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Tax Obligations Detailed

Discover employer and employee tax responsibilities in Chile

Employer tax responsibilities

Employers in Chile have a significant role in contributing towards mandatory social insurance, which includes pensions, healthcare, unemployment insurance, and occupational hazard insurance. These contributions are primarily directed to the employee's individual pension fund managed by an AFP (Administradoras de Fondos de Pensiones), the National Health Fund (FONASA) or a private health insurance system (ISAPRE), and an unemployment insurance fund. Employers also cover work-related accident and illness insurance.

Contribution Rates

The rates of these contributions can vary slightly depending on the specific AFP, ISAPRE, and insurance providers chosen. Generally, a significant portion of the contribution goes towards the employee's pension fund. The employer's health insurance contributions vary depending on whether the employee chooses FONASA or ISAPRE. Smaller contributions are made for unemployment and occupational hazard insurance.

Additional Considerations

Employer contribution rates are subject to potential adjustments, so it's important to always refer to the latest information from social security agencies or reputable tax advisors for accurate rates. The determination of exact employer contributions in Chile can be complex due to variations based on AFPs, ISAPREs, and insurance providers.

Employee tax deductions

Income tax, also known as Impuesto Único de Segunda Categoría, is withheld from salaries based on a progressive tax rate structure.

Mandatory Deductions

  • Pension Contributions (AFP): Employees are required to make contributions to their individual pension fund, which is managed by a private pension fund administrator (AFP).
  • Health Insurance Contributions (Seguro de Salud): Contributions are made to either the National Health Fund (FONASA) or a private health insurance system (ISAPRE). The contribution rate is set at 7% of the employee's gross salary.
  • Unemployment Insurance (Seguro de Cesantía): A small percentage is deducted from the employee's salary for unemployment insurance.

Other Potential Deductions

  • Union Dues: If applicable, union membership fees can be deducted from salaries.
  • Voluntary Pension Contributions: Employees have the option to make additional contributions to their AFP beyond the mandatory amount.

Important Considerations

  • Tax Allowances: Employees may be eligible for certain tax allowances or deductions, which could potentially reduce their overall income tax.
  • Changes to Tax Rates: Income tax rates, health insurance contributions, and other deductions are subject to potential changes. Always refer to the latest information or consult a tax advisor.


The standard VAT rate in Chile is 19%. This applies to most services provided within the country. However, certain essential services, such as healthcare, education, and some financial services, might be exempt from VAT.

VAT on Services Rendered within Chile

Services provided within Chile are generally subject to the standard 19% VAT rate. It's essential to consult the most up-to-date list of exempt services, available on the website of the Servicio de Impuestos Internos (SII).

VAT on Imported Services

Chile may apply a "reverse charge" mechanism for certain services received from outside its borders. In this circumstance, the recipient of the service in Chile is responsible for calculating and paying VAT, even if the supplier is a foreign entity. It's important to assess whether a specific imported service is taxable under Chile's VAT regulations.

Important Considerations

Certain types of services might have specific VAT treatment or potential exemptions. Determining where a service is considered to be supplied is crucial and can impact VAT obligations and liabilities.

Staying Compliant

The SII website is the primary source of information on VAT regulations in Chile. For complex situations, international transactions, or to ensure complete compliance with VAT on services, consult a tax advisor specializing in Chile's VAT system.

Tax incentives

In Chile, tax incentives are available to businesses in various forms. Smaller businesses might qualify for simplified tax regimes with reduced compliance burdens and potential tax breaks. Businesses may also be eligible for accelerated depreciation deductions on certain assets, providing faster tax relief. Additionally, Chile offers tax credits for investments in qualifying research and development activities.

Sector-Specific Incentives

Incentives are also provided to specific sectors. The agricultural and forestry sectors may have tax incentives to encourage investment and development. The mining industry might have specific incentives available for investments. The fishing and aquaculture sector may have tailored incentives to support its development. Tax breaks or exemptions might be offered to promote investments in renewable energy projects.

Regional Incentives

Businesses operating in Chile's northernmost and southernmost regions, known as Extreme Zones (Zonas Extremas), may benefit from significant tax incentives, including income tax reductions and import duty exemptions.

Finding the Right Incentives

The Servicio de Impuestos Internos (SII) provides information on some tax incentives but might not be comprehensive. CORFO (Corporación de Fomento de la Producción), a government development agency, offers information on incentives and support programs for businesses. For personalized advice and identification of eligible incentives, consult a tax professional in Chile with expertise in business incentives.

Important Considerations

Incentives typically have strict eligibility requirements based on industry, investment size, location, and job creation goals. An application and approval process is often required to qualify for and receive tax incentives. Tax laws and incentives in Chile can be subject to change. Always obtain the latest information from the SII, CORFO, or reputable tax advisors.

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