Ticos Will No Longer Be Able to Exonerate Tax on Purchases

Starting this week, it will no longer be possible to exonerate taxes of online purchases of less than $ 500 done outside of Costa Rica. This tax benefit was applied every six months and made it possible to avoid paying taxes on goods through the Internet.

The decree that came into force this past Monday will only be applied when it is possible to demonstrate that it is a family item with no commercial value; In other words, in order to buy an item and not pay taxes, it will be necessary for you, a friend or family member to bring the product directly to them.

The measure seeks to stop the movement of commercial merchandise without the respective payment of taxes and at the same time, it translates into a hard blow for consumers and for the courier companies that maintain lockers in Miami and where Costa Ricans usually send this type of goods.

And it is that the decree will affect mainly the purchase of electronic products such as flat screens, monitors, devices for computers, video game consoles and other electronics that will have to pay an average of 40% and 50% of their cost for taxes.

An example of this situation is the latest generation video game console PlayStation 5, whose cost in its version with a disk reader is $ 500 in the United States, that is, about ¢ 300 thousand, but on Costa Rican soil it does not fall below ¢ 600 thousand, reaching up to ¢ 800 thousand or more in some places.

Strong measure?

By provision from the Ministry of Finance, as of May 1st, 2021, only non-commercial family shipments will be exonerated:

  • Products must be solely for personal or family enjoyment
  • The applicant for the procedure must be an individual not a company
  • You must present the requested documentation to carry out the procedure
  • The CIF value of the merchandise cannot exceed $ 500 including transportation.
  • Does not apply to restricted products
  • Applies only to a single invoice
  • The benefit can be requested every six months
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