COSTA RICA

Name of country

  • COSTA RICA

Region

  • Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Nicaragua and Panama

Population

5,151,140 (July 2021 est.)

General Introduction

Costa Rica is a country in Central America known for its rainforests. Costa Rica has one of the highest literacy rates in Latin America and an excellent workforce. The country has a tropical climate all year. Costa Rican colon is the national currency. Costa Rica's economy is stable, with its main exports being electronics, tourism, and agriculture. Foreign investors are drawn to the country because of its political stability and relatively high education levels, as well as the incentives provided by free-trade zones.

Wifi Speed

  • According to Speedtest, which tracks global internet speeds, Costa Rica ranks 80th globally in fixed broadband internet speeds at 43.32 Mbps downloads.

Electrical outlet

Costa Rica uses 110 volts, 60 cycle electricity, the same as the US. Plugs are typically the 2-pronged flat type.

Per Capita GDP 

Real GDP per capita

  • $100.25 billion note: data are in 2017 dollars (2020 est.)
  • $105.02 billion note: data are in 2017 dollars (2019 est.)
  • $102.79 billion note: data are in 2017 dollars (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Climate

  • tropical and subtropical; dry season (December to April); rainy season (May to November); cooler in highlands

Residence-by-Investment

  • Costa Rica grants a temporary residency visa under the category of "inversionista" to foreign nationals who have made an investment and wish to immigrate to the country.

Investment

  • The required investment is US$200,000, which can be invested in active business, real estate, stocks or securities, or forest plantations (required investment is US$100,000). An applicant's spouse and disabled children under the age of 25 may be included in the application.

Processing Time

  • Between 2 to 3 months.

Key Benefits

  • Citizenship Benefits

Visa-free or Visa on arrival to 134 countries, including Schengen Area, United Kingdom, Japan The right to live and work in Costa Rica at all times, and all the rights associated with membership of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Access to educational and healthcare benefits

  • Permanent Residency Benefits

The right to live and work in Costa Rica, without any time limit Be eventually eligible for citizenship Access to healthcare and education system

  • Temporary Residency Benefits

Peaceful, democratic and politically stable country Low tax jurisdiction Warm climate Territorial tax system High quality of life Be eligible for permanent residency in a short period of time Fast and easy process Low cost of living Potentially profitable investment

Requirements

For investment in business or projects of national interest:

  • A detailed description of investments, productive projects or projects of national interest.
  • Original or certified copy of municipality permits.
  • Certification of the insurer, indicating that the company is up to date on the payment of the risk policy, or original proof of payment or duly certified.
  • Certificate of the legal status of the company.
  • Certified copy of the company's articles of incorporation or original and copy thereof to be confirmed by a public official.
  • Certification issued by Authorized Public Accountant proving investment in applicant’s personal capacity.
  • Registration with the Dirección General de Tributación Directa.

For investments in immovable properties:

  • A detailed description of the investments in real estate and movable assets that you own.
  • Certification issued by the Property Registry shows that the movable or immovable property is duly registered.
  • Proof of registration and payment of taxes to the Dirección General de Tributación Directa and the corresponding Municipality, which demonstrates the real value of the property.

For investments in stocks or securities:

  • A detailed description of the investment in stocks or securities by Notary Public.
  • Certified copy of the articles of incorporation of the company.
  • Certification of income by an Authorized Public Accountant, by means of which the economic solvency of the applicant is demonstrated, according to the financial statements of the last period duly audited.
  • If the investment is generated from abroad, the documents must be duly legalized or apostilled.
  • Certification of the legal status of the company or company with a date of issue not exceeding one month to the application for temporary residence as an investor.
  • Certificate of registration and payment of taxes before the Dirección General de Tributación Directa.

For investments in Forest plantations:

  • Certification issued by Authorized Public Accountant, where it is verified that the foreign person made an initial investment of US$100,000.
  • Certified copy of the resolution of approval of the Investment Management Plan, in activities of establishment, management, and use in forest plantations. The Management Plan must be programmed to a minimum term of 3 years.
  • Certified copy of the forest manager contract.
  • Certified copy of municipal permits

Natural Resources

  • hydropower

Ethnic Groups

  • White or Mestizo 83.6%, Mulatto 6.7%, Indigenous 2.4%, Black or African descent 1.1%, other 1.1%, none 2.9%, unspecified 2.2% (2011 est.)

Languages

  • Spanish (official), English

Religion

  • Roman Catholic 71.8%, Evangelical and Pentecostal 12.3%, other Protestant 2.6%, Jehovah's Witness 0.5%, other 2.4%, none 10.4% (2016 est.)

Median Age

  • total: 32.6 years
  • male: 32.1 years
  • female: 33.1 years (2020 est.)

Urbanization

  • urban population: 81.4% of total population (2021)
  • rate of urbanization: 1.5% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Physician density

  • 2.89 physicians/1,000 population (2018)

Government type

  • presidential republic

Unemployment Rate

  • 8.1% (2017 est.)
  • 9.5% (2016 est.)

Taxes

Headline Personal Income Tax Rate (highest marginal tax rate) 

  •  25% 

Headline Corporate Income Tax Rate (excluding dividend taxes)

  • 30%

A person is considered a tax resident in Costa Rica if he or she spends more than six months of the year in the country.

Costa Rica levies income taxes based on territory. This means that both tax residents and non-residents are only taxed on income earned in Costa Rica.

Local income is taxed at progressive rates ranging from 5% to 25%. The top marginal tax rate on employment income is 15%.

Dividends are subject to a 5% final withholding tax. Except for interest income obtained from the local stock exchange, which is taxed at an 8% rate, interest income is taxed at a 15% rate. Net rental income is taxed at regular income tax rates.

Capital gains are not taxed in Costa Rica as long as they are not a regular source of income for an individual or entity.

The real property tax is 0.25 percent of the property's value. A luxury house tax may also be levied.

Transfers of movable and immovable properties are taxed at 2.5 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.

Net wealth and inheritances are not taxed.

Costa Rica levies a 13 percent sales tax.

In terms of corporate taxation, resident entities are subject to a 30% corporate income tax on income earned within the country. Companies with low-income levels may be eligible for lower rates. Foreign-source income is exempt from taxation. Visit incorporations.io/costa-rica to learn more about company taxation, the legal framework, and tax treaties.

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