Importers Demand Lower Taxes for Used Cars

Sellers of used cars in Costa Rica believe there is discrimination in the way the Ministry of Finance estimates import taxes on cars.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

According to Jose Carballo, president of the Costa Rican Automotive Chamber, the industry complains that 52% is charged for new vehicles, while used cars which are over six years old are charged 79%.

"The tax burden is calculated using a ranking system, explained the Director of Taxation, Carlos Vargas, this means that vehicles from zero to three years old pay 52.29%, four to five years 63.91% and six years or more 79.03%", reported

"Cars that are zero to three years old represent 85% of the tax collection, the four to five year old cars, only 2% and those more than six years old 13%, so with these figures provided by the Treasury, it can be seen that we, the importers of new cars, pay the most taxes," said Lilliana Aguilar, executive director of the Association of Importers, Machinery and Related Materials (Aivema), noting that new and used cars are "different goods" and should be treated as such.

According to Carballo, during 2013 a total of 60 companies have closed their businesses due to low sales and high import costs.

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From a press release from the Ministry of Finance in Costa Rica:

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According to data provided by the Ministry of Finance, the reduction was seen mainly in cars and a little less on vehicles used to transport goods.