Finance ministry steps up tax campaign

The nation’s finance ministry is stepping up its campaign to have citizens file complaints against those who do not give them a receipt for purchases.

The agency, the Ministerio de Hacienda, said that there have been 777 complaints filed since the beginning of the year. Not all involve presumed failure to report sales tax. Some complaints involve untaxed merchandise, said the ministry.

In one case, however, the ministry said a U.S. dental patient filed a complaint against a dentist who did not provide a receipt, called here a comprobante or factura.

Many merchants will not provide official receipts because if they do they usually have to pay sales tax and add the sale to their annual income for tax purposes. Many buyers are happy not to pay sales tax, which is 13 percent.

The ministry notes that the season of major purchases is coming. The announcement referred to the Día de la Madre, the Día del Niño, Christmas and New Year’s.

Complaints can be made to the ministry’s Web page or regional offices.

There is no economic advantage for making a complaint because Costa Rica does not pay a premium for such information. However, in the past the ministry ran raffles to award money prizes to randomly selected complainants.

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