Here are some of the aspects of the government’s tax package.
• Individual monthly salaries more than 793,000 colons up to 2.1 million colons would be taxed at from 10 to 15 percent, the same amount under the current law. Monthly incomes of 2.1 million to 3.2 million colons would pay 20 percent in income taxes. Those with higher income would remit 25 percent.
• Deductions would be allowed for payments to the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social.
• Corporate taxes would remain at 30 percent. Lesser rates would be available for small and medium enterprises.
• A new capital gains tax would be instituted that would be 15 percent on any profit in the sale of real estate except for the primary residence.
• Deductions for interest and donations would be limited.
• Public agencies, such as the Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo S.A. and utilities, would pay income taxes. Of course, these would be passed on to the consumer.
• Sports clubs would pay taxes.
• Taxpayers would be able to carry forward losses from previous years.
• Persons who receive payoffs when leaving a job would pay taxes of 15 percent on amounts of more than eight years salary.
• The rate would be 14 percent the first year and increasing to 15 percent in subsequent years
• Tax covers all sales of goods and services
• Tax applies to rentals more than 403,400 colons a month, electricity over 50,000 colons a month and water above 30 cubic meters a month.
• The government would refund electronically beginning at a maximum of two years the estimated amount paid by those who are registered as poor with the Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social. That’s estimated to be 40 percent of the households in the country.
• Private medical care will be covered, but taxes for these services, except hospitalization and surgeries, will be refunded if paid by credit or debit card but not cash.
• Some basic food items, such as olive oil and tortillas as well as agricultural products such as rice and beans, would be exempt from the tax.
• Agricultural and commercial fishing supplies would be exempt.
• Private educational services would be exempt, as would the sale of wheelchairs and other aids for the disabled. However, educational entities would pay income tax.
• The cost of transferring real estate would go from 1.5 to 3 percent.
• The cost of transferring vehicles would go from 2.5 percent to 5 percent.
• Plastic bottles would be taxed at the point of sale at 10 colons per 250 milliliters up to 40 colons for a full liter bottle.
• Money coming into the country would be taxed 15 percent.
• The tax year would run from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 instead of the period that ends now on Sept. 30.
• Inheritances, company dividends and a limited amount of interest on bank deposits would continue to be tax-free.
• No changes are proposed for the free trade zones.