Registro still mum on how to pay new corporate tax

Expats who are impatient to pay the new corporate tax have to wait a little longer.

The Registro Nacional has yet to outline the steps to take to make payment.

A popup window on the Registro Web site tells Internet visitors that the new tax takes effect April 1 but that a directive on how to pay will be published soon.

The popup window also contains a link to the text of the law, No. 9024 Impuesto a las Personas Jurídicas. The measure covers all corporate entities, including subsidiaries of foreign corporations and limited liability companies.

Corporations only pay 75 percent of the tax this year because that is the proportion of the year that remains. Next year, the tax is due in January.  The amount to be paid is tied to what the government calls a base salary, the monthly pay for an auxiliar administrativo 1 in the judiciary. That amount changes each year as judicial workers get pay raises.

This year the base salary is 360,600 colons, and a working corporation is assessed 135,225 or 37.5 percent for 2012. For subsequent years the working corporation will be assessed 50 percent of the base salary. Owners of inactive corporations pay half that amount or 25 percent of a base salary.

Corporate owners have three months to dissolve the entity to avoid the tax, and persons named as responsible for a corporation can renounce their position during the next 24 months.

Some expats plan to fold a corporation that may contain a hoe or a car, but that would expose them to expensive probate if they die while still owning the property.

Several firms are offering seminars on the tax. At least one is offering instructions on how the operators of a corporation can submit the paperwork to obtain status as a small- or medium-sized corporation with the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio. Such entities are exempt from the tax, according to the law.

To do so requires that the corporation has been engaged in commerce and there are limits on income and size. Ministry workers said they expected a flood of applications.

The income from the tax is dedicated to law enforcement purposes.

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