Changes in Obtaining an Investor’s RUT in Chile – UPDATED April 2016

UPDATE:  April 2016:   New requirement for non-residents, you must now have a chilean or resident act as your representative. This is usually not difficult to work out, buyt know that it requires a trip to the notary that, if done efficiently, will be made before going to the SII office.

Other than that minor addition, it is still a relatively painless process, and can normally be completed in the course of one morning.

SII Change Notice: Obtaining an Chile Investor RUT – UPDATE August 2014

Recently, we’ve heard reports that the SII – the Chilean tax authorities-  have tightened up what was once an easy process for obtaining an investor RUT. So I went down to the local office and spoke with the SII staff to verify this. Here´s the deal:

Chile Investor RUT, chile, RUT, SII, Change, Chilean, tax, ID, card, investment, policy, government, account, money, investor

The Issue

Over the last few years, some people have been providing the “service” of obtaining RUTs for others who are out of the country; but they’ve been charging silly amounts of money, and making false promises about what can be done with an investor RUT. Such unprofessional/ predatory practices resulted in many foreigners arriving to Chile with confusion about what they were able and authorized to do with their investors´ RUTs. Consequently, and rightly so, the SII enhanced their requirements to issue new RUTs.

The Basics

For anyone who’s not familiar, the investor´s RUT is only a taxpayer ID # for the purposes of buying property, starting a business, and other investment activities. It will NOT allow you to work; and it will NOT help you to receive a visa; and it will NOT help you open a checking account, nor anything else not expressly permitted. It causes some confusion that a Chilean ID card also includes a “RUT #”. This is a totally different number, and can only be received after you’re in the country and have some sort of non-tourist visa. The Chilean ID card a.k.a. carnet -issued by the Registro Civil– has your personal RUT which you use constantly as your primary identification number for a hundred different purposes. An investor´s RUT – issued by the SII- has very limited applications.             

examples

Chile Investor RUT, chile, RUT, SII, Change, Chilean, tax, ID, card, investment, policy, government, account, money, investor   Carnet- ID card – personal RUN/ RUT:                

Chile Investor RUT, chile, RUT, SII, Change, Chilean, tax, ID, card, investment, policy, government, account, money, investor   Investor´s RUT from the SII:

 

The Change in SII Policy

You can still get an investor´s RUT and you should still be able to do it from abroad. In order to apply for it from outside Chile, you will need to (a) give someone (anyone…a person or an agency) a Power of Attorney to do this on your behalf, and (b) you need to show Why you need it.

For example, if you’re going to buy a certain parcel of real estate, then you would print the specific, detailed description of the parcel, seller´s name/phone #, etc, and present it to the SII when you apply. The more information… the better. Neither of these requirements are difficult nor unreasonable. BUT the only asterisk I´ll add is, unfortunately, government offices are not 100% consistent with interpreting regulations.

[Feel free to a brief outburst of laughter if you already know this too well.]

There are times when it seems to “all depend on who you talk to”. So, sometimes we just have to see how it goes, and patiently deal with any snags that arise.

Do you really need to do this before your next trip here?   Probably not.

If you’re going to open an investment account or buy some property, then likely you’ll do that while you’re here in Chile. This is something that generally can be done in an hour or two- and is then issued immediately. Still, if you want to, you can apply for the investor´s RUT from abroad. But, whatever you decide, don’t pay anyone more than a small fee for this service, if anything. It´s really (still) not a big deal to get an investor´s RUT, and most established business people here will simply help you out with it, as a courtesy, and in the course of other, routine requirements.

-Dan Duke      August 2014