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New Yearly Tax on Legal Entities in Costa Rica as of April, 2012

The tax aims to reduce the number of inactive registered legal entities and fund national security initiatives.

Under Law No. 9024 of December 23rd, 2011 the Costa Rican Legislature passed a new tax on corporate entities that will take effect on April, 2012. All registered corporations will be required to pay to the National Registry a year flat rate tax. The tax affects all national corporate entities and branches of foreign companies registered in the country.

For the year 2012, corporations with commercial activities shall have to pay the equivalent of US$267 (plus incidentals) prior to April 30. Inactive corporations will be required to pay the equivalent US$133 (plus incidentals).

For very subsequent year, all registered corporations will be required to pay in January an adjusted amount of the tax: 50% of a “base salary” for corporations with commercial activities and 25% of a “base salary” for inactive corporations.

The legal representatives and principals-of-record of registered entities will be jointly liable for payment of the tax.

Access the full text of the law here: Ley de Impuesto a las Personas Jurídicas No. 9024 [Spanish only].

Last 5 “base salaries”* 
1) Year 2010 –  US$575 
2) Year 2011 –  US$616 
3) Year 2012 –  US$703
3) Year 2013 –  US$752
3) Year 2014 –  US$765
*Est. in US$.

 

Failure to pay

In addition to standard liens, as well as civil and criminal penalties applicable in case of failure to pay ordinary taxes, the National Registry will refuse to register any documents submitted by non-compliant entities. This includes real estate and vehicle transactions, corporate documents, trademark and patents documents, and all other registable acts.

Failure to pay three consecutive terms of the tax will also be an automatic cause for dissolution of the entity. Update of August 15, 2013: The first legal entities to owe three consecutive terms of the tax will begin to appear on February of 2014. The National Registry is supposed to initiate the dissolution procedure by publishing a list of the debtor entities in the official Gazette. The National Registry has not officially defined when such a list will be published.

Also, an entity that has not paid the tax may not tender in any procurement processes with the government or state-owned entities.

Alternatives

Entities voluntarily dissolved in a 3-month grace period after the entry into force of the law are not required to pay the tax. Similarly, for a  grace period of 6 months that expire on the 1st of October, transfers o movable and immovable property for corporations that have been inactive for the last 24 months prior to the entry into force of the tax shall be exempt from and government fees and taxes.

Client alerts are meant solely for general information and should not be regarded as legal advice. If you would like additional information, please contact:

For more information:

Luis D. Acuña
tel. 00 (506)  2221-9058
LDAcuna@AcunaLegal.com