Requirements to maintain financial statements in El Salvador

Art. 283 of the Commercial Code (CCom) stipulates that the balance sheet, income statement, and statement of changes in equity must be concluded within an unextendable period of three months from the closure of the fiscal year. These documents will be the responsibility of the sole administrator or the board of directors and must be handed over to the external auditor with the corresponding supporting documents, no later than immediately upon the expiration of the stipulated deadline.

Art. 284 of the CCom provides that the auditor, within 30 days of receiving the balance sheet and annexes, shall issue an opinion on it, including all appropriate observations and proposals. Art. 286, fourth paragraph of the CCom states that once the balance sheet, income statement, and statement of changes in equity are approved, they must be certified by the Auditor along with the certification indicating the approval of the general assembly before being deposited in the Commercial Registry to take effect against third parties.

Similarly, art. 411, Roman numeral III of the CCom establishes, among the obligations of individual and corporate traders, the annual filing with the Commercial Registry of the balance sheet of their company, the income statement, and the statement of changes in equity corresponding to the same fiscal year of said balance sheet, accompanied by the Auditor’s Opinion and their respective annexes, as well as compliance with other commercial publicity requirements established by law.

In tax matters, art. 91, second paragraph of the Tax Code states that Income Tax taxpayers required to maintain accounting records must submit, within the deadline provided by law for filing the declaration of said tax, the balance sheet for the close of the respective fiscal year or tax period, the income statement, and the fiscal reconciliations or justifications of the items recorded in the declaration and the balance sheet.

However, if they are taxpayers not required to maintain formal accounting records, they must submit the income and expense statement, which must be provided in the declaration.

It should be noted that subjects whose income comes exclusively from salaries, natural persons with diverse income equal to or less than $30,000.00 in the fiscal year or tax period, and those who have fulfilled the obligation to appoint and inform the auditor to issue an opinion and fiscal report in the corresponding fiscal year or tax period are excluded from this obligation.

Another important aspect to note is that the information contained in the financial statements submitted to the Tax Authority must contain the same figures as the financial statements presented to Public or Private Financial Institutions and those contained in the balance sheets submitted for registration in Public Registries.

Likewise, art. 66 of the Regulation of Application of the Tax Code stipulates that the financial statements to be submitted shall be those established by International Accounting Standards, accompanied by the necessary notes according to the circumstances and activities carried out by the taxpayers that warrant disclosure according to the Standard. These financial statements must meet the following requirements:

    1. Be signed by the taxpayer, their legal representative or attorney-in-fact, the taxpayer’s accountant, and the auditor for tax purposes.
    2. Be presented in comparative form with the immediate previous fiscal year, expressing their figures in thousands of colones or United States dollars according to the legal currency used by the taxpayer.
    3. Contain a seal indicating that they are the responsibility of the taxpayer and that the figures are under their legal and auxiliary records.

In addition, the financial statements must contain annexes under the rules indicated in art. 67 of the Regulation of Application.

For any additional inquiries, please contact Dr. Diego Martín (dmartin@consortiumlegal.com), Lic. William Escobar (wescobar@consortiumlegal.com), or by email (taxelsalvador@consortiumlegal.com).