Tax in Costa Rica

Arias

The team of 'high-level advisers' at Arias continues to lead in the tax arena. Practice head Caroline Flores and the experienced Carlos Camacho assist leading multinationals with cross-border tax matters, establishing tax structures and meeting compliance requirements, as well as transfer pricing and litigation.  Clients are drawn from such sectors as food, digital services, hospitality, telecoms and manufacturing. The team is backed by senior counsel Ligia Alfaro, and was further strengthened by the arrival of new associate Ricardo Valverde, who joined the firm from Deloitte in 2020.

Practice head(s):

Carolina Flores

Testimonials

‘Arias fields high-performing and multi-disciplinary teams, which facilitates timely decision-making. Each new situation is evaluated by experts in different areas of law. The use of an assigned contact is a very effective way to manage clients’ requirements, doubts or queries since it centralises communication, time and effort. Arias is a team of high-level advisers.’

‘The team stands out for its promptness in providing agile and effective solutions, and differentiates itself from its competitors through its personalised service and interest in getting to know the client. Having specialised professionals makes Arias an excellent firm to find a solution to problems, regardless of their nature.’

‘Rapid and concise responses.’

‘Good availability and client service.’

Key clients

Telefónica

Work highlights

  • Advised Spanish multinational telecoms company Telefonica on the tax aspects of the sale of its regional operations in Central America.

Consortium Legal

The Consortium Legal tax group continues to be a leader in the practice area, providing a ‘professional, diligent service‘ to top multinationals. The team advises on private initiatives, concession projects, internal taxation, free trade zone tax issues, and litigation. The team’s client roster includes household names such as Del Monte, Uber, and Walmart, and spans a wide range of sectors, including energy, pharmaceuticals, tourism, aviation, and retail. The group is headed by experienced tax law experts Diego Salto and Rafael Luna, and Anayansi Mora, who specialises in tax litigation, and is supported by senior associates Johanna Quesada and Felipe Guevara. However, former partner Cristina Sansonetti moved to KPMG in October 2020.

Practice head(s):

Diego Salto; Rafael Luna; Anayansi Mora

Testimonials

‘The tax team at Consortium provide a professional, diligent service. Their advice has outstanding results. It is one of the best firms in this practice area in Costa Rica.’

‘Diego Salto is an excellent lawyer who stays up to date with developments in his field, offering very professional advice. Felipe Guevara, Anayansi Mora and Alejandro Segura make up a very professional team providing efficient and timely tax advice.’

Key clients

Chiquita

Del Monte

Walmart

APM (Maersk Group)

Cuestamoras

Uber

Mayca (Sysco)

Globalvía

PMI

Avianca

Work highlights

  • Assisted Chiquita Brands Costa Rica following a tax adjustment carried out by the tax administration based on transfer pricing.
  • Acting for Del Monte in negotiations with the Tax Administration following a transfer pricing adjustment.
  • Advising Walmart on tax and customs matters relating to its day-to-day operations.

EY Law Central America

The client portfolio of the tax group at EY Law Central America continues to grow, adding to a roster of multinationals including Liberty Latin America. Under the direction of managing partner and firm co-founder Rafael Sayagues, the group advises on the tax aspects of high-value transactions across an extensive range of sectors, including telecoms, education, chemicals, construction, retail and hospitality. Other key contacts in the team include highly experienced international tax expert Juan Carlos Chavarría, Antonio Ruiz Rojas, who handles transactional tax matters, and senior managers Randall Oquendo, who focuses on tax litigation, and Carolina Palma, who leads on customs and global trade matters.

Practice head(s):

Rafael Sayagues

Work highlights

  • Assisted  Liberty Latin America with the buy-side tax and legal due diligence process of a transaction, as well as tax structuring, deal execution and post-deal advice.

Facio & Cañas

Faycatax, the tax department of Facio & Cañas, specialises in advising multinationals on the tax issues relating to high-value transactions, including the organisation and operation of partnerships and corporations, corporate restructurings and M&A. The team also advises on income tax deductions, tax planning services and the compliance requirements related to transfer pricing. The group is led by department founder Adrián Torrealba, who has 'vast knowledge and experience in tax matters', José María Oreamuno, associate Modesto Vargas and tax manager Erik Ramírez, with support from international tax consultant Cesar Dominguez. The team's client roster includes international clients such as Del Monte, Holcim and British American Tobacco, and spans the construction, banking, insurance, energy, sports and agriculture sectors.

Practice head(s):

Adrián Torrealba; José María Oreamuno; Modesto Vargas; Erik Ramírez

Testimonials

‘What sets the team apart is its knowledge of tax matters, experience and quality of client service.’

‘Adrian Torrealba has vast knowledge and experience in tax matters. His knowledge of transfer pricing, which is an important issue for the tax administration today, stands out.’

Key clients

Holcim

Del Monte

Durman Esquivel

Improsa Financing Group

Megasuper

British American Tobacco

Fhacasa

Banco de Costa Rica

Sigma

Florida Ice and Farm

INS

Junta de Protección Social

Federación Costarricense de Futbol

Banco Davivienda

ASSA Aseguradora

Work highlights

  • Representing Fhacasa in a tax case relating to the application of administrative procedure and transfer pricing issues.
  • Representing Sigma Alimentos in a case relating to the sales tax on the purchase of primary packaging necessary for the manufacture of food products.
  • Advising the Social Protection Board (JPS), Costa Rica’s gambling regulator, in relation to the application of VAT and the treatment of exemptions that cover the national lottery.

Aguilar Castillo Love

Aguilar Castillo Love is highlighted for its 'personalised' and 'boutique style' of client service. Tax compliance expert José Pablo González leads the team, advising household names including Hewlett-Packard Centroamérica and Coca-Cola, with experience across a wide range of sectors including agribusiness, energy, food, automotive, pharmaceuticals and real estate. The team assists regional and multinational companies with audits, investigations, litigation and tax adjustments imposed by the authorities. The group also assists with the tax aspects of joint ventures, start-ups and cross-border direct investments.

Practice head(s):

José Pablo González

Testimonials

‘The Aguilar Castillo Love team provides a boutique style of service that makes it unique. They are always available, regardless of the time, the day or the complexity of the issues we are dealing with. In addition, they understand the needs of our company very well and do not just tell us about the applicable laws and their interpretation, but go further in offering us guidance on how to apply the laws in the best way for our business.’

‘The top, personalised service that we receive from Jose Pablo Gonzalez is exceptional.’

‘Swift, timely and practical answers to the queries presented.’

‘Jose Pablo Gonzalez provides a personalised and skilled service.’

‘We have always been supported by the firm with issues in Central America.’

‘It is a personalised service. With other firms, clients sometimes have to adjust to the partners’ schedule, while with this firm we have always been well served. José Pablo González stands out.’

Key clients

Autostar (Mercedes Benz)

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise

NTT Data

Carlson Wagonlit Travel

The Coca-Cola Company

Seaboard Marine

Johnson Controls

Epson

DxC Technologies

Temenos

Polaris Networking

Linklaters

Habitat for Humanity International

Asistencia Total en Mantenimiento

España (ATM)

Fyffes International

Brenntag (Químicos Holanda Costa Rica)

DLA Piper

Work highlights

  • Advised Autostar on tax issues relating to the implementation of projects in Costa Rica.
  • Provided NTT Data with advice on the tax treatment of financial leasing in Costa Rica.
  • Provided Dropbox with tax advice on the Costa Rican aspects of cross-border digital services.

Alta Batalla

The tax team at Alta Batalla, now a regional player following its May 2021 merger with firms in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, advises local and international corporations on tax matters related to restructurings and foreign direct investment, free trade zone matters and tax planning, as well as compliance reviews and complex tax litigation. Róger Guevara is the key contact.

BLP

The tax team at BLP advises major multinationals including Uber, Pfizer, Kraft-Heinz and American Airlines. Special counsel and department head Luis Chacón has extensive experience in tax litigation, acting for clients in a range of sectors such as real estate, pharmaceuticals, leasing, hospitality, retail and telecoms. Director Vittoria Di Gioacchino, senior associate Isis Ulloa and tax consultant Tatiana Chacon are also key contacts. The team advises on asset planning and protection, the tax aspects of corporate restructuring, customs issues, and tax litigation and compliance.

Practice head(s):

Luis Chacón

Dentons Muñoz

With clients ranging from multinationals to individuals, the team at Dentons Muñoz advises on changing tax requirements, new tax authority agreements concerning VAT alterations and regulations targeting tax evasion and fraud.  Senior associates Álvaro Restrepo and Diana Smith Calvo are the key contacts.

ECIJA

Protecting clients against audits and tax adjustments imposed by the tax authorities, and advising on obtaining tax credits in the face of recent changes to income tax and VAT are among the many services offered by the team at ECIJA. Led by Mariela Hernández, the team acts for a client portfolio spread across a broad span of sectors, including agriculture, real estate, beverages, energy and tourism. The group’s other services extend to providing advice on tax planning and contingencies and handling judicial and administrative proceedings. The team remains ahead of the curve technologically, assisting clients through the custom Virtual ECIJA meeting platform.

Practice head(s):

Mariela Hernandez

Sfera Legal

The experienced tax team at Sfera Legal advises clients on the tax aspects of high-value, cross-border transactions in such sectors as hospitality, insurance, energy, wellness and tourism. The department is headed by director Pablo González, known for his experience in handling complicated tax matters involving overseas investors, and founding partner and tax and corporate law expert Eric Scharf. The team has recently expanded its client portfolio to include companies in the medical, real estate and fintech sectors.

Practice head(s):

Eric Scharf; Pablo González Montoya

Testimonials

‘I was surprised by the speed of response and the quality of the lawyers.’

‘Immediate availability. Excellent response times.’

Key clients

Abbott

Saxum

Gilded Iguana Hotel

Wyde Corporation

Opti Prime Properties

Infotur Data Solutions

Zunify

Corporación AGP Costa Rica

The Green Project

Humaan Collective

DOC Virtual Medicine

Smart Master Dealer

Work highlights

  • Advised Humaan Collective on the legal and tax structures for its investment project in Costa Rica.
  • Advised AGP on the design and implementation of a more efficient business structure, including tax structures, in Central America.
  • Advised Zunify Payments on the tax issues relating to the implementation of an investment structure and optimising the complex treatment of intangibles relationships.