San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Government Has Collected Almost All 2005 Taxes

DURING the first 10 months of 2005, the Costa Rican government collected 88% of taxes expected for the year, according to the daily La Nación.


The Comptroller General’s Office estimated the government received a total of ¢1.15 trillion ($2.3 billion) in taxes for 2005, ¢1.01 trillion ($2.05 billion) of which it collected between January and October.


These positive figures can be attributed to the successful collection of income and Customs taxes, which, combined, make up 60% of all taxes collected by the government, according to La Nación.


These figures mark a 9% improvement over income tax collection during the same period last year, excluding inflation.


Approximately ¢240 billion ($487 million) in income taxes were paid in the first 10 months of 2005, which is 87% of the total income tax expected for the year. The improvement is due in part to 71,000 new people filing for income tax following the corruption scandals of last year, the daily reported.


An increase in Customs taxes, including sales tax paid on imported goods, is also a factor.


A new automated Customs system, TICA, partially implemented by the Finance Ministry, allows for the electronic tracking of goods from the time they enter the country until their recipient pays taxes. The Finance Ministry launched the system in the Pacific port town of Caldera on July 4 and in San José’s central Customs office Oct. 3.


Positive collection results for this 10-month period could mean this year’s tax revenue exceeds expectations and could result in a lower fiscal deficit, La Nación reported.


Legislators use tax collection estimates to draft a budget for the upcoming year. Finance Minister David Fuentes has said the positive tax results for 2005 could mean more money designated for highways and education in 2006.


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