Tax in Costa Rica

Arias

Headed by the highly renowned Carlos Camacho and Carolina FloresArias' practice advises on the tax aspects of setting up new operations in Costa Rica or acquiring new business entities. The department also distinguishes itself through its prowess in matters involving the free trade zone regime. In a recent example, the team assisted Philips with its acquisition of US company Volcano under the free trade zone regime to guarantee tax exemptions for newly launched product lines. Furthermore, Flores and key associate Jimena Chinchilla represented Goldman Sachs in negotiations with Panacafé de Costa Rica, a national restaurant and coffee shop business currently operating all Starbucks franchises in the country, regarding a financial transaction which included reviewing the credit and guaranty agreement from a tax perspective and conducting a due diligence on Panacafé. Other notable clients are Mondelēz, Sony and Cardinal Health.

Consortium Legal

The five-partner tax practice at Consortium Legal is especially respected for its role in advising on the effects of the recently enacted new tax laws in Costa Rica. The eminent Rafael Luna and Diego Salto lead the department, which is particularly skilful in tax audits and litigation. In a recent work highlight, the firm successfully assisted Investment Energy Resources in a sales tax dispute with the Ministry of Finance. Cristina Sansonetti oversees all tax-related matters for regional airline Avianca, including administrative and judicial tax processes and tax planning. Walmart, Globalvia and Televisora de Costa Rica (also known as Teletica) are also part of the firm's client base. Anayansi Mora is also noted.

EY Law Central America

EY Law Central America's tax practice is led by the firm's Central American managing partner, Rafael Sayagués. The team offers a wide variety of non-contentious tax services, ranging from local and international tax planning, corporate restructuring and reorganisations to cross-border taxation in the region. On the contentious side, the firm handles tax disputes with the authorities. Juan Carlos Chavarría and Antonio Ruiz Rojas are also key contacts.

Batalla Abogados

Department head and senior counsel Alejandra Arguedas, Róger Guevara and associate Paola Vargas are the key members of  the tax practice at Batalla Abogados. The team advises local and international clients on tax planning and compliance, transfer pricing issues, and the tax aspects of M&A transactions; it also handles administrative tax litigation. Clients have included Dole, Oikocredit and Seca.

BLP

Luis Chacón leads the seven-strong tax department at BLP, which is particularly active in the retail, real estate, pharmaceuticals, hospitality and telecoms industries. The team acts for market-leading international clients including Pfizer and Amazon, and handles matters ranging from tax planning and advising on complex multi-jurisdictional structures to tax litigation. Associate to note Vittoria Di Gioacchino provides key support.

Facio & Cañas

The tax arm of Facio & Cañas, which also goes by the name of Fayca Tax, is led by Adrián Torrealba and José María Oreamuno. The team provides tax guidance for both national corporations involved in foreign investments and international clients doing business in Costa Rica. The department's services include support during government tax audits, tax planning and the tax aspects of corporate transactions.

Dentons Muñoz

Dentons Muñoz' three-strong tax department is led by Daniel Araya. The firm often advises on tax compliance, tax credits, the tax aspects of transactions, and general tax planning and strategy, and also handles administrative proceedings before the tax authorities. Clients are drawn from a variety of sectors, such as financing, pharmaceuticals and construction. The practice advised both APL and LatAm on the taxes applicable to bonus payments to employees.

Saborio & Deloitte de Costa Rica Sociedad Anonima

Saborio & Deloitte de Costa Rica Sociedad Anonima has a multi-disciplinary team consisting of accountants, economists and auditors as well as tax lawyers. Jointly headed by Fabio Salas and director Allan Saborío, the team recently welcomed former magistrates Anabelle León and Ernesto Jinesta. The practice's focus lies on assisting clients from the banking and finance sector with matters such as retrospective tax adjustments.

Sfera Legal

Sfera Legal, which was previously mainly active in investment transactions, recently established a tax department, led by Eric ScharfRobert van der Putten and director of tax Pablo González, who joined the firm in December 2018 from an in-house role at Huawei Technologies. Recent work includes assisting Surf Simply and Florblanca Resort with optimising their tax operations in compliance with new regulations. Latitude 10 and Grupo Luko are also clients.