Fiscal Transparency Law in Costa Rica

Two legal projects have been approved on fiscal transparency and fiscal management, including streamlined procedures for lifting bank secrecy.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A statement from the Ministry of Finance of Costa Rica reads:

TREASURY CELEBRATES APPROVAL OF FISCAL TRANSPARENCY AND STRENGTHENING OF TAX MANAGEMENT
The Treasury welcomed the adoption on the second reading of Bill number 17677 for Compliance in Tax Transparency Standards, and the number 18 041, the Bill to Strengthen Tax Management.

With the adoption of the Fiscal Transparency bill, the country will be in compliance with the standards of fiscal transparency of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The main change that occurs through the enactment of this Act is that the country can, through the Directorate General of Taxation, exchange with other jurisdictions with which it has information exchange agreements, all tax information requested, including banking information that was previously difficult to share. In this way the country will be part of the global network to prevent international tax avoidance and evasion.

More on this topic

Consequences of Tax Reform in Costa Rica

August 2012

In order to remove banking secrecy, all that is needed is that the required information presumably serves to determine compliance with tax obligations.

An article in Nacion.com discusses two bills recently approved on the first reading by the Costa Rican Legislative Assembly: the Law for Strengthening the Tax Administration and the Law on Fiscal Transparency.

Amendments to Tax Laws in Costa Rica

October 2012

"The odious ‘solve et repete’ ... is a means often used to cover administrative arbitrariness and makes defense of the taxpayer something illusory."

The quote comes from an the article in Elfinancierocr.com citing the OEA/BID Model Latin American Tax Code of 1968, which the author points to as the basis of the Code of Tax Rules and Procedures of Costa Rica.

Binding Nature of Tax Consultations

July 2012

In Costa Rica a bill on Tax Management will categorize tax consultations as for information only, and will eliminate the option of appealing.

Writing in ELfinancierocr.com, lawyer José María Oreamuno points to the double error that would be committed if the project called "Law on Strengthening Tax Management" were adopted, because the Tax Administration would not be bound by the answers it provides to taxpayers making inquiries, and because it thoroughly eliminates the possibility of appeal.

Increased Penalties for Faulty Tax Returns

October 2012

In Costa Rica, the new tax law increases the penalties for mistakes and omissions in income tax statements.

Effective from September 28, the Law for Strengthening Tax Management and Law for Enforcing Standards of Fiscal Transparency in some cases doubles fines to be paid for misreporting.

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