Is My Costa Rica Corporation Active or Inactive
Is My Costa Rica Corporation Active or Inactive ?
by Roger Petersen
Costa Rica passed an annual tax on corporations. The amount of tax imposed depends on the way the corporation is classified. A corporation that is deemed “active” will pay a tax which is based upon 50% of the base salary of an Administrative Auxiliary working in the Judicial Branch. For 2012 that works out to an annual corporate tax of $357 for an active corporation. A corporation that is “inactive” pays half of that amount, $178.50. Since the law comes into effect on April 1st 2012 the tax must be prorated since you will only pay 9 months of tax for the 2012 period.
That brings us to the basic question most of you are asking. Is my corporation an active or inactive one ? The law (Impuesto a las Sociedades Juridicas) indicates that an active corporation is one that is active before the Costa Rican Tax Revenue Department (Direccion General de Tributacion Directa).
The easiest way to find out if your corporation is Active or Inactive for tax purposes is to check it online at the web site of the Revenue Department. You can do so by following this link http://188.8.131.52/ruc/#consulta.
That will take you to the Tax Payer Identification System of the Ministry of the Treasurer
(Sistema de Identificacion de Contribuyentes)
Once on that page scroll to the bottom of the page to the corporation search section which is labeled Consulta de Personas Juridicas.
The search screen is set forth below and you can search by entering the corporate identification number for the corporation or you can search by the name of the corporation.
There are only two possible results from the search. It will either indicate that the corporation is Sin Obligaciones which means that according to the Tax Department records the corporation is inactive and thus has no filing obligations. The example below lists a company that is Sin Obligaciones and therefore will be considered “inactive” for purposes of the corporate tax.
On the other hand if the search results indicate that the corporation is Con Obligaciones this means that it does have filing requirements and could be considered active. If you have a corporation that is Con Obligaciones you might have to contact an accountant to sort out the tax status.
Since the criteria for filing tax returns on corporations has changed over the years you may have situations with older companies that filed tax returns as “inactive” status. That filing then triggered an inclusion in the tax department database as having tax filing obligations with the tax department. However, this does not automatically mean that you owe a tax. If your corporation only acted as a holding company and had no economic activity but still appears Con Obligaciones it may be necessary to prove the inactivity and you should consult with an accountant in those particular cases.