If you own a Costa Rica company in 2022 then you will need to comply with the latest government imposed compliance requirements. In this article I will review the current obligations that all company owners will need to follow to ensure that their Costa Rica company is compliant.
The two government agencies that you must work with to satisfy the filing requirements are with the Costa Rican Ministry of the Treasury (Ministerio de Hacienda) for all company tax filings. The second is the Central Bank (Banco Central) which is in charge of managing the shareholder/beneficial owner information database. Let’s break those down for you:
Pay the Annual Company Tax
The company tax for an inactive company in 2022 is the equivalent of US$110 for the year.
The Costa Rica government has been very aggressive in administratively dissolving companies that have not paid the company tax for three consecutive periods. Once a company is dissolved by the government there is no way to reinstate it. As such you should ensure that your company is up to date.
Income Tax Return D-101
Companies that have economic activity in Costa Rica that generate income must file an Income Tax Return form D-101. The Costa Rican government also implemented new tax regulations that required inactive companies to file an Income Tax (Declaracion de Renta) Form D-101 to disclose company assets and liabilities. After more than a year of debating which form they would require they opted just to force all inactive companies to use the same form as the ones for active companies – the D-101. NEW UPDATE. On March 9, 2022 the Legislature approved a modification to the tax law called the Tax Simplification for Non-Active Legal Entities. This recent modification provides a transition period of 3 months as follows:
Transitory VI– For compliance with the provisions of paragraph a) of Article 2, referring to the informative declaration of inactive companies, these shall have an extension of time of three months as of the entry into force of this law to complete the filings.
As such for the moment inactive companies will not have to comply with the March 15, 2022 filing. On the other hand, if your company had any income in Costa Rica then your company is active and should file the D-101.
How to Check the Tax Status of your Costa Rica Company
Select the option for Cedula de Persona Juridica which is a search by company identification number. Then enter the identification number for your company when prompted to do so.
In the following screen, the information will show your company name and identification number. In the areas circled in red, it will indicate if the company owes any back taxes (MOROSO) and in the next line, it will indicate if any tax filings are pending (OMISION). If any of those indicate SI (Yes) then you can click on that window and it will indicate the tax amounts owed or the tax filings pending.
How Do You File the D-101 Tax Return
The Costa Rica Treasury Department uses a digital filing platform called ATV (Virtual Tax Agency)
The reality for most individuals and particularly those that are not tech savvy is that navigating that platform can be complicated. As such it is customary to hire an accountant and give them authorization to do the filings on your behalf.
However, to create an account on ATV you need to have an identification number. If you are Costa Rican that would be the cedula de identidad. For a foreigner with residency status in Costa Rica that would be the DIMEX card / Cedula de Residencia. If you do not have residency then you will not be able to create an account until you obtain a Taxpayer Identification Number known locally as a NITE. Consult with your local accountant about this process.
Another alternative if you don’t have a local identification number is to grant a special power of attorney to an accountant so that they can handle the filing for you. To grant a Power of Attorney you will need to appear before a Costa Rica Notary public to sign the Power of Attorney and have then authenticate your signature. If you are not in the country then your company will have to hold a shareholder meeting to have the company grant a power of attorney to the local accountant to act for the company. If you have your company books with you then the attorney can send you the format to log into your shareholder minutes book. If your books are in Costa Rica then you can send a shareholder proxy to name a local representative to hold the shareholder meeting for you. That way the representative can grant the special power of attorney to the local accountant.
The Mandatory Beneficial Owner Disclosure Form
This requirement has been in existence since 2019.
All Costa Rica companies are obligated to file the declaration yearly. The filing is not with the tax department as explained above. This filing is with the Central Bank of Costa Rica (Banco Central) which has created a database (Registro de Transparencia y Beneficiarios Finales (RTBF))
The only way to file this form is using a Digital Signature Card (Firma Digital). I have posted on our blog when the requirement has first implemented the process which you can review here if you like.
If you have residency in Costa Rica (DIMEX card) then you can apply for a digital card at most local banks. If you do not have residency, you will not be able to get the required digital card. Under that circumstance, your only option is for the company to grant a special power of attorney to a local representative to authorize a third party that has a digital card to be able to do the filing.
How Do You Pay Company Taxes
To pay your company taxes you can do so in person at most banks in Costa Rica with your company identification number. If you have a Costa Rican bank account then under your “payments” section you can search for Ministerio de Hacienda – Treasury Department and select the tax you will be paying. In the example below to pay the company tax, you select the option Impuesto a las Personas Juridicas
We have posted several articles about these requirements on our blog at CostaRicaLaw.com as well as videos on our You Tube Channel YouTube/CostaRicaLaw should you require more in depth information. We also have a detailed course called “How to Set Up and Manage Your Costa Rica Company”