SAN JUAN – Businesses in Puerto Rico will have to offer customers two ways to pay as of Wednesday, with consumers no longer forced to pay in cash and helping authorities fight tax evasion.
“It’s important that doctors, lawyers, other professionals and businesses accept alternatives to paying in cash, so consumers will benefit and we can fight tax evasion,” said Sen. Luis Daniel Rivera Filomeno, who represents the Carolina district.
Law 46-2016 gives consumers two ways of paying for all kinds of goods and services after “an intense orientation process, along with the Department of Consumer Affairs,” the senator said.
The legislation was signed by Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla on April 4, 2015, but it provided a phase-in period and took effect on Wednesday.
“Payments for services will be made via alternative methods to cash, like credit and debit cards, as well as checks and postal or bank money orders,” said Rivera Filomeno, chairman of the Puerto Rican Senate’s Labor Relations, Consumer Affairs and Job Creation Committee.
Small businesses with annual sales of less than $50,000 are exempt from the law.
Violators will be subject to fines, with the penalties ranging from $500 all the way to $3,000 for a first offense.
Subsequent violations will be punishable by fines ranging from $5,000 to $10,000.