Importing a Car to Costa Rica – How much are the Import taxes
If you want to import a car into Costa Rica you will have to pay import taxes to the Costa Rican government.
The amount of import taxes that will be charged depend on several factors which the Customs Department will apply. The first determination is the age of the vehicle that is being imported.
If the vehicle is new or less than 3 years old then the tax percentage will be 52.29% of the value of the vehicle.
If the vehicle is 4 to 5 years old then the tax percentage goes up to 63.91%
If the vehicle is 6 years or older then the tax percentage increases again to 79.03%
So once you know the age of the vehicle the next determination required to calculate the tax is the import value of the particular vehicle that is being imported. To avoid under reporting of vehicle values the Costa Rican Customs Department uses two sources to determine the import value:
1. The bill of sale or invoice for the vehicle plus the insurance and freight required to ship the vehicle to Costa Rica. This is commonly known as the C.I.F. (Cost+Insurance+Freight)
So if you purchased a used car for $10,000 and the cost to ship it to Costa Rica was $1,200 the landed cost of the vehicle in Costa Rica was $11,200
2. The import value of the vehicle as established in the Valuation Database of the Ministry of the Treasury referred to locally as “Cartica / Autovalor”. You can check the Auto Valor Database by following the link.
The Customs Department will use the higher of the two values in calculating the tax. As such if you invoice for the example above is for $11,200 landed cost and the vehicle appears with a value of $11,400 in the database of the tax department they will use the higher value.
If we assume that the car you imported was 5 years old then we will take the valuation set by the valuation database at $11,400. As such the calculation would be as follows:
Import Value of the Vehicle $11,400 X 63.91% = $7,285 in import taxes. Assuming your actual cost for the vehicle was $11,200 you add the $7,285 in import taxes and the total cost of the vehicle in Costa Rica would be $18,485.
If you want to see a video on how the calculation process works then check out : Car Import Tax Video
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