Rules finally issued for paying that new corporate tax

The Registro Nacional has put on its RNPDigitalWeb site the rules for paying the new tax on corporations and similar entities.

The posting specifies that the tax this year is 135,225 colons or about $270 for active corporations and 67,612.50 colons or about $135 for inactive corporations.

The only bank authorized to collect the money is Banco de Costa Rica, said the posting. The Registro said that the bank’s Web site would have an online method for payment, but as of Monday night there was no obvious way to make the payment by those who are not Banco de Costa Rica customers,

The deadline for payment is the end of the month. The amount this year is just 75 percent of what will be due next year in January because the tax only covers three-quarters of the year in 2012.

Those who have studied the Registro posting, a posting by Hernando Paris, minister of Justicia y Paz and a directive say there is some good news. Persons who wish to remove themselves as having responsibility for a corporation can do so for just 2,000 colons ($4) in fees at the Registro. Of course there are lawyer fees to prepare the documents for filing. This is good news from individuals who might be serving as a corporate officer but not really be an owner. Normally the fee for making such a filing is 35,000 colons or about $70. This action can be taken until April 1, 2014, said the Registro.

That big discount is important for those who might be in business or be a lawyer and have their names on many corporations. Otherwise, they would be liable personally for payment of the tax even if they did not have ownership.

Exempted from the tax are those companies that have filed with the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio as small- and medium-sized firms. The deadline for doing so and avoiding the tax was April 1.

Companies that do not pay the tax within 30 days will be listed as deadbeats by the Registro and will not be able to make legal transactions there, the posting noted. After three years of non-payment, the Registro will cancel the company, it noted.

But the tax still will be payable.

Some expats reported that they had tried to make payments at Banco de Costa Rica Monday and were met with blank stares. There is no paperwork involved. The Registro said that all that the bank teller will need is the cédula juridica of the corporation, the identifying number.

The bank is supposed to have available a list that shows if a company is active or inactive, according to the Registro.

Although the new tax, which mostly goes to the security ministry, seems fully in force, some expats and Costa Ricans have said they will challenge the measure at the Sala IV.

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