Costa Rica Banco Nacional

Costa Rica looks to attract investors and rentier capitalists to boost its pandemic-hit economy

Law 9,996 aims to generate an interest among those people coming into Costa Rica under the migratory status as investors, retired residents, or those residents living on investment income, under the Law 8,764, the General Migration and Immigration Law, from 19th August 2009.

The regulations establish that those looking for a 10-year temporary residence as foreign investors in Costa Rica must be able to certify a minimum investment of 150,000 dollars (around CRC 92 million) in real estate, shares, securities, registered assets, or productive projects. This is a 25% decrease in comparison with the previous amount required of 200,000 dollars.

Furniture, household appliances, and other household goods, etc. will be exempt from taxes, on a one-off basis, when entering the country in order to furnish a home. While these regulations are in place, if the goods are then transferred to another place, the waived taxes must then be paid.

People will also be able to import, tax free, duty free, and free from VAT up to two vehicles for personal and/or family use, these can be land, water, and/or air vehicles. The beneficiary may sell or transfer them to others according to what is stipulated in article 10 of Law 7,088, Tax Readjustment and Resolution 18 of the Customs and Duties Council CA from 30th November 1987.

The regulations also consider that those amounts declared as income in order to qualify for the benefits of Law 9,996 will be exempt from income tax. However, income generated within the national territory from investments made in Costa Rica will be subject to income tax.

In the case of real estate, the regulations establish a 20% waiver from the total property transfer tax if the properties are acquired during the enforcement of said law. If the beneficiary transfers the property while the law is still in force, they must pay the previously waived taxes.

Those professionals and scientists who are classified as investors, retired residents, or those residents living on investment income, will be able to import the instruments and materials required to exercise as professionals. To do so, they must prove to the Treasury that said goods are related to their activities and must meet the proportional and reasonable criteria.

The law came into force on 14th July 2021. Investors, rentier capitalists, and pensioners may have access to these benefits for the first five years of the law, which they will be entitled to for a term of 10 years as of the granting thereof.

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