN|
Residents. For 2016, the maximum income tax rate for a resident individual is 35%. The following are the monthly income tax rates applicable in 2016.
|Monthly taxable income (MXN)
Exceeding Not exceeding
|Tax on lower
The following table sets forth the 2016 annual tax rates for resident individuals.
|Annual taxable income (MXN)
Exceeding Not exceeding
|Tax on lower
|Annual taxable income (MXN)
Exceeding Not exceeding
|Tax on lower
Nonresidents. The following withholding tax rates apply to income from salaries paid in a calendar year to nonresident employees by Mexican resident employers or by employers with a permanent establishment in Mexico.
Annual taxable income Rate on
Exceeding Not exceeding excess
MXN MXN %
0 125,900 0
125,900 1,000,000 15
1,000,000 — 30
Relief for losses. Losses incurred in business or professional activities may be carried forward for 10 years against future earnings of the same type of income, restated by inflation.
Estate and gift taxes
No estate or inheritance tax is levied except for a local real estate property tax.
Gifts or donations from direct line family members (ascendants or descendants) are exempt from income tax if certain requirements are met.
Social security Contributions
Social security. The maximum rate of the social security contribution payable by employees is approximately 2.775% of the integrated salary. The contribution is withheld by the employer from wages. The maximum rate of the social security contribution payable by employers can reach 36.69% (including the percentages for job hazard and the Federal Retirement and Housing Funds). The maximum amount of salary that may be used to compute the social security contribution equals 25 times the minimum wage. These contributions are all subject to caps that are determined based on a multiple of the minimum daily wage in the area in which the work is performed. For 2016, the maximum annual social contributions per employee are approximately MXN113,154 for the employer portion and MXN18,175 for the employee portion.
Housing Fund. Employers must contribute 5% of salaries (limited to 25 times the minimum wage) to the Housing Fund which provides funds for the construction of housing for workers.
Mandatory pension plan. Employers’ contributions to a pension plan that is managed by a bank in the employee’s name equal 2% of an employee’s compensation. The maximum amount of salary that may be used to compute the pension plan contribution equals 25 times the minimum wage.
Coverage. The social security system in Mexico provides the following benefits:
- Medical assistance in cases of illness, maternity care and accidents
- Indemnities in cases of temporary disability
- Pensions for disability, old age and death
Medical-assistance benefits extend to the members of an employee’s family, including the spouse, parents and children.
Totalization agreements. Mexico has entered into totalization agreements for social security purposes with Canada and Spain. Under such agreements, employees from these countries may generally work in Mexico and qualify for certain exemptions related to social security taxes. Restrictions apply and certain requirements must be observed.
Tax filing and payment procedures
For individuals, the fiscal year in Mexico is the calendar year. Annual tax returns must be filed during April, but no later than 30 April of the following year. Filing extensions are not granted. Taxpayers who receive income from salaries and interest not exceeding MXN400,000 are not required to file annual tax returns. However, if real interest exceeded MXN100,000 and if taxes were withheld on such interest, the individual must file an annual return.
Personal income taxes of employed residents and nonresidents are withheld at source. A resident individual taxpayer may elect to pay the remaining tax due either when the annual return is filed or in installments with interest over a six-month period.
Resident individuals must report in their annual tax returns information regarding loans, prizes, and gifts obtained during the calendar year if such items exceed MXN600,000, in aggregate or separately.
Taxpayers with income in excess of MXN500,000 in the calendar year are required to report exempt income and non-taxable items (such as employer-reimbursed travel expenses, income derived from the sale of a principal residence, inheritance or legacy income and revenue from prizes), regardless of their amounts. This rule also applies to Mexican resident individuals earning taxable income who are not required to file an annual tax return.
Self-employed individuals must make monthly tax payments on account of their annual tax. Individuals filing monthly tax returns must open a Mexican bank account and make their advance tax payments through electronic transfers via the Internet.
Resident employees of foreign resident companies who work in Mexico must make monthly estimated payments on account of their annual tax if their companies do not have permanent establishments in Mexico or if their compensation is not reflected on a Mexican company’s payroll. For such purpose, they must open a Mexican bank account and make their advance income tax payments through electronic transfers via the Internet.
Married persons are taxed separately, not jointly, on all types of income. Under the income tax regulations, it may be possible to include a spouse’s income in the tax return of the resident spouse with the greater amount of income. However, this does not provide any tax advantage.
Double tax relief and tax treaties
An individual resident in Mexico with foreign-source income may take a credit for foreign tax paid in the source country to the extent that the foreign tax paid does not exceed the individual’s Mexican tax liability on the foreign-source income.
Mexico has entered into double tax treaties with the following jurisdictions.
Aruba* Gibraltar Norway
Australia Greece Panama
Austria Guernsey* Peru
Bahamas* Guernsey* Poland
Bahrain Hong Kong SAR Portugal
Barbados Hungary Qatar
Belgium Iceland Romania
Belize* India Russian
Bermuda Indonesia Federation
Brazil Ireland Samoa*
Canada Isle of Man* Singapore
Cayman Islands* Israel Slovak Republic
Chile Italy South Africa
China Japan Spain
Colombia Jersey* Sweden
Cook Islands* Korea (South) Switzerland
Costa Rica* Kuwait Turkey
Czech Republic Latvia Ukraine
Denmark Liechtenstein* United Arab
Ecuador Lithuania Emirates
Estonia Luxembourg United Kingdom
Finland Malta United States
France Netherlands Uruguay
Germany New Zealand
* This is a treaty for information exchange.
In addition, Mexico has signed double tax treaties with Costa Rica and Venezuela, which either await ratification or are not yet in force.
Mexico is currently negotiating double tax treaties with various countries, including, among others, Argentina, British Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Lebanon, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Monaco, Morocco, Nicaragua, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Thailand, Turks and Caicos, and Vanuatu.
Entry into Mexico
Foreign nationals entering Mexico are classified under the following immigration categories:
- Temporary resident
- Permanent resident
These categories are discussed below.
Visitor. The visitor category has two subcategories, which are visitor without authorization to perform remunerated activities in Mexico and visitor with authorization to perform activities remunerated in Mexico.
Visitor without authorization to perform activities remunerated in Mexico. The immigration category for the visitor without authorization to perform activities remunerated in Mexico category applies to foreigners who intend to stay in Mexico up to 180 days, but are not entitled to receive remuneration in Mexico. Nationals of certain restricted countries are required to apply for this immigration category at a Mexican consulate or embassy before traveling to Mexico.
Non-restricted nationals may enter Mexico under this immigration category by filling out a Multiple Immigration Form (Forma Migratoria Multiple, or FMM) at their ports of entry into Mexico.
Citizens with restricted nationalities may also enter Mexico by filling out an FMM at their ports of entry into Mexico if they are holders of the following:
- A proof of permanent residence in Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, a country that is part of the Schengen area or a country that is a member of the Pacific Alliance (Chile, Colombia and Peru)
- Valid visa issued by Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States or a country that is part of the Schengen Area
- A valid Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Travel Card approved by Mexico
Foreigners classified as tourists or businesspersons are considered visitors without permission to perform activities remunerated in Mexico.
Visitor with authorization to perform activities remunerated in Mexico. A visa for a visitor with authorization to perform activities remunerated in Mexico allows foreigners to stay in Mexico up to 180 days, with permission to be remunerated in Mexico for activities carried out in the country.
The application for this type of visa must be submitted through the National Immigration Institute (Instituto Nacional de Migración, or INM) in Mexico.
List of restricted nationalities. Nationals of the following jurisdictions must obtain a visa before traveling to Mexico.
Afghanistan Grenada Russian
Albania Guatemala Federation
Algeria Guinea Rwanda
Angola Guinea-Bissau Saudi Arabia
Antigua and Guyana Sahrawi Arab
Barbuda Haiti Democratic
Armenia Honduras Republic
Azerbaijan India St. Kitts
Bahrain Indonesia and Nevis
Bangladesh Iraq St. Lucia
Belarus Iran St. Vincent
Benin Jordan and the
Bolivia Kazakhstan Grenadines
Bosnia and Kenya Samoa
Herzegovina Kiribati São Tomé
Botswana Korea (North) and Príncipe
Brunei Kyrgyzstan Senegal
Darussalam Kuwait Serbia
Burkina Faso Laos Seychelles
Burundi Lesotho Sierra Leone
Bhutan Lebanon Solomon Islands
Cape Verde Liberia Somalia
Cambodia Libya South Africa
Cameroon Macedonia Sri Lanka
Central African Madagascar Sudan
Republic Malawi Suriname
Chad Maldives Swaziland
China Mali Syria
Comoros Mauritania Taiwan
Congo Mauritius Tanzania
(Democratic Moldova Tajikistan
Republic of) Mongolia Thailand
Congo Morocco Timor-Leste
(Republic of) Montenegro Togo
Côte d’Ivoire Mozambique Tonga
Cuba Myanmar Tunisia
Djibouti Namibia Turkey
Dominica Nauru Turkmenistan
Dominican Nepal Tuvalu
Republic Nicaragua Uganda
Ecuador Niger Ukraine
Egypt Nigeria United Arab
El Salvador Oman Emirates
Equatorial Pakistan Uzbekistan
Guinea Palestinian Vanuatu
Ethiopia Authority Vatican City
Fiji Papua New Vietnam
Gabon Guinea Yemen
Gambia Philippines Zambia
Georgia Qatar Zimbabwe
* As of 22 June 2016, nationals of other jurisdictions may be exempted from the visa requirement. For more information, please contact an immigration professional.
Temporary resident. The temporary resident category applies to foreigners who intend to stay in Mexico more than 180 days, but less than four years. If the activity that the foreigner will perform will not be remunerated in Mexico, the application can be processed at a Mexican consulate or embassy. Otherwise, it must be submitted directly to the INM in Mexico.
After temporary residency status is granted, it is renewable for an additional three years.
Temporary residents are eligible for family reunification status, which may be processed either at a consulate abroad or at the INM in Mexico. Petitioners must meet the requisites established in the applicable regulations.
Permanent resident. The permanent resident category applies to foreigners staying in Mexico for an indefinite time period. Permanent residents may work and receive remuneration in Mexico.
Permanent residents are also eligible for family reunification status if they meet the requisites established in the applicable regulations and rules.
To qualify for permanent resident status, individuals must meet certain requirements.
Other immigration considerations
Authority to question foreigners on entry into Mexico. Immigration agents now have the formal authority to carry out an inspection review and request additional information from foreigners entering Mexico with respect to the purpose of their visit. The immigration authority may ask for the hotel reservation in Mexico, as well as the return flight ticket.
In addition, for business visitors, the immigration authority may request a letter from a Mexican company, stating the length and purpose of the trip. Accordingly, all business travelers coming to Mexico should bring an invitation letter meeting the above requirements each time they enter the country.
The immigration officer may ask questions such as the following:
- What is the purpose of your trip?
- Are you going to receive any salary from the Mexican entity?
- How long are you going to stay in Mexico?
- Have you visited Mexico before?
Change of immigration status. A foreigner may not request a change of immigration status from tourist or business visitor to temporary or permanent resident when the petitioner is already in Mexico, unless the foreigner has family ties to a Mexican citizen or another permanent resident.
Presence in Mexico. Foreigners who are working or living in Mexico must be aware of the expiration date of their immigration status. In general, renewal requests must be submitted within 30 days before the expiration date of the immigration card.
If the immigration status expires while the foreigner is abroad, a renewal can be processed on arrival in Mexico if the foreigner re-enters Mexico within 55 days after the immigration card’s expiration date and submits the renewal request within 5 days after the date of entry into the country.
Foreigners who are in Mexico with an expired immigration status must file a request for reinstatement of their status within 60 calendar days of the date of expiration of the immigration card. The foreigner must appear before the INM to justify his or her irregular immigration status, pay an administrative fine and remain in Mexico until his or her immigration status is reinstated.
If these time frames for immigration status renewals and reinstatements are not observed and if the foreigner does not have any ties to a Mexican citizen or a temporary or permanent resident, the INM may deny the renewal or reinstatement request and order the foreigner (as well as the accompanying family, assuming they are also out of status) to leave Mexico. After the issuance of this order, the foreigner may be required to wait a minimum of six months before he or she is allowed to re-enter the country. Exceptions may be granted by Mexican consulates or embassies, depending on the facts and circumstances of each individual case.
Obligations of employers and employees. Individuals or companies that intend to hire or have foreigners under their responsibility must request a mandatory employer registration file from the INM.
All registered employers are required to formally notify the INM regarding changes in, among other items, their articles of incorporation, address and revocations of powers of attorney. Any reportable change must be disclosed within 30 calendar days. In addition, companies are required to annually update their employer registration file at the INM after filing their annual Mexican corporate income tax return.
Temporary and permanent residents must notify the INM of any changes regarding residence, marital status, nationality and location of their workplace or employer. Notifications by residents must be filed with the INM within 90 calendar days following such a change; otherwise, the resident may be subject to fines ranging from 20 to 100 days of the official Mexican minimum wage.