Corporate tax put back on the legislative agenda

The executive branch again put before legislators Wednesday a proposal to assess a tax on corporations.

Casa Presidencial alerted the Asamblea Legislativa that the proposal was again on the table for action. Originally the executive branch wanted to have the measure passed into law by now so that owners of corporations and similar entities would make the first annual payment of the new tax in the first 15 days of January.

For an unexplained reason, the measure was not included in the list of bills that lawmakers received when they started what is called their extraordinary session Dec. 1.

The Costa Rican Constitution specifies the dates when lawmakers can meet. But the executive branch has the power to call extraordinary sessions. Originally these were reserved for emergency actions. But more recently the legislature meets most weeks of the year.

The periods that are called extraordinary are those
when the executive branch controls the agenda. Lawmakers cannot act on any measure that has not been put before them by Casa Presidencial.

Bill No. 16.306: Impuesto a las personas jurídicas was presented formally Wednesday by the decree which was signed by President Laura Chinchilla. However, lawmakers did not take any action.

The legislature is deeply involved in considering the administration’s revised tax plan, although there was no concrete action on that Wednesday either.

Legislative leaders who support the tax proposals have promised to stay in session over the Christmas holidays to pass the measures. But considering the number of amendments proposed for the tax plan, its passage is unlikely in December.

The tax on corporations might be passed more quickly. It already has been approved on first reading, so all that is needed is another vote.
The bill had been sent back to committee to adjust some flaws that the Sala IV constitutional court noted when the draft was run by magistrates.

The measure would tax every active corporation slightly more than $300 each. Owners of inactive corporations would pay half that. There are some provisions for small- and medium-sized companies.

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