San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

January Is Time for Property Taxes, Business Registration

Attention business owners, does everyone know what their tax obligations are for this month?
January means it’s  municipal tax monthfor home owners and business owners.
Home owners must pay their local municipal government a 1% property tax on the catastral value of their property.
For business owners, however, the calculation is slightly more complicated.
Before making any tax payments to the Central Government, a business’s first tax obligation is to register with the local municipality.
The initial registration process costs 1% of a company’s net investment or worth.
The business license must be renewed every year in January. Businesses that have branches in other municipalities will have similar tax obligations there, or risk the possibility of facing fines.
The amount a business has to pay for local registration taxes is determined the following way:
1) If a businesses began to operate before October, the gross income for the months of October, November and December is added together and then divided by 100 and multiplied by 2.
2) If there was no income in some or all of those months, then all the gross income from all the months of the year in which there was income is added together, then divided by 100 and multiplied by the number of months in which there was some sort of income.
3) If the businesses only started to operate during the last three months of the year, then the gross income earned in each of those months is added together, divided by 100 and multiplied by the number of months in which the business has been open until the end of the year.
4) In the event that the business has not generated any income all year, then the business is still required to renew its license at 1% of its social capital or the same amount that it paid to register initially.
Max Ramírez is a junior attorney with García & Bodan in Managua

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