Do I have to pay taxes in Guatemala for what I earned abroad?


The question that gives the title to this article is a common one. It is believed that bringing money into the country automatically implies paying taxes.

Our system is territorial, so you are taxed on what is generated, produced, in the country, with some exceptions, such as interest.

Thus, when a person leaves the borders of Guatemala and generates some income abroad, he/she is not subject to taxation in Guatemala.

It is different for a person subject to a worldwide income or personal income system, because in such case he/she will have to be taxed in his/her country of domicile or residence for all the income he/she has, regardless of its origin.

A. VAT and the invoice

In the same way, the invoice is a document issued in Guatemala for those operations that are subject to the VAT law. That is, rendering of services in the country and sale of goods located in the country.

A VAT invoice is not issued for services rendered abroad or for the sale of goods located abroad. Some other control document may be issued, but not an invoice.


Now, it is important to consider that the regulation on money laundering prevention does oblige banks to obtain proof of the origin of the money that is deposited or the reason why a payment is made from their accounts.

These reasons are not directly related to taxes, but to comply with this type of legislation, which is practically worldwide.

That is why, although it is not required to issue a VAT invoice and it is not required to pay ISR (Income Tax) for the operations that take place abroad, it must be possible to prove the legal origin of those banking operations.