Conflict Resurges Over Tourism Tax

Protests have been made in Costa Rica over the Treasury's intention to charge sales tax on services provided in recreation centers, contravening a ruling made by the Administrative Court in 2015.

Friday, February 3, 2017

The National Chamber of Tourism said that three companies in La Fortuna de San Carlos received notification from the Directorate General of Taxation which indicated that they were required to pay sales tax of 13% on recreational services offered to tourists.

See "Costa Rica: Exemptions for Tourism Activities"

Carlos Vargas, General Director of Taxation, told Nacion.com that "... the new document dated October 2016, establishes each specific case must be analyzed to determine whether the recreation center has services that are subject to the payment of taxes. Vargas said that the document "is not reviving' the collection of 13% sales tax on recreation centers as proposed in 2014. On the contrary, it aims to analyze each case to determine if the tax can be applied or not."

"... The document, held by La Nacion, explains that services that are provided outside of a special limit of the establishment or recreation ground such as zoos, spas, canopy tours, hiking trails, bird watching, bungee jumping, among others; should be subject to the payment of sales tax."



More on this topic

Panama: Private Tourism Investment in Protected Areas

May 2016

It has been announced that public use regulations that will allow construction of hotels, restaurants, transportation systems and other tourist infrastructure within protected areas will be issued midyear.

The regulation is being prepared by the Tourism Authority of Panama, the Panamanian Chamber of Tourism and the Ministry of Environment, as part of the EcoturAP project, announced by the Varela administration in March this year. This initiative aims to exploit protected areas in order to develop sustainable and ecological tourism.

Panama to Construct Highway Rest Stations

September 2014

The government announced that it will construct the stations at 80 kilometer intervals along the Pan American Highway and they will feature restaurants, parking and small stores.

From a statement issued by the Tourism Authority of Panama (ATP):

PANAMA September 25 (ATP) - The Tourism Authority of Panama (ATP) has developed a series of initiatives such as tourist resorts along the Pan American Highway, informed the Administrator of the institution, Jesus Sierra Victoria during the XIV International Tourism Forum PANAMCHAM, which took place at the Sheraton hotel.

Costa Rica: Sales Tax on Tourism to be Reviewed

August 2014

After complaints from the sector about the adverse implications of taxing tourism services in protected areas, the government has announced that they proposal will be revised.

The Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) announced it will support a reform of the regulations recently proposed by the finance ministry, which sought to impose a 13% sales tax on tourism activities carried out in protected areas.

Tourism Concessions in Historical Sites in Colon

August 2014

A bill presented in Panama would allow the construction of marinas and docks and the granting of concessions to develop tourism activities in historic areas in the City of Colon.

The initiative presented in the National Assembly on August 4, aims to increase the influx of tourists to the historic areas of Portobelo and San Lorenzo, declared patrimony of humanity 34 years ago.

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