Lawyers, Laws & Taxes

Teaching English in Costa Rica. What they should tell you but do not and how it could get you deported!

An ex-pat found to be working in such a circumstance without a valid Work Permit, would be subject to deportation by the Immigration Authorities, with a prohibition of re-entering the Country for a period of ten years.

Security & Crime in Costa Rica. Free video with Attorney Rick Philps.

The Costa Rican Criminal Code and Justice System rely heavily on rehabilitation and as such is light on punishment. There is no law that punishes repeat offenders and hence the public perception that the criminal justice system is just a revolving door. The current model dates back to the 1970’s and Costa Rica needs to take a closer look at the current system.

Expats Doing Business or Working in Costa Rica With Free Video With Attorney Rick Philps. The most important things you must know or you will be doomed from the start…

Current trends indicate, that much more than previously, would-be immigrants to Costa Rica are coming from a much younger age group, well prior to retirement years, with the intention of being employed, or conducting a business in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica Residency Categories Explained. Free Video With Attorney Rick Philps

The two most prevalent Temporary Categories of Residency applied for by foreigners being “Pensionado” and “Rentista”, remain very “mechanical” in the Application process, with each category requiring minimal supporting documentation, including an certified original Birth Certificate, a Criminal Records Search by a Police Force in your country of origin, (a certified Certificate of Marriage, if applicable), a certified complete copy of your Passport, and a Financial Responsibility Letter from a recognized financial institution, or pension authority.

Fractional Reserve Banking: It’s Not Your Money… You Only Think It Is!

In the aftermath of the forced confiscation of bank accounts in Cyprus, the question that clients ask me most is, “could it happen here?” “Here” is wherever the client lives or invests, and could be the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, or any other country. The answer is yes.

A Canadian Perspective on Buying Costa Rica Real Estate by Canadian/Costa Rican Attorney Rick Philps

Canadians have a distinct tax advantage over their American cousins, in not having to declare their world income to Canada Customs and Revenue and pay taxes based on it, if they enjoy “non-resident tax status”.

Tax Obligations And Tax Breaks For U.S. Citizens & Residents Living Abroad

Now that the U.S. tax season is well under way, tax preparers all over the country are doling out appointments to those that live within our borders. But just what are the tax obligations and tax breaks, for U.S. citizens or green card holders living abroad?

I Am A Terrorist

I do not support aggression, but I do support self-defense. As an individual who neither aggresses against others, nor will tolerate being aggressed against, I have found the police, when not intrusive, to be useless. Indeed, unless they are busting heads to keeping various minorities from wresting control from their masters or even exercising their rights, cops are note-takers. They show up after a crime is committed, write in their notebooks, and based on the results, they must smoke their notes because no one ever hears from them again.

IRS Reneges On Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Deals.

“I’m from the IRS and I’m here to help.” Yes, that’s one of life’s big lies, but several years ago it looked as if that the IRS actually intended to help you out if you had an offshore tax problem. In 2009, the IRS introduced something it called the “Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program” (OVDP).

Tenancy Law in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica regulates all matters related to tenancy in a particular law, which has the unforgiving name of “Ley General de Arrendamientos Urbanos y Suburbanos“, meaning: “General Law for Urban and Suburban Tenancy”.

FATCA: Blowback is a bitch!

In a nutshell, FATCA demands that virtually every “foreign financial institution” (FFI) sign and strictly comply with a reporting and withholding agreement with the IRS with respect to U.S. account holders. The IRS refers to an FFI that signs such an agreement as a “participating FFI.” So-called “non-participating FFIs” will be subject to a 30% withholding tax on certain “withholdable payments” from U.S. sources. They’ll also likely be subject to 30% withholding on payments from participating FFIs as well, anywhere in the world.

Yes, You Are A Criminal… You Just Don’t Know It Yet

It’s no wonder the United States has by far the world’s largest prison population per capita anywhere on earth. More people rot in local, county, state, or federal prisons in the United States than in all other developed countries combined.

Switzerland Gets It.

It’s not surprising that most offshore financial institutions have simply decided it’s not worth dealing with U.S. clients.

Feds Delay 30% Withholding on Outbound Capital Transfers – Again

Among many other statist provisions, FATCA demands that virtually every foreign financial institution (FFI) sign and strictly comply with a reporting and withholding agreement with the IRS with respect to US account holders. The IRS refers to an FFI that signs such an agreement as a “participating FFI.” So-called “non-participating FFIs” will be subject to a 30% gross withholding tax on certain “withholdable payments.”

“Fiscal Cliff” Negotiations Could End Tax Breaks for U.S. Citizens Working Overseas

Fortunately, the Internal Revenue Code contains an escape clause that allows you to earn up to $95,100/year tax-free (2012, adjusted annually for inflation) if you live and work outside the United States. If your spouse accompanies you overseas, you can double this…