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13.1. Books and Records

Businesses in Uruguay are required to keep sufficient records of their income and expenditure and supporting documentation, and must maintain the following:

  • General ledger
  • Inventory ledger
  • Stock ledger
  • Copy letter book
  • Minutes of shareholders meetings and director meetings

The books and records must be kept in Uruguay for a period of at least 20 years, be written in Spanish, and denominated in Uruguayan pesos.

Companies must keep their records in accordance with generally accepted accounting rules and principles.

Certain entities are required to register their financial statements if certain income thresholds are met. The affected entity types include:

  • Commercial companies;
  • Civil associations or companies;
  • Foundations;
  • Cooperatives;
  • Agricultural associations or companies;
  • Non-resident entities registered with the Central Bank of Uruguay; and
  • Trusts and investment funds not subject to supervision from the Central Bank of Uruguay.  

The above entity types are required to register their financial statements with the Internal Audit Office if:

  • Income from ordinary activities exceeds 26.3 million indexed units i.e, Unidad Indexada which are multiple of pesos adjusted for inflation (~USD2.92 million) in the previous fiscal year; or
  • Income earned exceeds 4 million indexed units (~USD 440,000) in the previous fiscal year, and at least 90% of the income is not Uruguayan source.

The indexed unit value used is the value at the end of the fiscal year, and if the fiscal year is less than 12 months, the thresholds are adjusted accordingly. When required, the financial statements must be registered within 180 days following the close of the fiscal year. Failure to file by the deadline will result in a penalty of 2,000 indexed units for the first offense, and 3,000 indexed units for repeated failure within five years. In addition, entities required to register their financial statement may not distribute profits until the registration is complete. If profits are distributed prior to registration, a penalty of 125,000 indexed units will apply, which is increased to 250,000 indexed units if subsequent distributions are made before registration within five years.

The requirements apply for commercial companies for fiscal years ending on or after 13 June 2016, and for other entity types for fiscal years beginning on or after 10 June.