Lawyers, Laws & Taxes

Attorney Roger Petersen’s book – ‘The Legal Guide to Costa Rica’ is without doubt a most valuable tool for those considering Costa Rica for either retirement or business. There have been significant changes in Costa Rica during the past ten years as the country attempts to emulate the economic and regulatory systems of more developed nations to spur it’s own development. This policy has created significant changes and modifications of existing laws and practices making it more important than ever that those settling in Costa Rica understand the system. All tax articles have been written by Randall Zamora, our Recommended Costa Rica Tax professional.

U.S. Citizens Who Owe Money To The IRS Could Be In For a Nasty Surprise in 2017.

If you owe the IRS more than $50,000 or have a have a ‘seriously delinquent tax debt’, you could be in for a nasty surprise later this year.

Costa Rica Law – Top Ten Gringo Legal Mistakes

When it comes to legal mistakes made by foreigners in Costa Rica, José has just about ‘seen it all before’ so we should take note from his experience…

Getting Rid of Social Networking Surveillance

As a baby boomer, I didn’t grow up with Facebook and other social networking sites. While I do use them — mainly to keep up with younger members of my family — I’m keenly aware of their potential to invade privacy.

So here we sit. The end of 2016. And what a year it was…

Will 2017 be the year of asset confiscation? Will Trump ruffle the wrong feathers and end up losing his presidency? Will China react to the president’s rhetoric and trigger an international incident – or even a war?

Will Trump Really “Preserve and Protect” the Constitution?

How seriously will Trump take this responsibility? This is, after all, a man who threatened to sue newspapers that criticized him. That represents — at the least — a potential violation of the First Amendment’s guarantee of press freedom. Then there was Trump’s promise to use torture not only against terrorists, but their family members as well.

IRS Reporting Obligations For U.S. Citizens When Buying Real Estate in Costa Rica. Don’t make this million dollar mistake!

If you’re a US citizen, and you make the decision to buy property abroad, you need to immediately find out what your obligations are in reporting these offshore assets to the IRS.

If Europe Goes Down, We Go with It

Looking at Europe, it’s not difficult to see what he means. Greece is drowning in one of the biggest debt crises in history. Italian banks are verging on collapse. And Germany is struggling under the pressure of vicious negative interest rates.

Sales Tax on Costa Rica Vacation Rentals: It’s now crystal clear who must pay this tax.

It has been widely argued whether the vacations rentals are subject to the sales tax, in some cases by some Realtors or property managers who seem to be more interested in getting the money…

Does the President Have Too Much Power?

One of the oldest traditions in the American republic is “government by emergency.” Over the last 2½ centuries, US citizens have endured confiscation, imprisonment, and censorship conducted outside normal constitutional constraints.

Carrying Cash? Be Ready to Lose It.

From a legal standpoint, the money you deposit in a bank no longer belongs to you. Instead, the bank owns it. You are merely just another one of their unsecured creditors.

Christmas Employee’s Bonus – ‘Aguinaldo’ is mandatory in Costa Rica

The aguinaldo is an extra salary, also known as the 13th month, which has to be paid to all the regular employees, regardless of the performance or quality of the job, since is based on the paid gross salary.

Think You Live in the Freest Country? Think Again…

In 1883, poet Emma Lazarus wrote these words as part of a sonnet to raise money for the construction of a pedestal for the Statue of Liberty. The text of the sonnet, “The New Colossus,” is now mounted inside the pedestal’s lower level.

4 Totally Legal Reasons to Use An Offshore Structure.

Their reaction was entirely predictable, once again equating “offshore” with “tax evasion,” “money laundering,” and other criminal behavior. A typical headline was “Giant Leak of Offshore Financial Records Exposes Global Array of Crime and Corruption.”

What if Negative Interest Rates are the New Normal?

Last year, German savers with more than €100,000 in their bank accounts woke to the news that they now faced a 0.4% annual charge. Central Bankers brought in negative interest rates, and the banks helped themselves to a slice of customer savings to cover the cost. There was no warning, it happened overnight and those impacted had no recourse.