Ombudswoman: Make Internet purchases from U.S. retailers tax exempt

June 7, 2012

Costa Rica’s ombudswoman, Ofelia Taitelbaum, has asked the Customs Administration to reinstate tax exemptions on Internet purchases from retailers in the United States and sent via courier service to Costa Rica, the daily La Nación reported

On Nov. 24, 2011, the day before Black Friday, the Finance Ministry announced that all Internet purchases made from Costa Rica and shipped here would have to pay import taxes. The Finance Ministry’s announcement caused a general outcry (TT, Dec. 12, 2011). Many consumers in the country enjoyed a twice-yearly exemption on imports of goods up to a value of $500 and given as gifts.

Taitelbaum told La Nación that she had analyzed the situation and found that customs authorities, if they wanted to make a change in the interpretation of the law governing small-scale import tax exemptions, should have given consumers enough time to adjust to the new interpretation.

Taitelbaum said the Finance Ministry is responsible for the way the law on customs exemptions has been applied since 2004, according to La Nación.

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