Excerpted from the Peru Career Guide
Cost of Living
In Peru, general living costs are lower than those found in developed countries like the United States and western European nations. Peru’s inflation is a relatively moderate 3.4 percent, with most price increases seen in food and fuels.
The latest Mercer Cost of Living Survey, which surveys costs for more than 200 items in 214 countries around the world, ranks Peru’s capital city of Lima as the world’s 120th most expensive city, up from 138th, but still in the bottom half of the world’s cities. It costs about half as much to live in Lima as it does in New York City, according to UBS Bank.
Peruvian real estate, which has been on the rise in the last few years, exhibits a wide range of quality, price and value. In relation to North American or European prices, moreover, Peru remains very affordable. Exceptions include some luxury neighborhoods in Lima, and some of the nearby beach communities to the south, which represent some of the highest-priced real estate in the country.
Typically people live in apartments in the larger cities, and Peru offers many housing options for expatriates. In Lima, for example, it is not difficult to find good housing in a variety of safe neighborhoods; many expatriates live in the neighborhood of Miraflores, which is safe but more expensive than most other areas.
Although intercity bus travel is inexpensive, it can also be quite dangerous with frequent fatal accidents occurring as a result of speed, driver fatigue or poor maintenance. Another danger, especially at night, is bus holdups by armed robbers. According to the US Department of State, bus lines with good safety records include Cruz del Sur, Linea, Movil Tours, CIAL, OLTURSA, Ormeño, TEPSA and ITTSA. Also, the Peruvian Ministry of Transportation publishes a report in Spanish of intercity bus lines with the highest traffic accident fatalities.
The tax year is from January 1 through December 31. Non-resident employees are taxed on their Peru-sourced income, while residents are taxed on their worldwide income. Individuals are considered to be ‘residents’ if they remain in Peru for more than 183 days in a 12-month period. Individuals who qualify as residents on January 1 must file that year; changes to the residence status after that date are carried over to the next year. Temporary absences of up to 183 days in a 12-month period are allowed. Expats lose their tax residency if they remain outside Peru for more than 183 days in a 12-month period.
This is just a short sample of what you’ll find in over 100 pages of information in the complete Peru Guide.