Annual Corporate Tax
Costa Rica has been known for its simple procedures for setting up a corporation and taxation. Costa Rica attracts investors because it is one of the few countries in the world that allow an offshore corporation to be set up anonymously as a Sociedad Anonima. The names of the owners do not appear in any records.
The Costa Rica Government has cleared an annual tax for all corporate entities to be effective from April 1, 2012. The tax amount would be 1,80,330 colones [US$ 357] for active corporations and 90,175 colones [$178.50] for inactive corporations. The tax would be calculated keeping in mind the base salary of a government employee. For active corporations, the tax would be 50 percent of base salary, and for inactive corporations, 25 percent of base salary. The tax amount would be adjusted according to changes in the base salary. For 2012, the tax has to be paid by April 1, 2012. After that, the tax would become due for payment by January 1 every year.
Corporation owners could transfer assets and dissolve the corporation. There is an exemption from transfer taxes and registration fees if it is going to be a one-time transfer to an individual or another corporation. Corporations that are dissolved during April, May, and June would be exempted from paying this tax.
Individuals might choose to resign as officials and directors so that they can avoid personal liability. They would have one year in which to resign and have the action recorded in the corporate registry.
The liability of outstanding taxes, according to the new legislation, is upon the corporate officer or director who has legal authority over the corporation. Such officials could avoid personal liability if they resign within one year – that is by April 1, 2013. The procedure for resignation requires serving a notice at the legal domicile of the corporation. Later, they would have to appear before public notary for documentation. A corporation would be automatically dissolved if there are tax arrears for three years.
However, tax exemptions apply to corporations which do not conduct some sort of permanent productive activities as micro and small businesses which have been registered with the Ministry of Economy, Industry, and Commerce (MEIC).
Voluntary dissolution of a corporation is also allowed based upon the unanimous approval by corporate shareholders. The new law allows a public notary to dissolve a corporation upon request by shareholders. There would also be exemption from transfer taxes and stamp duties for one-time transfer of assets held in corporations to an individual or another corporation.
Overall, the tax on corporations is still lowers in Costa Rica than in some other countries. The Law Firm of Meléndez & Bonilla is experts in all procedures of setting up corporations, handling them, and calculating tax liabilities. We would be able to sort out all your problems relating to corporations in Costa Rica.
We provide you with the best counsel – based on years of experience – in setting up offshore corporations in Costa Rica which include maximum tax benefits. We would take care of all the documentation even when you are not resident in the country.
You can call us today for the best counsel on all business matters.