Costa Rica has made significant economic and social progress over the last decades. Real GDP per capita continues to increase at rates which outperform many other Latin American and OECD countries. But while living standards and well-being have increased, tax reforms are essential now to ensure the sustainable development of Costa Rica’s economy, according to a new OECD report.
This report is part of a new series of publications entitled OECD Tax Policy Reviews. These country reviews are intended to provide independent, comprehensive and comparative assessments of OECD member and non-member countries’ tax systems from a tax policy perspective as well as concrete recommendations for tax policy reform. By benchmarking countries’ tax systems and identifying tailored tax policy reform options, the ultimate objective of the reviews is to enhance the design of existing tax policies and to support the adoption and implementation of tax policy reforms.
This first edition provides a comprehensive tax policy assessment of Costa Rica’s current tax system as well as tax policy reform recommendations. The report is divided into five chapters, starting with a general chapter providing an overview of key macroeconomic and tax revenue trends (Chapter 1), followed by an assessment of the main types of taxes of the Costa Rican tax system, including corporate income taxes (Chapter 2), personal income taxes and social security contributions (Chapter 3), the general sales tax (Chapter 4) and environmentally-related taxes (Chapter 5)
Significant progress has been made by an international programme designed to enhance developing countries’ ability to bolster domestic revenue collection through strengthening of tax audit capacities.
On 17-18 November 2015, a new regional meeting as well as a governmental workshop on BEPS was held for the Latin America and the Caribbean region to discuss the outcomes of the BEPS Project, and the ways that the countries can explore to be involved on an equal footing in the implementation and the monitoring phase of the measures adopted.
This report contains the 2014 “Phase 2: Implementation of the Standards in Practice” Global Forum review of Costa Rica.
The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes is the multilateral framework within which work in the area of tax transparency and exchange of information is carried out by over 120 jurisdictions which participate in the work of the Global Forum on an equal footing.
The Global Forum is charged with in-depth monitoring and peer review of the implementation of the standards of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes. These standards are primarily reflected in the 2002 OECD Model Agreement on Exchange of Information on Tax Matters and its commentary, and in Article 26 of the OECD Model Tax Convention on Income and on Capital and its commentary as updated in 2004, which has been incorporated in the UN Model Tax Convention.
The standards provide for international exchange on request of foreseeably relevant information for the administration or enforcement of the domestic tax laws of a requesting party. “Fishing expeditions” are not authorised, but all foreseeably relevant information must be provided, including bank information and information held by fiduciaries, regardless of the existence of a domestic tax interest or the application of a dual criminality standard.
All members of the Global Forum, as well as jurisdictions identified by the Global Forum as relevant to its work, are being reviewed. This process is undertaken in two phases. Phase 1 reviews assess the quality of a jurisdiction’s legal and regulatory framework for the exchange of information, while Phase 2 reviews look at the practical implementation of that framework. Some Global Forum members are undergoing combined – Phase 1 plus Phase 2 – reviews. The ultimate goal is to help jurisdictions to effectively implement the international standards of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes.
In a boost for international efforts to strengthen co-operation against offshore tax evasion, seven new countries have joined the agreement to exchange information automatically under the OECD/G20 standard.
Tax revenues in Latin American countries continue to rise but are lower as a proportion of their national incomes than in most OECD countries. Revenue Statistics in Latin America 2012 shows that Argentina and Brazil have the highest tax revenue to GDP ratio, while Guatemala and Dominican Republic stand at the lower end.
Rica has deposited its instrument of ratification of the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, the most comprehensive multilateral agreement available for tax-cooperation and exchange of information.
Guatemala has signed the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters allowing it to be removed from the list of countries that have not yet substantially implemented the internationally agreed tax standard.
Country Notes from the publication 'Revenue Statistics in Latin America 1990 - 2010'.