Sfera Legal Blog

 
 

Just recently, the media has referred to the generalities of the new Corporate Tax Act (Ley del Impuesto a las Personas Jurídicas, per its Spanish denomination). As you may have heard or read, the Act is soon to take effect. While, in general terms, the new Act does not present significant modifications with respect to the previous one, there are important matters to consider: 

Effective date: The Act will take effect 3 months after the first day of the month following the publication of its Regulation in the Official Gazette.

Fee: The fee shall be paid annually. The payable amount will depend on whether the entity is registered as a taxpayer before the Costa Rican Tax Authorities. Furthermore, if the entity is registered as a taxpayer, the fee will vary according to its gross income. Below the details: 

Condition

Fee

Entity not registered as a taxpayer before the Costa Rican Tax Authorities.

15% of a monthly base salary, per article 2 of Act No. 7337 (hereinafter, “base salary”). *

Entity registered as an income taxpayer, whose prior tax return shows a gross income lower than 120 base salaries.

25% of a monthly base salary.

Entity registered as an income taxpayer, whose prior tax return shows a gross income between 120 base salaries and lower than 280 base salaries.

30% of a monthly base salary.

Entity registered as an income taxpayer, whose prior tax return shows a gross income higher than 280 base salaries.

50% of a monthly base salary.

*As reference, the base salary referred to above, is currently equal to ¢426,200.00 (four hundred and twenty-six thousand two hundred colones).

Sanctions: The new Act includes, basically, the same sanctions as the previous one. However, it is always important to bear in mind that, in addition to the applicable fines, non-compliance in the payment of the Corporate Tax derives in a series of other sanctions, such as:

  • The legal representatives of the entity shall be jointly liable.
  • The National Registry will not issue Certificates of Incumbency of the entity; nor will it record documents regarding such.
  • The entity will not be able to contract with the Government or any Governmental Institutions.
  • The debts shall constitute a preferential legal mortgage or a preferential pledge, as applicable, over the registered assets owned by the entity.
  • Non-payment for 3 consecutive periods will be cause of dissolution of the entity.

Transitory provisions: Transitory provisions contemplate circumstances prior to the Act’s effective date. They present a series of benefits that, as their name indicates, are limited to a certain time frame. It is important to consider these advantages and to harness such in time. The benefits include:

  • The entities currently recorded before the National Registry or registered before the Act’s effective date, shall pay proportionally the amount corresponding to the period covered between the Act’s effective date and December 31st of the same year. The fee must be paid within 30 days following the Act’s effective date.
  • Within 3 months following the Act’s effective date, all pending payments for the Corporate Tax of the 2012 through 2015 periods, may be carried out without having to pay interests or fines.
  • Within 12 months following the Act’s effective date, transfers of registered assets carried out by entities that have not been registered as taxpayers for at least 24 months prior to the Act’s effective date, will be exempt, once, from payment of the Transfer Tax and stamps and expenses.
  • Within 24 months following the Act’s effective date, entities’ legal representatives, members of the Board of Directors and Comptroller, may resign unilaterally. To do so, they must notify the entity by written communication, at its registered domicile. Then, this communication must be inserted in a Public Deed and recorded before the National Registry, for the resignation to be effective.

 

By: Lucía Valverde - Associate

In December 2015 there were approximately 24,900 active attorneys in Costa Rica. This number, which excludes those who are deceased, suspended, etc., equates to one lawyer for each one hundred and eighty people in the country. That the legal market is completely saturated, but overabundance is not the only issue. What quality of professionals can we guarantee our people?

 

The “overview effect” is a phenomenon experienced by some astronauts who, after viewing Earth from space, acquire a feeling of euphoria caused by a deep sense of connectedness. My experience as an attorney has helped me to better understand the overview effect, as connecting with clients and co-workers is key to the successful practice of law. When reviewing my motivations behind working as an attorney, I realize that it is this connection with others that is so important to my professional happiness.

I am certainly inspired writing this article. Right now I am listening to my favorite music band in the world and it just motivates me to go on. Goosebumps. Many inspirational thoughts are just coming into my mind. I never though that I would say this: my favorite band in the whole world is from Costa Rica. Believe me, if I do not tell you, you would not ever notice that the product they deliver is made here. Listen to this and give me your thoughts: (https://open.spotify.com/artist/3tJL2NbxEnJgYjo3LBdDQ9).


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