Lawyers, Laws & Taxes

Secret Treasury Agency Wants to RETROACTIVELY Expand Offshore Reporting Requirements – Part I

Last week, the U.S. Treasury finally clarified exactly what it expects U.S. taxpayers to disclose about their offshore holdings. And–no surprise here–they want to know lots more about what you own offshore. Beginning last year, in 2009. And, if you fail to comply, you could face a $10,000 fine and even prison.

Congress Enacts Obama’s Anti-Offshore Jobs Bill

In a recent blog entry, I described how the Obama administration is working simultaneously on three fronts to crack down further on U.S. citizens and residents who invest offshore. One of those efforts has now come to fruition. Today, President Obama signed the latest incarnation of the “Foreign Account Taxpayer Compliance Act.” It’s neatly tucked into a jobs bill, cleverly entitled the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act, H.R. 2847.

Costa Rica Taxes – Ready for the Education and Culture Stamp and the First Income Tax Advance for the year 2010?

On March 31st the payment of the Education and Culture Stamp is due. This tax is based on the Corporations’ Net Equity Balance. The funds collected by the Costa Rican Government through this tax are used to….

Costa Rica Luxury Home Tax Notification Process Begins…

After all the last minute adjustments and extensions made by the Costa Rican Tax Administration regarding deadlines and requirements to file and pay the new luxury home tax it seems that out of the 10,000 payers of this tax not all of them gave a serious thought to this call.

Costa Rica Eliminates Prison Terms For Defamation

New York, February 12, 2010. The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on the Costa Rican legislature to remove criminal defamation provisions from its penal code after a recent Supreme Court decision eliminated prison terms from its 1902 Printing Press Law. The provisions were eliminated from the Printing Press Law – known as Ley de […]

Costa Rica Real Estate Transactions. More Regulations On The Way

The law, “Regulation of Real Estate Contracts and Real Estate Agents” is quite ambitious in its goal and if passed would create significant changes in the way real estate transactions are carried out in the future.

Ramifications of U.S. Crackdown on Foreign Tax Havens

The Internal Revenue Service recently announced the opening of its first criminal investigation office in Panama and the agency is targeting far-flung jurisdictions which permit bank-secrecy, as well as tax havens around the world.

Costa Rica Property Taxes – The new tax on luxury homes finally approved.

The new tax on luxury homes has become law. Since our first article about this new tax back in November 2008 which was officially published in La Gaceta, there have been no changes to the original bill approved by the congress, so let’s recap…

U.S. Tax Savings Available Through Code Section 911

U.S. citizens residing in Costa Rica who earn compensation for personal services performed in Costa Rica or another foreign country may be eligible to exclude up to $91,400 of earned income from their U.S. gross income in 2009 under Internal Revenue Code Section 911.

The Legal Due Diligence Process For Trusted Developers – The Law Offices of Petersen & Philps have prepared the following guidelines…

The comprehensive due diligence procedures that does on your behalf before recommending a real estate developer as a Trusted Developer is undertaken by the law firm of Attorney at Law – Rick Philps and Attorney at Law Roger A. Petersen who is the author of the best-selling book ‘The Legal Guide To Costa Rica.’

If You Are A U.S. Citizen Who Owns A Costa Rican Corporation – You’d better be filing IRS Form 5471.

U.S. citizens who move to, or acquire property in, Costa Rica often find it necessary or convenient to form a Costa Rican corporation to own their local real estate. Many such persons may not know that IRS rules require reporting the formation of the Costa Rican corporation and annual filings thereafter on Form 5471, even if the corporation earns no income or is dormant.

Litigation In Arbitration Courts In Costa Rica. Part 1

Arbitration is one of the methods to solve disputes between parties, in which a third party, chosen by the parties in conflict, after hearing the case and studying the evidence, decides the matter through a final resolution that has full legal value.

Estate Planning in Costa Rica For Canadians

The simple answer with respect to the Canadian drawn Will, is that as long as it complies with the formal requirements of drafting and execution in the jurisdiction where it is drawn, it will be held to be…

The Condominium HOA Meeting Procedures in Costa Rica

It is common for developers of single family lot subdivisions in Costa Rica, to represent to prospective purchasers, that an HOA will be formed to deal with matters of a common interest, in the public areas of the subdivision, and to propose to levy fees on the property owners to carry-out the mandate of such an HOA.

Costa Rica Closing Costs – On what basis are the property closing costs calculated?

As you can see from both the Property Transfer Tax Law and the Notary Fee Executive Decree neither refers to a “fiscal value or “registry value” as the basis for calculating the transfer taxes as was alluded to in the forum.