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Costa Rica Looks for New Way to Squeeze Money From Tourists

Article Summary:

Millions of dollars are lost annually in Costa Rica when tourists do not pay taxes. With roughly $2 Billion tourists dollars annually in Costa Rica, the country could tap into a wealth of funds through taxing tourists.

Original Article Text From El Financierorcr.com:

Tax Issue
846 tourists
Carlos Lizama

International tourism is one of the main activities of the global economy. Despite the conflicts and crises that afflict humanity, it grows steadily, and every year millions of people are added to the total demand, making his first trip beyond the borders of their own country, further The World Tourism Organization (WTO), states that 970 million international tourist trips were made in 2010.

These travelers spent $ 919,000 million in other countries. While visiting Costa Rica, despite its small size, it receives an interesting proportion of these flows of travelers and money, with a total of two million tourists it receive a contribution to the national economy over the $ 2,000 million mark.

Worldwide, inbound tourism is considered an export activity sui generis, and that while markets abroad and earn foreign exchange as well as any export, the purchaser is to consume in the country of origin of goods and tourist services. The value of this export, through tourism, is much greater and more beneficial for an export Costa Rican tradition.

For example, about 100 grams of coffee consumed by a German tourist in Costa Rica, export equivalent of a sack of 60 kilos of the same coffee place in Hamburg, Germany. Therefore, as is the case with exports, tourist countries do not charge foreign visitors sales tax or VAT on purchases and expenses incurred in the country visited.

Uncollected taxes in the EU, none of the 27 member countries this tax applies to foreign visitors. The mechanism that is applied varies from post-trip return, against the shipment or delivery receipts and invoices for all expenditures made or simply applying the exemption from delay in the establishment where he is spending.

Because the tax is very high in Europe (20%), saving for tourists is very important, so the incentive to travel more. On other hand, in Canada, the Rebate Program to the Canadian Visitors Income is very prompt in formalities necessary for tourists to receive a refund of tax with the only limitation that corresponds to a total expenditure of over $ 200.

In the U.S., due to its federal characteristics, various types of deductions by state. An interesting case is that of New York, which is very aggressive in this area and, in certain seasons, returns or exempt visitors from the entire sales tax on certain items.

In Chile, Argentina and Peru are exempt from VAT, as appropriate, the full cost of room and board in hotels, which takes place in the facility itself, upon presentation of passport and immigration entry formula Country.And finally in our country, it is curious that we still have a mentality in this matter against the universal tax. Instead of thanking the tourists who come to spend their money on goods and services, charging taxes punish unnecessarily expensive purchases.

Currently, we are charging sales tax, which makes Costa Rica is 13% more expensive as a destination that most of our competitors, and the new tax reform, would be charged 14% of the IVA. We are a unique tourist country in the world with this policy and believe it is essential to begin to take seriously the consequences of it, because although economic crises are a factor in the decline in foreign visitors, is another variable we should be concerned

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