Tourism Sector Rejects VAT Charge on Protected Areas

In Costa Rica the union is opposed to the decision of the Ministry of Finance to charge 13% VAT on tourism enterprises for the use of protected areas.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

From a statement issued by the National Chamber of Tourism:

Wednesday July 23, 2014. Perceiving it as a serious threat to the tourism industry, the National Chamber of Tourism (CANATUR) categorically rejects the decision of the Ministry of Finance to extend the interpretation of Article 1, Section C of the General Sales Act, which taxes, with 13 % Value Added Tax on all State Protected Wild Areas, considering them to be provision of recreation services.

In the view of CANATUR the way in which the tax is being applied represents an affront to the law of this country and creates legal uncertainty for all of the national tourism sector; It also reminds us that the Attorney General's Office, issued document OJ-041-1999-March 26, 1999, which establishes that "as the first two articles the law are structured, it can be concluded that the sales tax relating to services referred to is selective in nature, ie, the taxable services must be only those that are listed in the law, without the possibility of including others by way of interpretation or regulatory provision, therefore all of the services that the legislature did not include, are to be considered exempt." In this scenario, the interpretation given by the Treasury does not have any legal force.

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