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A new legal regulation applies to the tax exemptions for Costa Rican residency subcategories of investor, annuitant and pensioner. Executive Decree N° 43926 -MGP-H-TUR, the regulation of Law 9996, was published in the official newspaper, La Gaceta, on February 23, 2023.

It stipulates the process for obtaining the tax exemptions granted in section 5 of Law 9996, while the previous regulation regarding the investor subcategory is revoked.

Based on the new regulation, a person seeking residency as an investor must comply with the minimum investment requirement of US $150,000. Previously, the minimum investment was US $200,000. 

These are the main requirements for each investment option:

  • Real estate investment

The applicant must purchase the real estate under their name; this eliminates the possibility of purchasing under a corporation. 

  • Shares investment

The corporation must be inscribed as a taxpayer and comply with all the requirements of a real-running working business.

  • Stocks

The stock market where the investment is made has to be registered before Superintendencia General de Valores (SUGEVAL) as projects of national interest or production projects

  • For projects of national interest, the applicant must provide the executive decree that declares the activity a national interest.
  • For production projects, the applicant must provide the document duly signed by the competent authority in which the economic activity will be developed, including the investment made on forestry plantations that MINAE must provide.

 

  • Venture capital funds
  • The company that manages the venture capital fund must be duly inscribed before the National Registry of Securities of SUGEVA.
  • Sustainable tourist infrastructure.

The project requires technical approval from the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism (ICT).

 

Tax exemptions

In Chapter III, the regulation establishes the process that must be followed for the tax exemptions approved by Law 9996, published in 2021.

The tax benefits can be requested only during the first five years after the publication of this regulation. They will be valid for 10 years, and to be subject to them, you must proceed as follows:

  • Create a profile on the digital platform EXONET.
  • Be up to date in the payment of your tax obligations.
  • Be up to date in the payment of your social security obligations, CCSS. 
  • Be a resident as an Investor, annuitant, or pensioner.
  • Submit the list of assets that will request the tax exemption.  

The tax benefits for those who are granted temporary residency under one of the categories mentioned above consist of the following:

  • One-time duty-free and all import taxes of households.
  • Exemption of import taxes, value-added tax (VAT) and tariff for up to two vehicles for land (car), sea (boat), or air (plane), only for personal use, not commercial.
  • Exemption of import taxes for instruments or materials used by the beneficiaries for professional or scientific practice.
  • Residents will be exempt from 20% of the real transfer tax on real estate purchases within the term of law 9996, as long as they are registered owners. However, if you sell or transfer the property within the term of the law, you must pay all the exempted taxes.
  • Income tax exemption on the income declared to get the benefits in each temporary residency category. However, the income received in the national territory, resulting from the investments made in the country, will be subject to income tax.

Applicants will not automatically be considered CR tax residents; they can obtain said status if they follow the provisions of the Income Tax Law. 

The tax exemption will be applicable only once, and the beneficiaries of this incentive must keep the assets for 10 years before being able to sell them. If not, the potential buyer will be responsible for covering the amount initially exempted, if the beneficiary of this incentive transfers the asset.

If you lose your immigration status, loss of tax benefits is implied.

We at GM Attorneys will be pleased to help you with your legal matters in Costa Rica! Please feel free to contact us at info@gmattorneyscr.com or visit our website and blog section.

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