Tax Bulletin

May 2016

Tax information

Current Base Salary


Current Interest Rate
(As from March the 1st, 2016)


Late payment penalty rate
(month or part month)


Reference Exchange rate BCCR USD
(May 1st, 2016)





Stamp Tax electronic collection as the only mean for the collection of this tax

This past May 11th 2016, Executive Decree No 39529-H, which mandates the electronic collection of the stamp tax, was published in The Gazette, our official newspaper.

For this purpose, the Ministry of Finance will negotiate with the banks that as of today serve as tax collectors, so that the electronic sale of stamp tax is made available to the public.

What is pretended with the publication of this executive decree, is to provide a simple and unique modality for the acquirement of the stamp tax that previously required a lot of paperwork and processing before public institutions.

It should be noted that the General Directorate of Finance is in obligation to update - within no more than 6 months after the publication date of the decree under analysis, a study to bring up to date the corresponding stamp tax allocated for each transaction, in compliance with the provisions of the Costa Rican Fiscal Law.

The main reasons for the elimination of paper stamp tax scheme are the following:

Due to the fact that the minimum value dispensed for paper stamp is of 5 colones, there are cases in which tax payers have to pay more than what is mandated by the law for the specific transaction in which the rates are very low.

The cost of issuing paper stamps considering the commissions payed for custody, transportation and the actual printing, in addition to the final discount given to tax payers, makes that the actual profit for the State is very low.

The cost of selling paper stamps over the counter to tax payers has an elevated cost so the paper stamp sale in informal markets as a result have a considerably high overprice.

Taking into consideration existing legal regulation, such as the in force Executive Decree No  37054-H issued February 24th 2012, which allows the Costa Rican Central Bank to collect stamp tax electronically through the use of digital platforms, the purpose of the discussed decree is to make mandatory from now on that the collection of the stamp tax must only be electronically.

As a beneficial outcome for tax payers product of this decree, from the date of its publication the payment of the stamp tax will be for the amount given by each specific law that regulate all the different transactions.

The decree in its first transitory section of implementation indicates that the Costa Rican Central Bank will continue selling paper stamps until December 31st 2016, or until exhausting their existence, whatever comes first, thus it is made clear that paper stamps will no longer be produced.

As a final point, it is important to take into consideration that this decree has been in force since the date of its publication. 

Marianela Masis
Senior Manager
Tax & Legal Services

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