Costa Ricans call it the cuesta de enero, meaning the January slope. And the slope is upwards and financial.
This is the time when expenses come home to roost after businesses and individuals have paid employees the aguinaldo. For expats, the payments might be to a gardener, a watchman or a domestic worker, although the first two frequently are independent contractors. Presumably these payments will have been made by Dec. 15.
Christmas, of course, has generated credit card bills, and the first payment comes sooner than expected.
For many expats, Dec. 31 is the deadline for paying municipal taxes on properties, on business licenses and some other fees. Most municipalities are closed until Jan. 5, but the payment can be made at banks. The Municipalidad de San José will open its online payment system briefly Monday, it said.
Then there is the marchamo or road tax that is due without penalty by Dec. 31. Although the Instituto Nacional de Seguros has closed for the holiday vacation, payments can be made all over, including at major supermarkets, private insurance agencies and banks. The amount depends on the value of the vehicle.
For many expats, the big bite from the government is the luxury home tax. That is due by Jan. 15 from owners of homes The luxury home tax is assessed on any dwelling and immediate property that is worth this year more than 122 million colons, about $226,000.
The tax to be paid is equal to 0.25 percent of the property’s total value to a maximum tax rate of 0.55 percent since it is a progressive tax.
By the end of January the corporation tax is due, some 201,700 for active entities. That’s about $382. Inactive corporations pay half that.