San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

With deadline looming, only 12 percent of Costa Rican businesses have paid corporate tax

The deadline set by the National Registry for 545,000 corporations to pay their yearly corporate tax is Jan. 31.

A report issued Tuesday evening indicates that only 11.68 percent of them have paid, according to National Registry Director Dagoberto Sibaja Morales.

A 2012 law established that corporations failing to pay the tax in three consecutive periods will be dissolved and removed from the National Registry.

This year, the agency is preparing to enforce the legislation and collect debts from delinquents of the previous three periods.

Corporations set to be eliminated from the National Registry will have their assets confiscated and auctioned to pay the debt. The agency then will remove the corporation from the registry, Sibaja explained.

For corporations delinquent only in one or two periods, the law stipulates financial penalties for each day of delinquency. It also prohibits obtaining certifications of assets, as well as filing new registration entries.

Active corporations this year must pay ₡199.700 ($399), and inactive ones must pay ₡99.850 ($199). An inactive corporation is one that does not earn a profit. These corporations are commonly used in Costa Rica to hold assets, while an active corporation also registered with the Tax Administration earns income.

Payments only can be made at Bank of Costa Rica’s branches and on its website.

Sibaja on Wednesday said the National Registry is drafting of a document that explains how corporations that have ​​accumulated their third debt period will be removed.

“The document will include detailed steps and procedures the National Registry will conduct to cancel a corporation’s registration. It is not an easy process, is actually very complex, since we must take into account all assets registered under each of the corporations, and we even must confirm whether the shareholders are willing to avoid the closing,” Sibaja said.

The document will be released Thursday and will be published in the National Registry’s website.

Contact L. Arias at

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