mexico iva

Mexico IVA Tax: A Guide to Value-Added Tax Rules and Refunds

Mexico's Value Added Tax locally known as Impuesto al Valor Agregado (IVA), has been a key part of the country's tax system since its introduction in 1980. It is applied to the sale of products, provision of services, and importation of goods into Mexico.

Understanding the insights of VAT as a business owner, an entrepreneur, or a consumer is beneficial. You must know how to claim refunds and negotiate costs. To help you with it we prepared this guide which provides a clear understanding of Mexico's IVA Tax system. Stay by my side to check all the ins and outs of this tax.

Overview of Mecixo IVA

If you are residing anywhere in Mexico then Value Added Tax will be levied on the consumption of goods and services. Usually, you need to pay the extra 16% of VAT which is set as the standard rate. You must be curious why a large portion of revenue is being levied, well it is crucial for public services and infrastructure. However, certain goods and services may qualify for a reduced rate of 8%, a 0% rate, or be completely exempt from IVA.

IVA Mexico is an indirect tax that is charged on products at the point of purchase and consumption rather than directly on income or wealth. This is important to ensure universal contribution to the tax burden regardless of financial standing.

This collection mechanism operates through a chain transfer system where businesses at each stage of production and distribution collect the tax. It is then passed sequentially until it reaches the end consumer, who ultimately bears the entirety of the tax burden.

Mexico IVA Tax Rates

Below we have provided details of the standard and reduced IVA rates, along with a comparison of past rates so you can understand better how these rates have evolved over time.

vat in mexico

  • - Current IVA Rates

    The standard IVA rate in Mexico is 16%. This rate applies to most goods and services sold or provided within the country.

  • - Reduced Rate

    A reduced IVA rate of 8% is applied in specific border regions, including certain areas near the northern and southern borders of Mexico. Some points have a lower tax to help them grow better like food and medicine don’t have this tax.

    Rate Type Which goods or services
    16% Standard All other taxable goods and services
    8% Reduced VAT at Southern and Northern border regions.
    0% Zero Exports; certain basic foodstuffs (e.g., milk, wheat, meat, corn); medicine; some agricultural services.
  • - Comparison with past rates

    Over the years, Mexico's IVA rates have experienced several changes. Here’s a brief look at how these rates have evolved:

    1980s IVA was introduced in 1980 with a standard rate of 10%.
    1990s The standard rate was increased to 15% in 1991 to boost government revenues.
    2000s There were minor adjustments and the introduction of reduced rates for border regions.
    2010s In 2010, the standard rate was increased to 16%, where it remains today.
    2020s The current structure maintains the 16% standard rate, with an 8% reduced rate in designated border regions.

How VAT in Mexico Works

Mexico’s VAT tax is added to the price when you buy something. The seller collects this tax and then pays it to the government. This happens at each step of making and selling a product. When a product is made, the maker adds a bit of tax to its price. Then, the store adds more tax when they sell it. In the end, you pay the full tax when you buy it. This way, the tax is spread out and not just on one person.

Example of how IVA Tax Mexico is Applied:

To understand how IVA is applied, let's look at a simplified example:


  • - A manufacturer produces goods worth MXN 10,000.
  • - The manufacturer charges 16% IVA, adding MXN 1,600 to the price.
  • - The total invoice amount is MXN 11,600.
  • - The manufacturer collects MXN 1,600 IVA from the buyer and remits it to the tax authority.


  • - The wholesaler buys the goods from the manufacturer for MXN 11,600.
  • - The wholesaler adds value and sells the goods for MXN 15,000.
  • - The wholesaler charges 16% IVA on the sale, adding MXN 2,400 to the price.
  • - The total invoice amount is MXN 17,400.
  • - The wholesaler collects MXN 2,400 IVA from the buyer but can deduct the MXN 1,600 IVA paid to the manufacturer, remitting the net IVA of MXN 800 to the tax authority.


  • - The retailer buys the goods from the wholesaler for MXN 17,400.
  • - The retailer sells the goods to the final consumer for MXN 20,000.
  • - The retailer charges 16% IVA on the sale, adding MXN 3,200 to the price.
  • - The total invoice amount is MXN 23,200.
  • - The retailer collects MXN 3,200 IVA from the consumer but can deduct the MXN 2,400 IVA paid to the wholesaler, remitting the net IVA of MXN 800 to the tax authority.

Final Consumer:

  • - The final consumer pays MXN 23,200, which includes MXN 3,200 IVA.
  • - The consumer bears the entire IVA cost as the end user of the goods.

I.V.A Mexico Tax Refund Policy

In Mexico, you can get back some of the VAT tax you paid. This is called a VAT refund. It is important to manage the finances effectively and ensure compliance with tax regulations

  • - Mexico VAT refund for business

    Businesses in Mexico IVA, both local and international, can reclaim IVA paid on purchases linked to their taxable activities. Here's how the refund process works:


    • - Businesses must be registered for IVA in Mexico.
    • - Expenses should directly relate to taxable business activities.
    • - Maintain proper documentation, such as invoices and receipts.
    • - Keep accurate records of all invoices and receipts.
    • - Detailed accounting records showing IVA collected and paid.
    • - Proof of payment for all purchases claimed.

    If you fulfil above mentioned criteria then file your IVA returns monthly, reporting both the IVA collected on sales and the IVA paid on purchases. If your purchases had more IVA than your sales, you can request a refund for the difference from the Servicio de Administración Tributaria (SAT) using their online system. Refunds typically take 30-60 days to process.

  • - VAT Refund Reasons

    Here are the most possible reasons one can claim a refund:

    • - Refund on IVA paid for inputs used in exports from Mexico.
    • - Refund for excess IVA paid on purchases compared to collected sales IVA.
    • - Refund for IVA on business-related costs like office supplies and utilities.
    • - Refunds on IVA paid for significant investments like machinery.
    • - Refund on IVA for essential promotional expenses.
  • - Mexican Invoice Requirements

    To successfully claim an IVA refund, businesses must stick to rigid invoicing requirements set by the Mexican tax authorities. Here are the key elements required on an invoice:

    • - Issuer Details:

      Name, address, and tax identification number (RFC) of the supplier.

    • - Recipient Details:

      Name, address, and tax identification number (RFC) of the buyer.

    • - Invoice Number:

      A unique, sequential number is assigned to each invoice.

    • - Date of Issue:

      The date when the invoice was generated.

    • - Description of Goods/Services:

      Detailed description of the goods or services provided.

    • - Unit Price and Quantity:

      Breakdown of the unit price and quantity of each item.

    • - Total Amount:

      The total amount charged, including the breakdown of taxable and non-taxable amounts.

    • - IVA Rate and Amount:

      The applicable IVA rate (16% or 8%) and the corresponding IVA amount.

    • - Digital Stamp:

      An authorized digital stamp from the SAT for electronic invoices.

Mexico IVA Tax Rules

  • Mexican manufacturers do not have to pay VAT or IEPS on items or components temporarily imported for processing.
  • The IMMEX program in Mexico wants to level up the manufacturing industry by offering tax incentives and benefits to businesses that manufacture and export finished products.
  • Eligible legal entities under the IMMEX program can temporarily import materials, components, and machinery for production without paying VAT or import duties.
  • This exemption from VAT and import duties leads to substantial cost savings for companies in the manufacturing sector.

VAT Tax On The Mexican Border Region

Mexico applies special VAT rates in its border regions to expand economic growth and competitiveness. This section discusses the unique tax rates and regulations for both the Northern and Southern border areas.

Mexican Northern Border Region

In the Northern Border Region, which includes cities such as Tijuana, Mexicali, and Ciudad Juárez, the IVA rate is reduced to 8% from the standard 16%. This reduced rate has an aim to uplift the local economies and make the region more competitive compared to neighboring countries, particularly the United States.

Mexican Southern Border Region

The Southern Border Region, which includes areas like Tapachula and Chetumal, also benefits from a reduced IVA rate of 8%. This initiative strives to support economic development and stability in the southernmost parts of Mexico.

Wrapping Up

Mexico IVA is currently set at a standard rate of 16%. Businesses in specific border regions benefit from a reduced rate of 8%. There is also a refund process to reclaim IVA on eligible purchases which is important to understand for better financial management. So follow up the rules and step towards scaling your business.


Do I need to register for Mexican VAT?

Yes, if you do business in Mexico, you need to register for VAT.

Can I issue Mexican VAT invoices electronically?

Yes, electronic invoicing (CFDI) is mandatory in Mexico.

What is the current IVA in Mexico?

The current standard IVA rate in Mexico is 16%.

Is IVA the same as VAT?

Yes, IVA is the Spanish term for VAT.

What is IVA on the Mexican bill?

IVA on a Mexican bill is the tax added to the sale of goods and services.

Rían Doyle

I'm a VAT professional with years of experience helping businesses with compliance and reporting. My goal is to simplify VAT calculation and provide valuable insights through my engaging writing style and clear explanations of complex concepts.