Plan to Regulate Airbnb Moves Forward

In Costa Rica, the bill to regulate the provision of tourist rental services in housing through digital platforms, which includes a 13% tax and would require suppliers to register, which would make this accommodation option more expensive.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

The deputies approved in their first debate, file No. 20,865 Framework Law for the regulation of non-traditional hosting and its intermediation through digital platforms, reported the Assembly on August 28.

See "Threats to "Traditional" tourism

The statement specifies that "... The objective of this law is to regulate and plan the provision of tourist rental services in housing, apartments, villas, chalets, bungalows, rooms or any other similar construction that make up a homogeneous and independent whole, within the framework of the Organic Law of the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism and the rest of the legal system, as well as defend and protect users of these tourist services and regulate the platforms of marketing companies or intermediaries, between users and service provider."

This information was not well received by all sectors, because according to the Association of Free Consumers of Costa Rica, the bill that seeks to regulate non-traditional lodging platforms such as Aribnb, contemplates, in addition to the 13% tax, other requirements for providers, such as registration with the Costa Rican Tourism Institute.

Also see "New Attempt to Regulate Airbnb

Juan Ricardo Fernández, president of the Association, said to that "... when faced with obstacles to developing their projects, many businessmen will give up their business idea. With this project, the consumer would also suffer because the costs for the host and therefore for the guest increase."

Waldino Wabb, an entrepreneur who uses the platform, said that "... With Airbnb it's very easy to work. But the tax is a shot in the head for the growth possibilities of rural areas."

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More on this topic

Vacation Rentals: New Law Projected to Decline

September 2019

With the legal framework approved in Costa Rica, which regulates the provision of tourist rental services in housing through digital platforms, Airbnb executives anticipate a considerable drop in the number of hosts in the country.

On September 5, the Legislative Assembly reported that file 20865, the framework law for the regulation of non-traditional hosting and its intermediation through digital platforms, was approved for the second debate.

Changes in Proposed Vacation Rental Taxes

March 2019

A 3% additional to the 13% VAT that was expected to be charged in Costa Rica as a tax on accommodation services provided through the Airbnb platform and other similar platforms was finally removed from the bill being discussed in the Legislative Assembly.

Bill 20.865 for the regulation of non-traditional hosting and its intermediation through digital platforms, which is discussed in the Legislative Assembly and determines the taxes to be charged for the activity, will be modified by the Economic Affairs Commission.

New Attempt to Regulate Airbnb

December 2018

In Costa Rica, the Executive Branch urges deputies to move forward with the discussion of the project to regulate non-traditional hosting and its intermediation through digital platforms.

The project suggests that non-traditional hosting companies be required to register with the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT), pay taxes and be registered with the General Directorate of Direct Taxation.

Airbnb Wants to Pay Taxes in Costa Rica

December 2016

The company's proposal states that in just two months it could start making tax payments, putting to the test the responsiveness of bureaucracy against the speed of the real economy.

Airbnb, one of the leading global companies that is taking advantage of the momentum that the technological revolution has provided to the collaborative economy, has now created a housing supply available for seasonal rental in Costa Rica which is equivalent to 18% of the supply of hotels. 

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