Sunday, August 16, 2015

US Expats Can Vote From Mexico - Learn How... it might make a difference!

The following US State Department site has all rules and forms to register to vote when you live abroad.  There is still time....over 500 days before the next Presidential election.

Mediation of Disputes in Mexico in Lieu of Litigation or Arbitration

If you want to dramatically cut costs and waiting for a resolution, consider using Mediation to resolve  your  legal disputes in Mexico.

Mediation is an informal process where an impartial third-party, the mediator, helps the disputing parties find a mutually satisfactory solution to their issue. The mediator guides the parties toward a mutually agreeable settlement by helping them clarify their underlying interests and concerns, and encouraging compromise and trade-offs based on the relative importance of each item to each party.
Mediators cannot impose a resolution upon the parties since they are not able to make legally binding decisions. Any settlement reached, if in fact one is reached, is simply an agreement signed by the parties just like any other contract. The settlement does not have the same legal force as an Award which results from arbitration.
Mediation is usually well-suited to disputing parties who still have a somewhat amicable relationship, who are still able to negotiate, and who do not want a third-party to make final decision.  Statistically mediation has historically been successful somewhere between 40 to 50 percent of the times it has been used.

What do you need to do?  Put a written arbitration and mediation clause into all contracts you enter into in Mexico.  It will save you many years in Mexican courts and untold legal fees.
Email us at if you want to learn more about mediation in Mexico and using it to resolve  your legal disputes.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Taxes in Mexico on Rental Properties - How to Get Into Compliance?

If you own a rental property in Mexico, the income and expenses from that property are reportable on your US tax return and in Mexico.  The tax reporting in the US is very much the same as a rental property located in the US, but you must depreciate the property over a 40 year period.

Over one-half of the Canadians and Americans who rent their Mexican properties are not paying their Mexican taxes on that income. What are those taxes you owe?

  • IVA which is 16 % of your gross rental income (deductible on US return)
  • Local Lodging Taxes (if it applies) in the City where the property is located (deductible on US return)
  • Mexican income tax on rental income (can be credited against US tax on this income)
These Mexican taxes must be reported and paid monthly to the Hacienda and other applicable local taxing agencies.  Most of this is done on line on the internet.  Failure to do so can result in penalties and potential criminal prosecution.

In some areas of Mexico the taxing agencies search the internet for properties for rent, locate the properties and check to see if the taxes are all being paid on the rental income.  This technique is likely to spread to other areas of Mexico as time passes.

If you are not a resident of Mexico, there are additional rules and complications paying these taxes. If you wish to get into compliance, please email us at and we can guide  you to an excellent service the will file all tax report and pay the taxes for you.  Best to get into compliance with these Mexican tax laws before it is too late!  Further delay may be costly.

The Settlement Company offers the service of filing and paying rental taxes on Mexican rentals for nonresident owners. Read more at www.RentalTax 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Arbitration Works in Mexico and it is Much Faster Than Court System

Mexico has  excellent arbitration laws.  If you live and work in Mexico, you should consider putting an arbitration clause in your next contract or agreement. Such a clause in the event of a dispute may save you untold amounts of legal fees and time.  It is a fact that in many parts of Mexico the courts are so backlogged that  can take 5 to 18 years to get a decision and during the entire period attorneys are charging additional fees.

If you have an arbitration clause in your agreement you can usually get a decision within 6 months to a year and have that arbitration decision entered with the court as a judgment very quickly.  It is also possible to remove legal disputes from the Mexican Courts and have them resolved with arbitration if both parties agree.  The parties may agree just so they both get a quicker decision and possibly a more knowledgeable decision.

When parties arbitrate they can pick the arbitrator with experience in the particular area of law governing the dispute. Often when disputes are litigated in Court, the judge has little or no background in the governing law and therefore the final decision can be arbitrary and not predictable.

Arbitration decisions in most situations cannot be appealed. But if you have chose a knowledgeable arbitrator (1 or 3 arbitrators can be used ), and it saves you waiting 5,10 or more years for a decision, that disadvantage may be worth ignoring

In lieu of arbitration of disputes, consider mediation.  When parties mediate a neutral mediator with experience in the applicable laws works with the two opposing parties to help them reach a mutually satisfactory resolution.  Statistics show that mediation has a 30 to 50 percent chance of success and it is significantly less expensive than arbitration or litigation in Court.

Want to know more about Arbitration or Mediation in Mexico?  Want the proper provisions included in your legal agreements and  wish to know how to arbitrate your legal dispute in Mexico?  To learn more email us at   Don D. Nelson, Attorney at Law, CPA.