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July 26, 2023
2023-1312

Costa Rica Tax Authority intends to scrutinize taxpayers claiming loss or zero profit on FY22 Corporate Income Tax returns

  • Taxpayers in Costa Rica who have reported losses or zero profits on recent Corporate Income Tax returns will likely be required to provide detailed information to the Tax Authority.
  • Due to a 2018 Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court decision, the names of companies that reported losses or zero profits in the last 10 years became public.
  • The Tax Authority may request audited financial statements and in-person interviews with legal representatives and company owners.

Taxpayers who have reported losses or zero profits on their Corporate Income Tax returns for Fiscal Year 2022 in Costa Rica should be prepared for interactions with the Tax Authority, including being required to submit audited financial statements and meeting with Tax Authority officials at first stages.

Background

In 2018, the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice issued a ruling (No. 2018—19694) in which it concluded that information contained in a list of large taxpayers that filed Corporate Income Tax returns declaring losses or zero profits in the last 10 years constitutes information of public relevance and, therefore, is subject to public access. As a result of the ruling, the Tax Authority was obliged to provide the list to the petitioners. The Constitutional Chamber has subsequently issued other rulings along the same lines.

As a result of these rulings, most recently the Directorate General of Taxation made available on the website of the Ministry of Finance, in the Tax Information section, the list of large taxpayers that declared losses or zero profits in the 2021 and 2022 tax periods.

For the 2022 tax period, 153 companies were included in this category. The list can be consulted at the following link (available only in Spanish).

Control actions by the Tax Authority for this group of taxpayers

In statements to the media, the Director General of Taxation announced that the Tax Authority's "specific control measures" for large taxpayers that declared losses or zero profits on their Corporate Income Tax returns for Fiscal Year 2022 would include asking them to submit audited financial statements, accompanied with a tax reconciliation, to enable Tax Authority officials to verify the reasons for the alleged negative results.

The Director General of Taxation also mentioned that Tax Authority officials are visiting these taxpayers to interview their legal representatives and owners to understand the reasons for the negative results in Fiscal Year 2022.

These actions are part of the Tax Authority's commitment to combat tax fraud.

Next steps

Taxpayers that have reported losses or zero profits on the Corporate Income Tax return for Fiscal Year 2022 should be prepared to submit their audited financial statements, as well as to meet with the Tax Authority.

Note that Resolution No. DGT-R-46-2014 establishes that audited financial statements must be formally requested by the Tax Authority and the taxpayer must be give three months in which to make its submission. This deadline may be extended for an additional three months, upon justified request of the taxpayer and at the discretion of the Tax Authority.

Audited financial statements must be submitted in Spanish and consolidated financial statements are not allowed, even in the case of an economic interest group.

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For additional information with respect to this Alert, please contact the following:

Ernst & Young, S.A.

Published by NTD's Tax Technical Knowledge Services group; Carolyn Wright, legal editor

 
 

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