Guidance from the tax administration clarifies that companies within a free trade zone are not exempt from paying the education and culture stamp tax.
The guidance—DGT-1160-2018—clarifies that free trade zone (zona franca) companies must pay the stamp tax (referred to as “TEC” for Timbre de Educación y Cultura). Before this guidance, free trade zone companies did not pay the stamp tax because the TEC was viewed as being a tax on capital. However, the new guidance indicates that the TEC has as its object “education and culture,” and that it is to be paid by an entity that has registered (or registers) documents before the National Registry.
The TEC is an annual tax that is paid during the months of February and March. The amount of the TEC is generally viewed as being insignificant, but nonpayment could be subject to penalties and could further result in the company being listed on a tax debtors database (that could harm the company’s reputation).
Read an October 2018 report (Spanish and English) [PDF 107 KB] prepared by the KPMG member firm in Costa Rica
© 2020 KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. Member firms of the KPMG network of independent firms are affiliated with KPMG International. KPMG International provides no client services. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm vis-à-vis third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm. All rights reserved.
Member firms of the KPMG network of independent firms are affiliated with KPMG International. KPMG International provides no client services. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm vis-à-vis third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm.
The KPMG logo and name are trademarks of KPMG International. KPMG International is a Swiss cooperative that serves as a coordinating entity for a network of independent member firms. KPMG International provides no audit or other client services. Such services are provided solely by member firms in their respective geographic areas. KPMG International and its member firms are legally distinct and separate entities. They are not and nothing contained herein shall be construed to place these entities in the relationship of parents, subsidiaries, agents, partners, or joint venturers. No member firm has any authority (actual, apparent, implied or otherwise) to obligate or bind KPMG International or any member firm in any manner whatsoever. The information contained in herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation. For more information, contact KPMG's Federal Tax Legislative and Regulatory Services Group at: + 1 202 533 4366, 1801 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20006.