DUE DATE: JANUARY 30th , 2019
As of September1st, 2017 all corporations, subsidiaries, and limited liability companies that are currently registered before the National Registry, as well as all entities incorporated in the future, will be subject to pay an annual tax.Law # 9428: 'Tax over legal entities'
There will be a fixed fee for inactive corporations and a progressive rate for active corporations depending on their income. The amounts go from US$ 120 -for inactive corporations- up to US$ 380 for active corporations.
If the tax is not duly paid, the National Registry will not issue, certify or register any documents for the companies, furthermore, the companies will not be able to contract with the Government or any public institution
BUILDERS RESPONSIBILITIES IN COSTA RICA
Costa Rican building regulations hold those individuals or companies (such as architects, civil engineers, builders or construction companies) who are in charge the construction of buildings, bridges and other infrastructure responsible for the total or partial loss of said projects, whether the cause is a defect in the construction process or a defect in the underlying soil (Costa Rica´s Civil Code, Section 1185). When more than one professional is involved, each one will assume responsibility for their participation in the project/construction (Costa Rica´s Civil Code, Section 1186) based upon the information which is recorded in the official construction log book (or bitacora).
Since this liability is granted by law and not by contract, it is important to consider the following:
The professional(s) responsible can be sued by the owner of the construction project – or the administrator of a Condominium- only in the case of discovering hidden defects related to the construction process, the quantity and quality of the materials used, or the lack of supervision or recklessness and negligence of the professional(s) involved. Damage or loss resulting from Force Majeure or Acts of God is not considered grounds for legal action.
These regulations were created to protect people in the event of major construction issues or accidents related to new constructions or remodeling and are not applicable to minor construction works or damages, which are not considered high risk. For example, a crack in a wall may not be sufficient grounds to sue however a crack in a structural beam would be. The scale or dimensions of the damage can only be determined in Court.
The statute of limitations for these kinds of legal actions is five years starting from the moment the project is finalized and the works are officially received by the owner. (Costa Rica´s Civil Code, Section 1185). This statute of limitations is upheld by law and cannot be waived.
Any other damages which occur during the construction process or thereafter, for example the failure to complete the construction project, can be claimed against as a breach of contract under regular civil responsibility and the applicable statute of limitations in this case is ten years (Costa Rica´s Civil Code, Sections 868 and 1045); however there could be criminal liability (death or injury) due to a constructive failure due to lack of expertise or negligence of the professional or constructor that resulted in an accident. Consequently, the statute of limitations would be different if it were a crime or a strictly civil or commercial case.
As a final recommendation, any construction or remodeling project should always be covered by a full insurance policy, fire and/or a civil liability policy. Most local Insurance Companies provide this service.
For the review of construction agreements or contracts and more information about these topics, please contact your attorney.