Tax Haven Costa Rica

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Costa Rica tax haven has implemented a series of measures which make the country an appealing location for multinational companies. More than 200 international companies are registered in Costa Rica where their operations are based. Growing sectors in medical technology, marketing, information and communications technology, software development and outsourcing have made Costa Rica tax haven the success story it is today. And coupled with this, Costa Rica’s educated and innovative workforce increases the country’s global competitiveness as a leading location for FDI.

Country Overview

Costa Rica tax haven has 4.52 million inhabitants and a work forced estimated at about 2.05. Spanish is the official language of tax haven Costa Rica but English is widely spoken as a second language as the educational system requires that the English language be compulsorily taught as a second language. Most Costa Ricans are therefore able to effectively communicate in English. The Costa Rican Colon is the currency used in Costa Rica tax haven and the capital is named San José.

Costa Rica tax haven has made education free and compulsory for all Costa Ricans. Costa Rica tax haven counts more than 9,300 learning institutions all of which have contributed to Costa Rica’s system of education one of the number one in Latin America and number 32 internationally (World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 2008-2009). Private schools in Costa Rica tax haven account for more than 200 of the country’s educational institutions, many of which are bilingual offering teaching programmes in German, Hebrew, English and French.

National elections take place in Costa Rica tax haven every four years. The President is head of Government and works along with 2 Vice-Presidents. The cabinet consists of 57 Congressmen. Cost Rica is considered number one for political stability in Latin America (World Bank Study for Global Governance Indicators, 2008). In February 2010, Costa Rica tax haven elected its first woman president, Laura Chinchilla.

Economic growth in Costa Rica tax haven is achieved by constantly diversifying and upgrading technical, manufacturing and professional business sectors. Costa Rica possesses 6% of the world’s life form varieties and ecosystems, which makes the country a leading tourist destination.

Costa Rica Fiscal Incentives and Advantages

In January 2010, a law to amend the Free Zones System Amendment obtained an overwhelming vote from the Legislative Assembly and is expected to increase Costa Rica’s competitive edge by encouraging productive chaining with domestic companies and stimulating investment in areas which do not fall within the Extended Great Metropolitan Area. In addition to setting up a tax exempt non-resident Costa Rica company, establishing a manufacturing plant or operation site in Costa Rica as a tax haven. Tax haven Aruba companies and investors benefit from:

  • Full exemption on duties levied on capital goods and raw materials and zero capital tax for companies located in free trade zones
  • Strategic location
  • GMT-6 (US Standard Time Zone)
  • International air cargo on a daily basis
  • More than 24 international shipping lines with routes through the Caribbean and Pacific
  • Globally competitive for FDI
  • International IPR protection standards
  • Qualified, creative, English and Spanish speaking work force
  • Open market economy
  • Free trade agreements cover 90% of exported goods

Costa Rica Offshore Services

Costa Rica tax haven does not have an offshore regime but allows companies to operate exclusively offshore and be owned only by foreign nationals. This allows such Costa Rica companies to be considered offshore companies, especially given that Costa Rica tax haven imposes taxes on a territorial basis. Costa Rica offshore companies are therefore not taxed and conduct their affairs globally free from any Costa Rica taxation. Costa Rica tax haven is however promoted as an ideal location for outsourcing and ‘nearshoring’ because of its strategic location in central America and not too far away from the US and Canada. Among other specialized offshore services that can be obtained in Costa Rica tax haven, these main services are available to international customers:

  • Payroll and accounting outsourcing
  • Company formation
  • International/offshore banking
  • Software development, project management, quality assurance and performance tuning outsourcing services

Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE)

Unlike other offshore jurisdictions were Financial Services Commission (FSC’s) are established to regulate and supervise offshore companies and international financial services, in Costa Rica tax haven CINDE is one of the main agencies which is directly involved in international and offshore investment in Costa Rica. Costa Rica does not have a corporate structure which is specially designed to as an offshore company such as the International Business Company (IBC). But a Costa Rica tax haven company can operate outside Costa Rica and can be owned by Costa Rican non-residents. Costa Rica tax haven imposes taxes on a territorial basis and consequently non-resident companies operate as the equivalent of an offshore company – tax exempt and able to conduct business in any part of the world. Hence, CINDE helps companies wishing to operate in Costa Rica tax haven by providing technical support in project expansion and product diversification, facilitating meetings with various stakeholders, legal and accounting professionals and facilitating access to free zones.

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