The tax collecting agency has handed out 145 million colons, equivalent to $266,000, in the first of two raffles.
The raffle is designed to catch tax cheats.
The Ministerio de Hacienda’s Dirección General de Tributación has done this before. Those who use credit cards, except for government purchases like lights and water, are automatically enrolled and are selected by chance. Each 3,000 in payments represents an individual chance to win. However, the tax agency gives double value to payments to professionals.
The ministry gave out one 50-million colon prizes, two 35-million colons prizes, four 10-million colons prizes and one prize worth 5 million colons. The top winner was identified as John F. O’ Donnell of Guanacaste.
Professionals are a major target for the tax collectors, They claim that many grossly understate their taxes. By encouraging persons to use credit and debit cards, the money paid to professionals can be tracked.
There is another raffle Dec. 12.