According to the Costa Rican Public Record Office (Registro Nacional) in about five months – Costa Rica Government Time – that office will be connected with 61 Costa Rican Municipalities, out of 81, so they can share information regarding all the registered properties.
This means that those 61 Municipalities will be able to have access in real time to information about every single property registered in terms of owners, reported values, measurements, etc. The Records Office will also have access to the Municipalities’ information so, theoretically, it is going to be a handy tool when it comes to cross referencing.
Why one less step?
Currently and by the book, when you buy a property in Costa Rica, once you get the deed stamped and recorded by the Records Office from your attorney, which means that the title of that property shows your name on it, you have to file a new Property Tax Return at the Municipality attaching a copy of that deed, that is the only way that Municipalities will know that the property has a new owner, a large percentage of attorneys and brokers do not explain this to their clients and this should be part of their services that you are paying for, not on top of what you already paid.
To rent or buy this one hour video with Costa Rica Tax Expert Randall Zamora, please visit our Video On Demand page here.
Now, when this system is in place the Municipality will know about this change once the Records Office enters the change, so the Municipality will have fresh information about that very property.
Keep On Top of Your Attorney.
The bad news is that this will happens at a network level, but as far as I am aware the Property Tax Law hasn’t change in such way that the Municipality can use that updated information as official, which means that this new tool will trigger the system but still you will have to file the documents mentioned above, one more reason to make sure that your attorney did all this paperwork properly and when you bought the property.
Keep in mind that recently the Municipalities got from the Central Government another handy tool which includes pictures and resurveys of all the properties in Costa Rica, so if we add this tool to the new one coming in 5 months or so, paying your Property Taxes in Costa Rica is becoming what it should be: A serious but simple and very affordable deal!
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Written by Randall Zamora who is the President and CEO of CostaRicaABC.com, former CFO and Head of Accounting Department of multinational companies like Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica, active member of the Interamerican Accounting Association, Pro Bono Local Partner of The World Bank and contributor to their yearly publication “Doing Business Report.”
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