Changes in Tax Rules in Costa Rica

Increased fines, opening of bank secrecy and imprisonment are some of the changes that have been included in the regulations since April.

Monday, May 19, 2014

From a statement issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Costa Rica (CCPCR):

May, 2014. Since last April the Regulation Tax Procedures, went into effect which aims to regulate the changes suffered by the Code of Norms and Tax Procedures Law 9069 (Law for Strengthening Tax Management) in force since 28 September 2012, with i9ncreases in the penalties and periods of limitation for taxpayers who have inconsistencies in their tax declarations.

According to the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Costa Rica (CCPCR) of all modifications made in the Code, five are the most noteworthy.


One of the changes is in Article 81 of the Code, which relates to penalties to taxpayers. Previously, after a verification process initiated by the IRS to a taxpayer, a tax increase determined by this body carried a penalty of 25% if there was not fraud, and 75% if there was; as long as the amount did not exceeded 200 base wages, otherwise it would be considered a tax crime punishable by imprisonment. With the changes, the penalties increase dramatically and are now divided into three groups: a) mild (50% penalty), b) serious (100% penalty) and c) very severe (150% penalty), all on the final amount determined by the IRS and applied to each type of sanction imposed. If fraud is determined worth more than 500 wages, it is considered a tax crime punishable by imprisonment.

More on this topic

Panama: Strengthen Penalties Against Evaders

January 2019

The law that criminalizes tax evasion was approved by the National Assembly when the amount defrauded in a fiscal period of one year is equal to or greater than $300.000.

With a majority vote, Project 591, which criminalizes tax evasion in the Criminal Code and is considered a crime resulting from money laundering, was approved in the third debate, informed the Legislative Assembly.

Costa Rica: Embargo Eliminated from Law on Tax Evasion

June 2015

The new draft law on tax fraud prepared by the opposition and which must be reviewed by the Ministry of Finance excludes the concept of collection and seizure by administrative authorities.

After having negotiated for the opposition bloc in Congress to amend the bill originally submitted by the Ministry of Finance, the new bill is ready and among the changes is the elimination of the incorporation of the concept of fines and embargos imposed administratively. It maintains the collection and seizure of tax debts through the courts.

Agreement to Moderate Customs Penalties

July 2013

Guatemala will reduce the grounds for tax sanction from 75 to 25, and will reduce fines up to 75%. reports that "A new initiative of the National Customs Act, has the backing of both the Government, business, customs and shipping offices, to reduce the number of grounds for sanctions to 25, from a list of 78 established in the regulation which despite being in force since February 2012, is currently suspended by government decision. "

Panama: Jailtime for Squatters

June 2013

Law 44 signed by President Martinelli establishes prison sentences of 1-3 years for the unauthorized occupation of buildings, land or constructions belonging to others.

From a press release from the Presidency of Panama:

Law 44, which amends and adds articles to the Penal Code, was sanctioned by the President of the Republic, Ricardo Martinelli.

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