New tax filing requirement by the Costa Rican government pertaining to company ownership.
Update August 2020: Deadline for filing of 2020 due to Covid-19 postponed.
Update May 2020: The final deadline for submission of the 2019 affidavit has been updated.
The Costa Rican Government recently implemented the requirement for legal entities, structures, limited liability companies and corporations domiciled in Costa Rica (with some minor exceptions) of submitting a yearly affidavit pertaining to the details of share ownership and beneficiaries (more info here, in Spanish only).
The information submitted in the affidavit is is to be treated as confidential and will only be used for internal tax purposes, such as controlling payment of capital gains taxes and others, and anti-money laundering.
The filing is referred to in Spanish as the Declaración sobre Registro de Transparencia y Beneficiarios Finales (“RTBF”). There literal translation into English would be “Declaration concerning Transparency Registry and Final Beneficiaries” and is more commonly referred to as the “shareholder declaration” or “shareholder affidavit“.
The deadline for the 2019 declaration is March 31st, 2020. The filing must be done by the end of April every year thereafter or whenever there is a significant change of ownership, which the exception of the 2020 declaration, which has been exempted from filing due to administrative measures concerning Covid-19. The Tax Authorities will automatically pre-load in
Failure to submit the affidavit by these deadlines carries hefty monetary penalties: up to 2% of the entity’s gross income, with a minimum of 3 so-called “base salaries” (each salary is roughly ~$1,000, for a total minimum fine of ~$3,000).
The filing must be done in a secured only platform implemented by the Costa Rican Central Bank (“BCCR”) (available here) by the company’s legal representative. The person that does the filing on behalf of the company must have a government-issued certificate of encryption of digital ID. Foreign nationals without legal residence in Costa Rica normally do not have access to this document.
All clients, especially those without a digital ID, are strongly suggested to contact us to coordinate completion of this requirement.
First published on January 15th, 2020.