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Costa Rica has extended the length of stay in the country to 180 days.

September 10 2023
Costa Rica is extending the length of stay in the country for tourists from a group of countries. By decree, the deadline increases from 90 days to 180 days. This is a list that includes 60 countries like the United States, Denmark, Spain, Germany, France, Canada, among others.
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Digital nomads

05 july 2022
The administration signed this Monday, July 4, the regulation that allows the applicability of the Law to attract remote workers and service providers of an international nature, known as digital nomads, to Costa Rica. The modifications made to publicize the viability of the regulation are: - The new text eliminates the need to present a criminal record certificate. - The apostilled requirement is eliminated in all documents, except when the digital nomad tourist presents income for certification as a public accountant. - With regard to the requirement to demonstrate a stable monthly remuneration for an amount equal to or greater than $3,000 (if the person comes alone) and $4,000 if they also request benefits for their family group, it was established that it is enough for digital nomads to present the original statements from your bank through an affidavit. - Documents that are in a foreign language, apart from being accompanied by a translation that can be issued by an official translator in Costa Rica or a qualified person from the issuing country, introduces the possibility that a Costa Rican notary can do this management . - Digital nomads will be exempt from income tax and from the tax process to enter their luggage and equipment (cell phone, computer, camera) required to fulfill their duties in the country.
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Extension of the term to present the ordinary declaration 2022 in RTBF.

23 of April 2022
Until May 31, 2022, the deadline for submitting the declaration in the Registry of Transparency and Final Beneficiaries (RTBF) is extended. The foregoing, by virtue of the temporary suspension of the systems with which the Ministry of Finance operates
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Dissolved companies may re-register.

23 of April 2022
The deputies approved in the first debate, on Wednesday, a bill to authorize the re-registration of legal entities that were dissolved due to tax arrears or expiration of their deed. To request re-registration, the person will have to pay the debts that caused their dissolution, both the principal and the penalties, fines and interest generated by the tax debt. The request for re-registration may be made in the National Property Registry, within a maximum period of three years after the declaration of dissolution. Within three years, the Registry of Legal Entities will maintain the protection of the corporate name that the company has, so that it does not disappear.
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Presentation of the patrimonial declaration of inactive companies

9 March 2022
Yesterday File No. 22,307 was approved in the first debate, through which it is intended to extend 3 more months, the term for the presentation of the patrimonial declaration of inactive companies. The second debate should take place on Thursday, and in theory be sanctioned and published before March 15.
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The purpose of this law is to create the regulatory framework to encourage the attraction of investors, rentiers and pensioners. Duty free and all import taxes present only once, for the importation of household items. The people covered by this law will enjoy the following incentives: Beneficiaries may import up to two land, air and / or sea transportation vehicles, for personal or family use, free of all import, tariff and value-added taxes. The amounts declared as income to qualify for the benefits of this law will be exempt from income tax. Exoneration of twenty percent (20%) of the total transfer tax, in those real estate that they acquire within the term of this law. Exemption from import taxes for instruments or materials for professional or scientific practice, carried out by the person with the migratory category of investor, retired resident or rentier resident. For more information, do not hesitate to contact us
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Attract teleworkers to Costa Rica

There is a project to amend the immigration law to facilitate settlement in Costa Rica. This concerns the self-employed or not, who telework for clients outside Costa Rica and for whom they receive remuneration. For the moment, this is a project, keep in touch with us, we will inform you of the follow-up given to it.
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Grace period for foreign driver's license extended.

The Ministry of Public Works and Transportation agree through resolution 2020-001307 to extend the grace period for tourists who have entered the country between December 17, 2019, and November 30, 2020, allowing them to continue using foreign driver's licenses. Foreigners who are in this condition will be able to drive using their country's licenses until March 2, 2021. It is important to remember that when driving, you must always carry your passport and driver's license. Please reach out in case of further questions, we will be glad to assist you.
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Immigration Department Closed until December 1, 2020

The Immigration Department WILL NOT receive Residency applications going forward and until December 1st, 2020. All applications must be filed by appointment only. Starting October 19th, 2020, Immigration will allow appointments to be scheduled by phone, by calling 1311, or through The Immigration Department will continue analyzing applications already in-process. Resolutions will be communicated via email. Documents issued abroad that were valid by, or issued after, March 17th, 2020, will be deemed valid (meaning their validity will be automatically extended) until June 1st, 2021. Deadlines to respond to exigencies that were valid by March 17th, 2020 will be extended until February 12th, 2021. Responses to exigencies will be accepted by appointment only by calling 1311 or through Appointments can be scheduled from October 19th, 2020 onwards. For any question please contact us, we will be happy to help you
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Tourist visas extended until March 2021

According to a Resolution published on September 21, 2020, tourists who entered Costa Rica after December 17, 2019 and until October 31, 2020, can legally remain in the country until March 2, 2021. Tourists who enter the country starting November 1sth, 2020 will need to depart the country depending on the tourist days granted at the port of entry.
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Modification of the law for Investors.

In order to attract foreigners wishing to obtain residency in Costa Rica as an Investor, the minimum amount is reduced to $ 150,000 USD In addition, and this also applies to those applying for residence as a pensioner or as an annuitant, it is possible to import movable and personal goods free of all import taxes. It is also planned to allow the importation of a personal vehicle free of all taxes. This law will be valid for 5 years.
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VAT exemption on construction

The construction sector will remain exempt from VAT until August 31, 2021 In order to stimulate the construction economy, the sector will be totally exempt until August 31, 2021. Then the VAT rate will gradually increase and will pass to 4% until August 31, 2022, 8% until August 31, 2023 After this date the entire sector will be subject to the full rate of 13%. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any construction projects.
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New conditions to segregate the lots.

Among the most representative changes is that the segregations for urban purposes of more than 900 square meters (m²), no longer give 10% of their area to the municipality. And it will only be the lands with eight or more segregated lots that make said concession of 10%. Also consider the following regulatory changes: - Land with eight or more lots for urban development purposes must be endorsed by the INVU - If your land has more than eight segregated lots, you must assign 10% to the municipality - You can allocate up to 25% of your agricultural plot to build - The subdivisions with agricultural, livestock, forest, or mixed use whose area is greater than 900 m² may be segregated without services and will be approved only by the municipalities The new INVU regulation will also serve as a guide for municipalities that do not have a regulatory plan, which are currently around 50%
Source : La Republica

Mandatory registration of actionists

Due to the complexity of the process, more than 180,000 companies have still not registered their actionists. Failure to register will be punished with a minimum fine of $ 2,000. A ley to delay the entry into force on February 1, 2020 of sanctions is expected to be passed this week. If you have not yet completed this process, do not hesitate to contact our office to help you complete the registration of your company.
Source : La Republica

Amnesty period for illegal wells

The six-month period of amnesty for illegal wells drilled before 2010 begins on September 24, and will run until March 24, 2020. The decree establishes a simplification of procedures for the registration and regulated registration of wells without drilling permission, as well as the respective procedure for obtaining the water use concession, provided that they are located in areas without some established restriction by law. Those interested must submit an affidavit -before a notary- of the owner of the land where the well is located indicating the location, year of drilling, flow and use, among other data. This information must be presented at the central or regional offices of the Minae Water Directorate. Once the application for registration of the well has been delivered, the interested person will have a one-year term to present the other requirements for the respective exploitation concession. For any question, do not hesitate to contact us.
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The new obligations are: - You must register as a taxpayer of rental taxes either as a natural person, legal entity or create an entity for this activity. - You must present the information and the tax declaration on the rental (even if you do not pay this tax). - You must issue electronic invoices. You do not pay the rental tax if you receive a net income of less than 3,549,000 Colones over the 12 months of the tax period, but you have the obligation to fulfill the 3 conditions above. If you do not fulfill the obligations you expose yourself to sanctions that can go up to 2 base salaries, or 862,000 Colones (in the case of non-issuance of electronic invoice). For any further information, do not hesitate to contact us.
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Belgium has become Costa Rica's second largest importer of product.

Costa Rica has become a producer of high technology products such as medical prostheses and other medical devices. These are the products that make up the largest share of exports to Belgium. Then come more traditional products like bananas and coffee. Our firm is always at your disposal to help you in all administrative and legal steps for all your import or export activities.
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The mandatory electronic invoice in Costa Rica.

The majority of professionals have already switched to this new system and by the end of the year all companies must start issuing electronic invoices. Fines for non-use of the electronic invoice are very high. There are many providers of e-billing solutions on the market. Do not hesitate to contact us for any questions about this.
Source : La Nacion

Taxpayer Registry Data Change Statement

It will be from February 2018 that this obligation will again be active for all companies registered in the Register of Legal Entities which, before the validity of the Corporations Tax Act, namely September 1 of the current year, were not required to be registered in the Single Tax Register (RUT). The basis of the suspension is the commitment of the tax administration to ensure an efficient, agile and quality service, taking into account the considerable increase in demand for the services that will be provided in the coming weeks under : i) reactivation of many companies dissolved by law by delay in the tax on legal persons; (ii) the imminent expiry of the presentation of the information returns, and (iii) the completion of the deadline for the submission and payment of the income tax return. This resolution applies only to legal entities that register in the National Register after October 31, 2017 or to which the dissolved status is terminated.
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New corporate tax will be charged as of September

The first of September will begin the collection of the new corporate tax. For the current year, the payment will be partial.
CorporationSept-Dec 2017 2018Base
Inactive Corporation ¢21.308 ¢63.930 15% base salary
Active Corporation - Income lower than ¢51.144.000 ¢35.513 ¢106.550 25% base salary
Active Corporation - iIncome between ¢51 and ¢119 millones ¢42.616 ¢127.860 30% base salary
Active Corporation - Income exceeding ¢119 millones ¢71.026 ¢213.100 50% base salary
During 2017, only the proportion of the tax that was in force this year, between September and December, must be canceled, while for 2018 the tax will apply in full and must be canceled during the month of January. Companies that are in arrears with the previous law, are not exempt from the payment of the tax, but if within the first three months of this law they close to cancel their debt, they will not have to pay fines or interest. Failure to make payments on the dates established by the Tax Authorities would impose a fine and interest that will be calculated per day, and which annually represent 11.73% of the total tax.
Source : El Financiero

Purchase of a business? Take care!

In Costa Rica, it is not uncommon to see ads for the purchase of a business or professional activity, this is called "derecho de llave". While in Europe and in most western countries this type of sale is well regulated, this is not really the case in Costa Rica. It is therefore all the more important to exercise extreme caution in this type of transaction. We strongly recommend that you do not go alone in this adventure and have you accompanied by a lawyer specializing in this matter.
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Dissolution of corparation

Fixed corporation taxes were declared unconstitutional but remain due until 2015 inclusive. All companies that have not paid taxes for 3 years or more see the risk of being automatically dissolved. In order to avoid any unpleasant surprise, if you want to keep the company active, contact your lawyer to ask him to make the necessary checks.
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The "cuenta client" will be history

The development of banks in Costa Rica has been specific to the country. Thus, bank accounts have an internal number and a number allowing to make transfers between Costa Rican banks, the famous "cuenta client" of 17 digits. This "cuenta client" will disappear at the end of this year to be replaced by the IBAN, which is well know in Europe and North America. The Central Bank of Costa Rica has issued guidelines for the new device to be fully operational by the end of 2018. The IBAN will become the only number used both for transactions within the same bank as between the banks of Costa Rica and of course for the international movements.
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Simplified Bank Account

In the past few year, it has become increasingly difficult to open a new banking account in Costa Rica. Banks were requiring permanent residents, temporary foreigners, and visiting tourists to produce a cedula, and you can only receive one of these after a very long and costly residency application process. But now Banco Nacional (BN), Banco de Costa Rica (BCR) Grupo Mutual, and Bancredito are allowing foreigners to open their new accounts without needing to produce a cedula number. Earlier this year, a Simplified Account (Cuenta de Expedients Simplificado) was approved. This simplified process requires only a passport as proof of ID. This new system will provide a banking card to use the ATM’s both in the country and internationally and access to the online banking functions. But this Simplified Account has a few limitations – a monthly deposit limit of a maximum $1,000 US or the equivalent in Colones, there can only be two accounts issued per client and you can't transfer money from one bank to another bank directly from your account. Therefore, if you want to start your own business in Costa Rica, we still recommend opening a normal account. There are two ways to do that, applying for the residence or open a corporation.
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Texas Tech University chooses Costa Rica to install its first campus in Latin America

2016, August 20th
Texas Tech University, prestigious university in the United States, announced it will open in Costa Rica, its first satellite campus in Latin America. The decision process of the university leader in technological carriers was supported by CINDE. Also, the President, Luis Guillermo Solis, met with the highest authorities of the University during the visit to the US the previous year, as part of the promotional tour organized by CINDE and COMEX. "We are delighted that the prestigious Texas Tech University will select Costa Rica as host open a branch for students from the region. This represents a recognition of the political and economic stability of the country and its strong reputation in the field of education, with prestigious academic centers with national and international recognition. We are sure that will be the beginning of a relationship of mutual convenience, in which the students will benefit, "said Luis Guillermo Solís, President of the Republic. Texas Tech University says his arrival in Costa Rica is based on the strategic location of the country, that will serve as a bridge to the rest of Latin America. Having a strong democracy in the region, cultural affinity with the United States, stability and more than 250 high-tech multinational companies operating locally, as well as the educational system, positively weighed in the decision.
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Orotina International Airport

The company will also advise on the necessary infrastructure. The report will be finalized in early 2017 and the works will start very quickly after that. The proposed goal is to have a first track, to accommodate large aircraft like Airbus A380 and Boeing 777, available for 2025. In the immediate surrounding of the airport there will be a hospital, hotels and many facilities that will also attract in the region other companies that require these facilities for their own development. We must therefore expect a boom in real estate for the entire Central Pacific region. Prices are now at the lowest and our knowledge of the country leads us to think that prices should not move much until the works begin. We expect to have a price increases probably after mid 2017. If you are considering a real estate investment in the region, this is the time to do so. Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.
Source : La Nacion

British Airway with Direct fly London-San Jose

5 August 2015
The company confirmed the start of operations on May 4, 2016 and will fly twice a week (Wednesday and Saturday) during the summer season in the UK and three times (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) in winter season. To do this, the compagny will use a Boeing 777, which seats 275 passengers. The arrival of this company has positive effects. Firstly, a transfer estimate to 30,000 passengers per year. Then the company opened connections to 130 destinations and allow improvement in foreign trade, given the cargo aircraft capacity. Europe is the second largest tourist market for the country and last year 300,000 European visitors have entered our country by air, 50 thousand more than in 2013.
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Costa Rica powered with 100% renewable energy for 75 straight days

March 21, 2015
"The year 2015 has been one of electricity totally friendly to the environment for Costa Rica,” the state-owned power supplier Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) said in a press release. The ICE says the country's zero-emission milestone was enabled thanks to heavy rainfalls at four hydroelectric power facilities in the first quarter of 2015. These downpours have meant that, for the months of January, February and so far March, there has been no need to burn fossil fuels to generate electricity. Instead, Costa Rica has been powered primarily by hydro power - both pumped storage and run-of-the-river plants - and a mixture of geothermal, wind, biomass and solar energy.
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The new international airport will boost economic development and real estate

14 januray 2015
The beginning of the construction of the new international airport near Cascajal Orotina, Alajuela, originally scheduled for 2020, has been advanced for 2018. Government officials have admitted in a press release to the newspaper La Nacion that the need is a reality and that the completion date initially planned for 2030 was advanced for 2025. While the original plan for the new mega airport in Costa Rica was to begin construction at conclusion of the contract of the current Juan Santamaria International Airport, a recent surge in tourism in Costa Rica has given the country a pressing need for a larger facility that can accommodate larger aircraft and more gates.
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Costa Rica green country?

21 novenber 2014
We always talk of Costa Rica as a green country that takes care of its natural resources and has an ongoing concern for its impact on the environment. Is this reality? Dual Citizen, a private consulting firm based in the United States realizes since 2010 a study of 32 indicators to measure the effort of the countries to master their impacted on the environment. Costa Rica was included for the first time in the study and it ranks third, ranking among the most powerful countries in the field of green economy.
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You want to live happy? Live in Costa Rica

14 october 2014
A new study by UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center conducted among 40,000 students in 53 countries, gives again Costa Rica the first place of the countries where it is good to live. Students had to answer simple questions about the subjective feeling of happiness. For most questions, \"You consider yourself a happy person? \", \"Generally I consider living a life close to my ideal of life \", \"I consider living a meaningful life \" the Costa Rica comes first. When it comes to assessing its sense of happiness, the general climate in the country and social cohesion are more important factors than income. Costa Rica is not part of the rich countries in the world but is the happiest place in the world.
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Some interesting numbers

12 october 2014
Since the last census of 2000, the population increased by 491,533 people, or an average increase of 1.1% per year. This represents a slowdown in the increase. Indeed, for the previous period (1984-2000) growth was 2.8% per year. 8.97% of the population are immigrants (ie 385 899 inhabitants), Nicaragua is the country bringing more immigrants (74.57%) followed by Colombia and the United States. Since the 2000 census the immigration rate only slightly increased, it was 7.78% of the population. An important note, these figures only include immigrants who obtained residency in Costa Rica. There is an unofficial immigration from neighboring countries, mainly Nicaragua, but also from North America (USA - Canada). Note that 25% of the population is under 15 years and only 7.3% over 65 years. This gives a dependency ratio, very low, of 47. For 100 people in productive age (15 to 65) there are 47 non-productive people (under 15 and over 65 years). Finally, the canton of Garabito, Jaco as Canton capital, has the highest population growth rates in Costa Rica and for the past 10 years with an average of 4.8% per year! One can only conclude that the canton of Garabito, Jaco and the surroundings are, in fact, the place, the more reassuring in terms of property investment in Costa Rica with its consistent and sustained growth. The neighbor cantons Orotina (north) and Parrita (south) also have a positive rate (2.4 and 2.6% respectively annual).
Source : Recensement national 2011

Significant investment of Bekaert

23 august 2014
The Belgian multinational Bekaert yesterday inaugurated its new facilities to Orotina. With a planned investment of $ 20 million in 2 years and create 200 emploies, this is the significant development for the region. The company is going to produce its brand Dramix® steel fiber for reinforcing concrete. The new site capacity will be 20,000 tons per year. In a press release the company states: "The establishment of Bekaert in Costa Rica is part of a desire for expansion in the region, through which the company seeks to provide a better service to its customers. It offers products for the construction markets, mining, oil and gaz exploitation but also agriculture and industry. "
Source : La Nacion

Costa Rica, the tourism industry in a few figures

15 july 2014
Costa Rica has an enviable economic situation in Central America, where it is a pole of stability. It has a high-level social protection system and managed to significantly reduce poverty (GDP per capita is the second in the region in order of importance after Panama: nearly $ 9,600 per year). The general level of education and qualification of the Costa Rican labor are the main comparative advantage of the country in the region. The economy of Costa Rica recorded a GDP of 3.4% in 2013, compared to 5.1% in 2012. While current projections forecast a GDP growth of between 4.3% and 4.1% in the next years, driven by private consumption and domestic investment.   Free zones, hosting telecoms, IT, call centers, laboratories, pharmaceutical industries, have encouraged foreign direct investment flows, making Costa Rica (along with Panama), the main receiver of FDI in Central America. Minimum salaries for 2014 range from $ 520 per month for a non-qualifed worker to $ 1,050 for an employee with a university level. At this gross salary employers must ad a load of 38%. Costa Rica is also the first tourist destination of the isthmus (2.5 million visitors, 25% of the region), political stability which allowed it to build quality tourist infrastructure. This country has been able to enhance its ecological resources: it contains 6% of the planet's biodiversity and 25% of its territory is classified as protected area. With a tourism industry that generates $ 1.92 billion per year, Costa Rica stands out as the most visited country in the region of Central America, with 2.42 million foreign visitors in 2013, reaching a rate of foreign tourists per capita of 0.51, one of the highest in the Caribbean Basin and above other popular destinations such as Mexico (0.21), Dominican Republic (0.38) and Brazil (0.03). Ecotourism is extremely popular with many tourists visiting the major national parks and protected areas around the country. Costa Rica has been a pioneer in this type of tourism and the country is recognized as one of the few with real ecotourism. Other important market segments are the adventure, and the sun and beaches. Most tourists come from the USA and Canada (46%), and the European Union (16%), which translates into a relatively high expenditure per tourist of $ 1,000 per trip.
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