Costa Rica

Read this legal breakdown of Costa Rica’s Global Income Tax project

The Tico Times - 4 ore 21 min fa

Among the law projects comprising Costa Rica’s agreement with the International Monetary Fund is the “Global Income Tax.”

The project, worked under file No. 22.383, aims to unify the tax obligations for Costa Rica tax residents. Depending on the amount, higher earners would be taxed between 10 and 27.5%.

More than 140 pages of confusing legalese, the project includes portions indicating that income earned abroad will be taxed if it’s brought into Costa Rica.

The folks at Outlier Legal have summarized the bill and its implications for immigrants to Costa Rica (so-called “expats”). It’s the best English-language summary we’ve seen, and we highly recommend that you click here to read it.

“For the most part, I think foreign nationals who reside in Costa Rica will not be affected by this law,” concludes attorney Rafael Valverde, explaining that most expats will be exempt by proving they “keep their fiscal residency abroad.”

Of course, as Valverde explains, the bill is subject to change, particularly as the “unclear and confusing regulations” are hashed out. Among the considerations: How do foreigners prove they’re not subject to the tax?

All of this must be answered as the project works its way through the Legislative Assembly and before it’s implemented and enforced.

Click here to read the full Outlier Legal analysis.

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Categorie: Costa Rica

Pandemic caused loss of 255 million jobs worldwide in 2020

The Tico Times - Mar, 26/01/2021 - 21:18

The Covid-19 pandemic caused “massive damage” to employment, and recovery in 2021 will be “slow, uneven and uncertain” if policy makers do not take appropriate action, the UN warned on Monday.

In 2020, “8.8% of global working hours were lost for the whole of last year (relative to the fourth quarter of 2019), equivalent to 255 million full-time jobs.” That represents a loss four times larger than during the 2009 financial crisis, the International Labor Organization (ILO) underlined.

Without considering recent economic support measures, the losses resulted in an 8.3% decline in global labor income, equivalent to $3.7 trillion or 4.4% of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The ILO, however, believes the impact of the pandemic on unemployment is being underestimated.

71% of these job losses (81 million people) “came in the form of inactivity, rather than unemployment, meaning that people left the labor market because they were unable to work, perhaps because of pandemic restrictions, or simply ceased to look for work,” the ILO indicates.

Since Covid-19 was first detected in China at the end of 2019, the pandemic has plunged the world into a serious economic crisis, in addition to causing more than 2.1 million deaths and nearly 100 million infections.

‘Relatively strong recovery’

By 2021, the ILO forecasts that most countries will “experience a relatively strong recovery in the second half of the year, as vaccination programs take effect.”

The ILO Observatory has anticipated three possible recovery scenarios. The reference case predicts a loss of 3% of working hours worldwide in 2021, as long as the pandemic is under control, and reflects increased confidence from consumers and companies.

The most affected regions will be the Americas, Europe and Central Asia.

“We are at a fork in the road. One path leads to an uneven, unsustainable, recovery with growing inequality and instability, and the prospect of more crises,” said Guy Ryder, ILO Director General.

The other path is based on “human-centered recovery for building back better, prioritizing employment, income and social protection, workers’ rights and social dialogue,” he added.

‘Lost generation’

The ILO noted that women have been more impacted by the pandemic than men.

“In particular, women were much more likely than men to drop out of the labor market and become inactive,” the agency indicated.

Younger workers have also suffered the consequences, either through job losses, leaving the active sector, or joining it late, according to the report, which speaks of the “all too real risk of a lost generation.”

The employment rate for young people (aged 15 to 24) decreased by 8.7%, compared to 3.7% in the case of older adults.

The most affected sector has been the hotel and restaurant sector, which lost a fifth of its jobs.

On the other hand, the ILO notes an increase in the employment rate in the second and third quarters of 2020 in the fields of information and communication, as well as in finance and insurance.

The post Pandemic caused loss of 255 million jobs worldwide in 2020 appeared first on The Tico Times | Costa Rica News | Travel | Real Estate.

Categorie: Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s coronavirus restrictions for February 2021

The Tico Times - Mar, 26/01/2021 - 20:20

Costa Rican authorities on Tuesday announced the country’s coronavirus measures for February 2021.

The vast majority of commercial establishments can remain open seven days per week from 5 a.m. until 10 p.m. This includes the following highlights:

  • National parks can operate at 100% capacity.
  • Bars and casinos can operate at 50% capacity.
  • Beaches can remain open from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The businesses that must remain closed in February include night clubs, discos and amusement parks. See the full list here.

A slightly less-strict vehicular nighttime restriction will apply in February:

  • The nighttime driving ban begins at 10 p.m. every day of the week. This allows for one additional hour of “daytime” driving on Saturdays and Sundays.

In addition, the usual daytime driving restrictions apply:

  • Mondays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 1 or 2 cannot drive.
  • Tuesdays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 3 or 4 cannot drive.
  • Wednesdays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 5 or 6 cannot drive.
  • Thursdays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 7 or 8 cannot drive.
  • Fridays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 9 or 0 cannot drive.
  • Saturdays: Vehicles with license plates ending in ODD numbers cannot drive.
  • Sundays: Vehicles with license plates ending in EVEN numbers cannot drive.

The typical list of exceptions — which includes rental vehicles, people driving to/from a hotel reservation, and people driving to/from the airport — still applies. The full list of exceptions can be found here.

People who must drive for work can do so at any time with the appropriate credentials. Public transportation, including taxis, can operate normally.

Entry requirements for tourists during Covid-19

Since November 1, tourists from anywhere in the world can visit Costa Rica.

Visitors can arrive to Costa Rica via a flight, sailboat or yacht. The land borders remain closed for incoming tourists. Costa Rica does not require a negative coronavirus test, but travel medical insurance is necessary.

Here are are the requirements to fly into Costa Rica on a commercial flight as a tourist since November:

  • Fill out the electronic epidemiological HEALTH PASS form, available at This should be completed in the 48 hours before boarding for Costa Rica. It generates a QR code that you must show upon arrival; airlines also ask for it at check-in.
  • Purchase Traveler’s Medical Insurance: This can be either from an international company, or purchased through the National Insurance Institute (INS) or Sagicor of Costa Rica, covering the duration of your stay in Costa Rica.

INS and Sagicor policies are pre-approved and guaranteed to be accepted by Costa Rican authorities. However, many visitors choose international policies, because they are often cheaper.

Tourists who opt to purchase an international policy must bring a letter demonstrating:

  • Guaranteed coverage of medical expenses in the event of becoming ill with COVID-19 while in Costa Rica, for at least $50,000 USD.
  • Minimum coverage of $2,000 USD for lodging expenses issued as a result of the pandemic.
  • Validity of the policy throughout the planned stay in Costa Rica.

Many foreign countries, including the United States and Canada, require a negative coronavirus test before returning. Click here to download a PDF listing authorized labs in Costa Rica that promise results within 48 hours of testing.

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If you believe you have COVID-19, contact Costa Rica’s hotline at 1322. English-speaking staff and mental health professionals are available. Visit the Costa Rican Presidency for the official list of coronavirus measures and alerts. 

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Categorie: Costa Rica