Tax fraud measure is out of committee

A legislative committee Wednesday approved, 9 to 1, a revised bill addressing tax fraud.

A benefit for expats will be that the bill, if passed in its present form by the full legislature, will require merchants to accept credit cards for all purchases. That would seem to eliminate the practice of charging more to offset bank charges. The Ministerio de Hacienda likes this requirement because it can keep track of income of private firms.

The measure also requires corporations to provide the Banco Central a list of those who benefit from the income of the firm. This is something the government wants to have to meet international standards.

The law also requires all businesses that seek licensing or other permits from municipalities to show that they are registered with the tax authorities.

The measure seeks to combat terrorism, money laundering and other forms of organized crime that involve the movement of money.

Helio Fallas, the first vice president and minister of Hacienda, expects the bill to increase tax income. The Instituto Costarricense sobre Drogas also has access to the data generated by this bill.

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