Home Costa Rica Legal TopicsCorporate Law Costa Rica Extends Deadline for RTBF Beneficial Owner Disclosure Forms to October 2024

Costa Rica Extends Deadline for RTBF Beneficial Owner Disclosure Forms to October 2024

by rpetersen

The Costa Rica government has extended the deadline for filing the Mandatory 2024 Shareholder / Beneficial owner disclosure form known locally as the RTBF filing.  By way of Executive Decree N° 44390-H the Treasury Department has extended the filing to start from October 1 to the 31 of 2024.

The reason for this extension was a controversial requirement by the tax department forcing filers to grant a General Power of Attorney (Poder Generalisimo) to any third party authorized to do the filing.   In the past the regulations allowed the use of a Special Power of Attorney (Poder Especial) which is more limited in scope.   Also the General Power of Attorney has to be recorded in the National Registry recording system while the Special Power of Attorney did not.   This complicated the process to efficiently get the RTBF form filed.  

The Costa Rica Bar Association Files a Lawsuit

The Costa Rican Bar Association filed a lawsuit and was able to secure an injunction against the government. 

The administrative injunction is in defense of the bar members interest, allowing lawyers to continue providing the service of registering their clients’ shareholders through special powers of attorney instead of the mandated general power of attorney.

The intent was to defend the interest of foreign clients and investors who are not able to do the online filing themselves because they do not have a digital signature.  The new regulation also made it more difficult for those foreign clients to hire their lawyers by way of special powers of attorney to do the filings.

This left them in a state of non-compliance, negatively affecting the country’s economy and employment.

As the Bar Association pointed out: “Demanding an all-encompassing power of attorney is irrational, disproportionate, and unfeasible, so the Bar Association is taking necessary measures to support their bar members and facilitate procedures in the country,”

The resolution from the court states the following: “In accordance with the above, the invoked law citations, the present request for a provisional injunction is ADMITTED, presented by the COSTA RICAN BAR ASSOCIATION against THE STATE.

IT IS ORDERED to temporarily suspend the third paragraph of Article 5 of Executive Decree No. 44.390-H, Regulation of the Transparency and Final Beneficiaries Registry, in the event that the RTBF declaration needs to be made, by suspending the cited paragraph, it should be understood that the applicable norms established by the legal system become effective, this while the present measure is in force and until this authority has more elements of judgment to definitively resolve the precautionary request. NOTIFY.”

The Tax Department Extends the Filing Requirement

As a result of the injunction the tax department is required to modify the digital filing platform to once again accept a Special Power of Attorney for filing of the form.  It is for this reason that it has had to extend the filing deadline.

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