Costa Rica: San JoséFlamingo Tamarindo Nosara


Buying real estate in Costa Rica

April, 2022

In the previous email, we talked about frequently asked questions about real estate. In this we will give continuity to these questions emphasizing taxes and obligations.

Q. What taxes am I required to pay?
A. The primary taxes are:

- Real Estate tax and Garbage Collection Fee. 
Property taxes are 0.25% of the purchase price or registered value whichever is greater; they can be paid a year in advance or quarterly to the Municipality where the property is registered. The garbage collection fee is USD $200 per year. Due date for the 1st quarter: March 31st of each year.

- Home Luxury Tax 
The Home Luxury Tax only applies to houses, condos, or apartments over a certain construction value (₡137.000.000,00 colones in 2022, USD$ 240K - this amount is adjusted each year). Due date: January 15 each year. Those liable for this tax shall fill out the form called 'Formulario Único de Inscripción, Declaración y Pago Impuesto Solidario para el Fortalecimiento de Programas de Vivienda, Law # 8683, every 3 years and pay the tax annually. The next assessment shall be made and submitted in 2025.

- Annual Corporate Tax 
There will be a fixed fee for inactive corporations and a progressive rate for active corporations depending on their gross income. The amounts range from USD $120 - for inactive corporations - up to USD $380 for active corporations (the amounts are adjusted each year).

- Capital Gains Tax Law 9635 created a Capital Gains Tax of 15% which applies to all investment income and real estate. A capital gain arises from the difference between the value of an asset at the time of purchase and the asset’s value at the time of sale. If there is gain, or the value is positive, this amount should be subject to a 15% tax.

Q. What obligations am I required to comply with?
A. The primary obligations are:

- Tax Filings: 
a. Inactive corporations: The definition of an inactive corporation is, "...those companies incorporated in the country that do not have lucrative, income producing, activity of a Costa Rican source." This includes all commercial companies, branches of foreign companies and individual limited liability companies. As per the resolution (N° DGT-R-02-2021) the inactive corporations must file 2 forms (D-140 and D-101) yearly.

b. Active corporations: Corporate income is taxed at a 30% rate.  30% is for companies with gross income over CRC 112.070.000,00. However, the law establishes special regulations for small companies whose gross income does not exceed 112.070.000,00 colones (CRC).

c. Rental Activity for Real estate: According to Law #9635 “Ley de Fortalecimiento de las Finanzas Públicas” the income tax periodicity and calculation method changed for rental activity companies. Traditionally, the income tax was calculated on the company's profit (income minus expenses incurred within the fiscal year). The income taxes were filed by the taxpayer yearly through a D-101 form.With this law the income tax should be filed on a monthly basis through a D-125 form.

- Mandatory Shareholders Registry with the Central Bank of Costa Rica: The Law 9416 and its regulations, states that each corporation must proceed with the mandatory disclosure, submitting the requested records to the Central Bank of Costa Rica (BCCR).

- Resident Agent and Legal Domicile  of CR Corporation: As per CR Law, CR corporations whose legal representatives do not have a legal and permanent domicile in CR require a Resident Agent. That must be a CR Attorney and Notary Public to receive any notices related to the corporation. Also, the legal domicile of the CR corporation must be clear, well-identified, and within Costa Rica.

It is important to note that these FAQs are not the entire picture of buying or selling Real Estate in CR. As mentioned above, legal representation is important to ensure all laws of the Country are followed and your transaction is handled properly. We are available for your real estate questions. Please feel free to contact us at

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