Tax agency killed company and saved fees to lawyers

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

I have been reading a lot in your paper about how dire this tax situation is for those who have sociedades anonimas (or are an officer in one) and how we should run to contact our attorneys to protect ourselves.  This may be true in some cases. However, I would like to share my experience.

I had an inactive and empty S.A. like many people may have.  However, I was afraid from what I read that it might have been unilaterally activated by the Ministerio de Hacienda and I would therefore owe $400/year taxes on it for a minimum of three years and maybe more.  If it were not activated, I would still owe $200/year.  It would also be necessary for me to pay an attorney (from my research $140) to resign me from the S.A. But I would have to pay the taxes first before I could resign.

This morning I went to the Ministerio de Hacienda’s office in the Tributación Directa in San José to close my S.A. myself.  It turned out they could not find my S.A. because it must have been closed after non-payment of tax for five years and no activity.  I received a document with their stamp declaring my S.A. did not exist.  I owed no taxes!!!!  And I didn’t need an attorney!!!!

Therefore, my suggestion to others is to check with the Ministerio de Hacienda’s office to see what the status of your S.A. actually is and how to proceed before rushing to pay an attorney.  There is someone there who speaks fluent English.  Perhaps you may be pleasantly surprised like I was.

Marlene Summers
San Antonio de Escazú

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