Ecuador's government submitted the draft Law for the Attraction of Investments, Strengthening of the Stock Market, and Digital Transformation in the National Assembly on 22 February 2022. With respect to specific tax measures, the key measures of the draft law are for the introduction of a new Special Economic Development (SED) Zone and Free Zone regime.
Under the new regime, taxpayers that are administrators or operators of SED and Free Zones will be exempt from the payment of income tax for the first 10 years, followed by a reduction of 10 percentage points with respect to the corporate income tax rate in force at the time of approval. The establishment of a zone will be granted a minimum validity of 20 years, with the possibility of extensions, in which case the 10-percentage point discount may be extended, but there will be no new exemption. Further, a VAT exemption is provided on the import of inputs, capital goods, and raw materials by administrators and operators of SED and Free Zones, provided that they are destined exclusively for the authorized zone or incorporated in any of the productive transformation processes developed in a zone for export to third countries. Such imports are also exempt from the remittance tax on foreign currency outflows (ISD) and taxes on foreign trade.
Transitional provisions are also included providing that companies already operating under existing SED and Free Zone regimes are allowed to continue to operate and enjoy the relevant benefits and exemptions for the term authorized. Such companies are also allowed to opt to migrate to the new regime.