Home Costa Rica Legal TopicsCorporate Law New requirements and filing deadline for the Beneficial Owner Transparency Filing (RTBF)

New requirements and filing deadline for the Beneficial Owner Transparency Filing (RTBF)

by rpetersen

The RTBF Beneficial Owner Transparency laws is a requirement for Costa Rica companies to file an annual form with the Central Bank of Costa Rica disclosing all company shareholders or beneficial owners, ensuring that the individuals who ultimately own or control a legal entity are identified and reported. This measure seeks to prevent misuse of corporate structures for illicit purposes such as money laundering, fraud, and tax evasion.

2024 Filing Date Extended

The filing of the form is generally required from April 1 – April 30 of each year.   However, for 2024 the filing has been extended to July 1 – July 31, 2024.

Why the Filing Extension ?

The reason for the extension is that the government has modified the regulations and is making compliance and enforcement stricter. For Costa Rican companies, the obligation to file this form marks a shift towards stricter compliance measures, aligning with international standards set by organizations like the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The new regulations were published in publication No. 50 the official Gazette  as Executive Decree 44390-H, with important modifications to the previous regulations which I highlight below:

Who are the Obligated Subjects that must file the form

The revised regulations provide more details as to the entities required to comply with the RTBF declarations, as follows:

  1. a) Legal entities registered in the National Registry, as well as all those assigned a legal identification number by the National Registry.
  2. b) Private trusts, which own or manage goods, assets, or rights, including foreign trusts that conduct activities in Costa Rica and/or have a legal identification number assigned by the National Registry.
  3. c) Third-party asset managers.
  4. d) Non-profit organizations and their branches, foreign subsidiaries of international non-profit organizations.
  5. e) Within the institutional decentralized public sector, the following must submit the declaration: state public companies, non-state public companies, and non-state public entities, insofar as they have private legal or physical persons as participants in the share capital.

Who are the persons responsible for providing and filing the required information ?

According to the new regulations, the person responsible for providing information is the individual designated by law to act on behalf of the obligated subject, namely:

  1. a) For legal entities, the legal representative of the company.
  2. b) In the case of trusts, it is the trustee or a person who performs a similar function.
  3. c) For third-party asset managers, the legal representative, or whoever exercises the powers of representation with administrative faculties.
  4. d) For non-profit organizations, the person who exercises the powers of representation.

Special Power of Attorney for filing no longer allowed

Previously, if you were not residing in Costa Rica and lacked residency that allowed direct access to the filing platform, your company could assign a Special Power of Attorney (Poder Especial) to someone within Costa Rica to represent you and complete the filing on your behalf. However, recent regulatory changes have altered this approach. The Special Power of Attorney is no longer recognized for this purpose. Now, the law mandates that anyone filing on your behalf must hold a General Power of Attorney (Poder Generalissimo). This broader form of authorization requires registration in the National Registry of Costa Rica.

Impossibility of Identifying the Final Beneficiaries of Legal Entities or Legal Structures which are Domiciled Abroad.

Having exhausted the actions that allow for the identification or determination of the final beneficiaries and when it becomes impossible to fully or partially identify the participants of the share capital or the final beneficiaries of any legal entity domiciled abroad, the government will presume that the final beneficiary is the administrator in Costa Rica of the entity domiciled abroad, to whom the same rules for identifying the final beneficiaries will be applied.

Failure to Comply with the Filing Obligations

According to article 31, once the deadline to submit the declaration in the RTBF has passed, the Tax Department, will start the formal notification process of non-compliance. A period of three business days from the date of notification will be given to comply.

The Tax Departnment may legally notify the non-compliant party through any of the following means:

  1. a) To the email address registered with the RTBF.
  2. b) To the email address registered with the General Directorate of Taxation.
  3. c) At the domicile of the obligated subject, or that of their legal representative or the person who performs a similar function, at their email addresses.
  4. d) In the absence of a place or means to receive notifications, a publication will be made in the Notifications section of the official newspaper La Gaceta, indicating the name and identification number of the alleged non-compliant.

The following will be considered to be non-compliant :

  1. a) Those who do not file the annual filing as required.
  2. b) Those who have pending periods that were not filed.
  3. c) Those who, within their chain of legal entity structures, have obligated subjects who have not filed according to article 8 of this regulation.


The only way to comply with this filing is using the online electronic platform of the Central Bank.   To create an account you will require a local identification card or a DIMEX residency card.  If you don’t have either then your only option now will be to grant a General Power of Attorney (Poder Generalissimo) to somebody in Costa Rica to represent you and the filing for you.  Since that type of Power of Attorney must be recorded in the National Registry it is advisable that you start early to ensure you are ready for filing by the July deadline.

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