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The Exchange of Tax Information Portal is an initiative of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. The Global Forum conducts peer reviews of its member jurisdictions' ability to co-operate with other tax administrations in accordance with the internationally agreed standard. The standard provides for exchange of information on request where it is foreseeably relevant to the administration and enforcement of the domestic tax laws of the requesting jurisdiction. Effective exchange of information requires that jurisdictions ensure information is available, that it can be obtained by the tax authorities and that there are mechanisms in place allowing for the exchange of that information. The Global Forum's peer review process examines both the legal and regulatory aspects of exchange (Phase 1 reviews) and the exchange of information in practice (Phase 2). The EOI Portal will track the development of these peer reviews, including changes that jurisdictions make in response to the Global Forum's recommendations.

Peer Review: Costa Rica Supplementary Review

This report for Costa Rica has been published on 11 Apr 2013. You can buy this report, or browse it online below.

Skip directly to the Executive Summary. You may also want to view the tables of determinations and ratings.


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Determinations and Recommendations

Jurisdictions should ensure that ownership and identity information for all relevant entities and arrangements is available to their competent authorities. (ToR A.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is not in place.   An EIRL is only required to file the name of the manager at registration; therefore unless the manager and owner are the same person, ownership information on an EIRL may not be available.  Costa Rica should ensure that ownership information on EIRLs is available. 
Although a trustee of a foreign law trust would be liable to tax on Costa Rican source income of the trust, there are no requirements for the trustee to maintain ownership information.  Costa Rica should take measures to ensure that information is available that identifies the settlor and beneficiaries of foreign trusts. 
There are no express penalties in place for limited liability companies, private joint stock corporations and partnerships that fail to register or update registration information. In addition, there is no penalty for a limited liability company that fails to maintain a share register.  Costa Rica should put in place effective enforcement provisions to ensure the availability of information for limited liability companies, private joint stock corporations and partnerships. 
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
     
Jurisdictions should ensure that reliable accounting records are kept for all relevant entities and arrangements. (ToR A.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   Costa Rican legislation does not ensure that reliable accounting records or underlying documentation are kept for foreign trusts which are administered in Costa Rica or in respect of which a trustee is resident in Costa Rica.  Costa Rica should ensure that all relevant entities and arrangements maintain accounting records, including underlying documentation. 
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
     
Banking information should be available for all account-holders. (ToR A.3)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
     
Competent authorities should have the power to obtain and provide information that is the subject of a request under an exchange of information arrangement from any person within their territorial jurisdiction who is in possession or control of such information (irrespective of any legal obligation on such person to maintain the secrecy of the information). (ToR B.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.   Costa Rica’s attorney-client privilege standard is overbroad and could impede access to information.  Costa Rica should ensure that its attorney-client privilege standard it is limited to communications between an attorney and client and to a lawyer acting in his/her legal capacity. 
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
     
The rights and safeguards (e.g. notification, appeal rights) that apply to persons in the requested jurisdiction should be compatible with effective exchange of information. (ToR B.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
     
Exchange of information mechanisms should provide for effective exchange of information. (ToR C.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   Costa Rica has not ratified eight of its 15 EOI agreements. Seven of these EOI agreements have been signed more than 18 month ago by Costa Rica  Costa Rica should ensure that that its EOI agreements are ratified and brought into force expeditiously 
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
     
The jurisdictions' network of information exchange mechanisms should cover all relevant partners. (ToR C.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.     Costa Rica should continue to develop its EOI network with all relevant partners. 
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
     
The jurisdictions' mechanisms for exchange of information should have adequate provisions to ensure the confidentiality of information received. (ToR C.3)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
     
The exchange of information mechanisms should respect the rights and safeguards of taxpayers and third parties. (ToR C.4)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.   Costa Rica’s attorney-client privilege standard is too broad and could impede access to information.  Costa Rica should ensure that its attorney-client privilege standard it is limited to communications between an attorney and client and to a lawyer acting in his/her legal capacity. 
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
     
The jurisdiction should provide information under its network of agreements in a timely manner. (ToR C.5)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The assessment team is not in a position to evaluate whether this element is in place, as it involves issues of practice that are dealt with in the Phase 2 review.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations