Tax in Costa Rica

Arias

In addition to standard tax consulting and tax compliance services, the standout practice at Arias also covers novel issues such as taxation in the digital economy and criminal tax cases that have become more prominent recently. Furthermore, the department led by Carolina Flores and Carlos Camacho collaborates with the firm's corporate and litigation teams to handle overlapping matters and also provides advice on compliance with the 2019 tax reform in Costa Rica. Flores has a strong suit in assisting foreign clients with the establishment of compliant tax structures, particularly for corporations with unique business structures. Associate Ligia Alfaro is of particular note for her tax planning and due diligence capabilities. Associate Jimena Chinchilla left the firm in March 2019 to take up a post as ministry consultant.

Practice head(s):

Carolina Flores; Carlos Camacho

Testimonials

‘The team is very responsive to clients’ requests, and very skilled in Costa Rican tax issues and in the international framework for taxing the digital economy. They are also very skilled in negotiations with the government and have facilitated multiple meetings with the tax authorities and Ministry of Finance in Costa Rica.’

‘Carolina Flores and Ligia Alfaro are very responsive and skilled in negotiations with the government.’

Key clients

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Asociación Costarricense de Agencias de Viajes (ACAV)

McKinsey

Wind River

Total

Ferrero (through Baker McKenzie Mexico)

Work highlights

  • Advised Telefónica on the tax implications of the sale of its regional operations
  • Advised JPMorgan Chase & Co on the main tax implications of an internal debt bond purchase
  • Assisted Asociación Costarricense de Agencias de Viajes (ACAV) with the negotiation process with the Costa Rican tax authorities

Consortium Legal

Tax powerhouse Consortium Legal continues to flourish thanks to its strengths in consulting, tax planning, transfer pricing and tax litigation. As part of a regional full-service firm, the team also offers assistance with international taxation and advice for corporate clients. Led by a quartet comprising Diego Salto, Rafael LunaCristina Sansonetti and Anayansi Mora, the department has a client roster including multinationals, infrastructure and construction companies, and regional enterprises. Salto focuses on tax analysis and business consulting; Luna shines in transfer pricing and related litigation; Sansonetti advises on tax issues surrounding mergers and acquisitions; and Mora has a strong track record in tax litigation before the administrative and judicial authorities.

Testimonials

‘Excellent level of knowledge in local tax matters and the main implications at the international level.’

‘Effectiveness in solving queries and immediate response to our requests.’

‘The best team of tax specialists in Costa Rica.’

‘They are experts in tax and legal matters and have an excellent attitude to helping their clients resolve situations ethically and effectively.’

‘Rafael Luna has been our adviser for several years and his contribution to our business projects is always the best.’

Key clients

Walmart

APM

Teletica

Uber

Ultrapark

Globalvía

Avianca

Consorcio Eólico Chiripa (Acciona)

Maersk

ANC

Work highlights

  • Advising Cuestamoras on tax litigation and tax audit processes
  • Assisting Uber with issues arising from the recent tax reform
  • Advised Walmart on various regional tax projects

BLP

Regional firm BLP's comprehensive tax practice ranges from providing ongoing tax advice to assisting with restructurings related to mergers and acquisitions and handling tax litigation. The industry sectors covered include hospitality, telecoms, pharmaceuticals, real estate and financial services. The department is led by notable practitioner Luis Chacón, who is particularly adept at assisting companies with audits by the tax authorities and also represents clients in tax litigation. Senior associate Isis Ulloa specialises in tax consultancy and associate Vittoria Di Gioacchino advises clients on income tax, sales tax, transfer pricing and tax benefit regimes such as the free trade zone.

Practice head(s):

Luis Chacón

Key clients

Colgate Palmolive

American Airlines

Pfizer

Amazon

SC Johnson

Laureate

Uber

Grupo Vical

Dipo

ASSA

EY Law Central America

As the legal arm of a Big Four firm, EY Law Central America is ideally positioned to offer legal tax services. Rafael Sayagués spearheads the team, which consists of several subgroups: Juan Carlos Chavarría heads the international tax services practice; Antonio Ruiz Rojas handles transactional tax matters on the buy and sell side, as well as restructurings; Randall Oquendo represents clients in contentious matters; Luis Ocando handles tax policy issues; Lisa Gattulli assists companies with global reporting and compliance; and Carolina Palma provides support with global trade and customs issues. Industries covered include consumer products, telecoms, technology, real estate and hospitality.

Practice head(s):

Rafael Sayagués

Key clients

Teradyne

Work highlights

  • Advised Teradyne on import and export processes and the free trade zone process

Facio & Cañas

FaycaTax, the dedicated tax department of Facio & Cañas, provides clients with expert tax services in collaboration with the San José office of Deloitte. The department has long-term relationships with a number of international clients, providing them with ongoing tax advice and litigation services. A group of four comprising Adrián Torrealba, José María Oreamuno, associate Modesto Vargas and tax manager Erik Ramírez shares leadership of the department. Torrealba is regularly instructed by clients to handle lawsuits against the domestic tax authorities and additional tax collection matters, while Oreamuno is more active on the advisory side and Vargas supports both aspects of the practice.

Key clients

IBM

Productos de Concreto

Banco de Costa Rica

Teletica

Del Monte

Salicsa (Café Rica)

Floride Ice and Farm Company

Ajecen del Sur (Grupo Aje, Big Cola)

Durman

INS

Work highlights

  • Acting as permanent tax adviser to IBM, covering tax compliance and free trade zone advice
  • Advising and defending Productos de Concreto in tax litigation regarding the application of the sales tax
  • Acting for Banco de Costa Rica in all tax matters and tax litigation

Aguilar Castillo Love

Aguilar Castillo Love is instructed by clients from a wide array of sectors, such as agribusiness, healthcare and life sciences, to provide tax advisory services. Areas where the team has been active include advising on the recent tax reforms in the country, tax compliance and tax planning. José Pablo González heads the team, which is highlighted for its 'multi-disciplinary capabilities', and is particularly adept at handling international tax and transfer pricing matters. He joined the firm in July 2019 from an in-house post at Walmart Costa Rica.

Practice head(s):

José Pablo González

Testimonials

‘What makes them unique is their prompt and personalised client service.’

‘José Pablo González differentiates himself from the competition through his personalised advice and continuous assistance to the client.’

‘The firm’s multi-disciplinary capability is essential to obtaining comprehensive legal advice and guidance. Unlike at other firms, with ACL we can rely on their cross-practice capabilities to handle multi-dimensional cases.’

‘They work collaboratively, taking a holistic view of the cases they work on.’

Key clients

Meridia Group

DLA Piper

Conelectricas

Carlson Wagonlit Travel

Autostar (Mercedes Benz)

IAFIS Group

Multisys (Grupo 3 C)

Troon Golf

American Express

The Coca-Cola Company

Work highlights

  • Advised Meridia on the possible tax implications of a new business model
  • Assisted DLA Piper with advising Sony on the tax implications for its business related to cross-border digital services in Costa Rica
  • Advised Consorcio Nacional de Empresas de Electrificación de Costa Rica on changes related to the 2019 tax reform in Costa Rica

Batalla Abogados

As part of Batalla Abogados' interdisciplinary full-service offering, the team around Róger Guevara undertakes tax planning projects and administrative and judicial tax litigation, as well as advising on the tax aspects of transactions. Senior counsel Alejandra Arguedas left the firm in April 2019 to join Deloitte Legal.

Dentons Muñoz

Dentons Muñoz advises individuals and private and public companies, including multinationals, on the tax landscape in Central America. Of counsel Sylvia Montero is the first point of contact, as former practice head Daniel Araya left the firm in January 2020 to join DV Business Solutions.

Sfera Legal

The 'very efficient and experienced' tax department at Sfera Legal acts for local and international companies. The team's core focus lies on tax planning and structuring, especially in relation to real estate projects and intangible assets. Other areas covered by Robert van der Putten and Pablo González's team include tax compliance and representing clients before the tax authorities.

Testimonials

‘They are excellent, and the client service is personalised and very professional. The team is very experienced and efficient.’

‘It is an excellent team. They are prepared to think outside the box and work together on matters in different areas.’

Key clients

Tama Properties

Seriva Holdings

Gilded Iguana Hotel

Surf Simply School

Opti Prime Properties

Infotur Data Solutions

Zunify

Corporación AGP Costa Rica

The Green Project

Humaan Collective

Work highlights

  • Advising Humaan Collective on the legal and tax structures of its investment project in Costa Rica
  • Providing tax compliance services to The Green Project