LAW FOR THE ATTRACTION OF INVESTORS, ANNUITANTS AND RETIREES

On June 22, the “Law for the Attraction of Investors, Retirees and Retirees” was approved in Costa Rica.

This law is intended to attract foreigners under such migratory conditions, granting them a series of benefits to make their residence more attractive.

In summary, the law creates the regulatory framework to encourage the attraction of investors, annuitants and retirees. Such incentive is achieved through a series of tax exemptions and benefits that these migratory conditions would grant to foreigners, among the main incentives are the following:

  • Granting of tariff exemption and exemption of all import taxes present for one time only, for the importation of household goods (covers immigration status dependents).

**If the beneficiary transfers these assets to third parties during the term of the benefits granted, he/she must pay the taxes from which he/she was exempted.

  •  Importation of up to two land, air and/or sea transportation vehicles for personal or family use, free of all import, customs and value added taxes.

**If the beneficiary transfers these assets during the term of the benefits granted, he/she must pay the taxes from which he/she was exempted.

  • Amounts declared as income (for residency eligibility purposes) will be exempt from income tax.

**Income obtained in the national territory, resulting from investments made in the country, shall be subject to income tax.

  •  Exoneration of twenty percent (20%) of the total transfer tax, in those real estate properties acquired during the term of the law, provided that the beneficiary is the registered owner of the property.

**If the beneficiary transfers these assets during the term of the benefits granted, he/she must pay the taxes from which he/she was exempted.

  • Exemption from import taxes for instruments or materials for professional or scientific practice (must demonstrate to the Ministry of Finance that the imported goods correspond to their activity).
  •  Foreign individuals (investors, resident retirees or resident annuitants) will not automatically be considered as tax residents.

It is important to note that if the beneficiary of the immigration status renounces his or her status or if the immigration status is cancelled, he or she must pay the taxes from which he or she was exempted.

The law also grants new conditions to opt for the migratory status of resident investor, establishing a new range of investment, with a capital of not less than one hundred and fifty thousand United States dollars (US$150,000), either in real estate, registrable goods, shares, securities and productive projects or projects of national interest. In addition, those who invest in venture capital funds or in sustainable tourism infrastructure projects may be considered investors.

Falsification of documents

Whoever alters or falsifies documents, with the purpose of obtaining any of the benefits provided in the present law, shall be sanctioned with a fine equivalent to ten percent (10%) of the taxes that were exempted (immediate payment of the full amount of the taxes that were exempted).

Foreigners who opt for the benefits granted by the law may do so only during the first FIVE years after its entry into force.

Foreigners who opted for such benefits during the first five years of effectiveness of the law will maintain them for a period of TEN years from the date on which they were granted.

The regulation of the law is still pending, but due to its relevance, it is expected that the regulation will be published soon.

If you have any doubts or questions, please contact us at migracioncr@lexincorp.com

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