Defensoría urges adoption of a value-added tax

The Defensoría de los Habitantes once again has warned that the country’s tax system is unequal because the sales tax is the same for rich and poor alike.

The agency issued a message of support Monday for a value-added tax instead of the current 13 percent sales tax. It said that the sales tax was regressive for those of limited resources.

The agency said that the tax system should shift to more direct levies such as income taxes.

Also suggested was a global tax system that covered income for any place in the world instead of the current system that is territorial.

Until now such a system would have been impossible to verify, but the country has negotiated a number of tax treaties so that information about income earned by Costa Ricans and residents in other countries would be available.

President Laura Chinchilla issued a directive during her term in office that removed the sales tax from food items that might be purchased by those on an economical budget.

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