Costa Rica: VAT on cross-border digital services

Costa Rica: VAT on cross-border digital services

Value added tax (VAT) will be imposed on digital services and intangibles acquired from abroad for consumption in Costa Rica effective 1 August 2020.


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The tax administration has provided a list of digital platforms and thus transactions that will be subject to VAT. Transactions of digital platforms that are not listed will not be subject to VAT.

The tax administration has also established two mechanisms to collect the VAT on transactions of those listed digital platforms listed:

  • Digital service provider’s or intermediary’s registration—companies selling or trading digital services or intangibles by electronic means, will be able to register with the tax administration as taxpayers. This registration is limited, and the registered will not have additional obligations other than paying the VAT charged (for instance, no right to apply VAT credits). 
  • Participation by credit card and debit card issuers—companies will apply VAT on the transactions of their cardholders in the digital platforms listed (and only those platforms). 

For their tax purposes, consumers can support the expense and tax credit (when required) with the invoice issued by the service provider and the bank statement of account evidencing the VAT charge.

Read a June 2020 report [PDF 54 KB] prepared by the KPMG member firm in Costa Rica

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