Costa Rica: Tax Collection Drops

A drop in the collection of sales tax revenue by customs offices and of the internal sales tax confirms a drop in consumption by households and firms.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The decline in imports during the last year, caused a drop in sales tax revenue in customs, which in February, had a real decrease of 1.39% compared to the growth of 18.3% in the same period in 2012, according to calculations made by La Nacion using data supplied by the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank.

The article in reports that "The lower consumption of households and businesses in the last year weakened the collection of sales tax because this tax went from a real annual increase of near to 10.8% in February 2012, to 2.2% in the previous month, according to the Ministry of Finance. "

"... The slowdown is significant because this tax is the main indicator for the rate of private consumption. When this tax revenue grows, it reflects increased consumption and vice versa. In fact, the lowest growth began to manifest in October 2011, when an annual rate that even exceeded 15%, began to decline. "

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According to the Fiscal Studies Program by the School of Economics at the National University of Costa Rica, this projection was based on total tax revenues increasing by 8.7%, taking into account a lower tax income and Customs taxes (due to a fall in imports) and also an increase in total expenditure of 11.5%.

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The head of the area of macroeconomics for the Salvadoran Foundation for Economic and Social Development, Álvaro Trigueros, informed “The reduction in tax revenues comes from lower collection of the Value Added Tax (IVA), which decreased by $53 million, while import taxes were down by some $10 million. The decline in imports is related to falling oil prices, lower tariffs and generally to a lower economic growth."

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