Costa Rica: Nuevas exenciones fiscales amplían las perspectivas comerciales en Costa Rica

Last Updated: 14 January 2020
Article by TMF Group

Los acuerdos de libre comercio en Costa Rica son los más avanzados en América Central. Recientemente, se han otorgado más exenciones fiscales para ampliar las atracciones comerciales, pero las compañías deben mantenerse actualizadas con la gran cantidad de regulaciones.

Los cambios a la Ley del Régimen de Zonas Francas de Costa Rica, que permite a las compañías locales y extranjeras ampliar los servicios libres de impuestos que ofrecen, se han abierto paso recientemente en la legislatura del país.

Luego de una consulta popular, un nuevo proyecto de ley incluye modificaciones a la categoría de servicios (Categoría C en la Ley de Zonas Francas), eliminando efectivamente el tope local de ventas previamente establecido en un 50%.

Costa Rica ofrece el ambiente político más seguro de la región, con una sólida infraestructura bancaria y legal que sustenta el considerable atractivo del país para inversores y corporaciones multinacionales.

El Régimen de Zonas Francas (RZF) es la base de la estrategia de exportación e importación del país. Básicamente, es un conjunto de incentivos fiscales y otros beneficios otorgados por el gobierno costarricense para las compañías inversoras que cumplan con las estrictas regulaciones locales. El régimen, bajo la Ley de Zonas Francas (Ley N.° 7210), tiene como objetivo estimular la inversión extranjera directa y las oportunidades comerciales y laborales para los costarricenses.

Las compañías que califican en el régimen están exentas de los impuestos sobre las ventas y los impuestos indirectos en las compras de bienes y servicios, y de todos los impuestos y licencias municipales por un periodo de diez años. Esto se complementa con exenciones significativas en los impuestos sobre las ganancias.

No obstante, estos privilegios son por tiempo limitado: para las compañías ubicadas dentro del Gran Área Metropolitana Ampliada (GAMA), un área privilegiada dentro del Valle Central, la exención es del 100% hasta los ocho años y del 50% durante los siguientes cuatro años. Fuera del GAMA, la exención es del 100% hasta los doce años y del 50% durante los siguientes seis años.

¿Quiénes califican?

Las compañías deben funcionar en una de las siguientes áreas: gestión, procesamiento, manufactura, producción, reparación y mantenimiento de bienes; empaquetamiento y redistribución de bienes; y brindar servicios para la exportación o reexportación. Deben cumplir con los requisitos y obligaciones establecidos en la Ley N.° 7210, sus modificaciones y regulaciones.

Deben tener una inversión inicial mínima de USD 150.000 en activos fijos (USD 100.000 para aquellos fuera del GAMA) y establecer sus operaciones en parques industriales específicos.

De forma excepcional, las compañías pueden establecer todas sus operaciones, o parte de ellas, fuera de esos parques, pero ello supone una mayor inversión y un proceso de aprobación más arduo.

La Promotora del Comercio Exterior (PROCOMER), que es parte del Ministerio de Comercio Exterior, supervisa las zonas. PROCOMER requiere que las organizaciones que califican cumplan con una serie de regulaciones y medidas fiscales.

Ello incluye al personal, nivel de inversión, estudios de transferencia de precios y presentaciones de IVA. Las compañías están exentas del IVA, pero, a partir de julio de este año, es obligatorio que lo presenten. Hay un requisito obligatorio para enviar informes anuales y auditorias dentro de los plazos. Las compañías deben cumplir con estrictas políticas locales e internacionales, y presentar documentación.

Juan Carlos Rubio, Managing Director de TMF Costa Rica mencionó: "El Régimen de Zonas Francas es complejo, con requisitos de gestión de inventario y activos fijos complicados que requieren tiempo y experiencia para cumplir correctamente. No obstante, es un precio que vale la pena pagar: los ciudadanos costarricenses son la principal atracción. Son creativos, proactivos y productivos y tienen habilidades de inglés intermedio o avanzado. Los obstáculos administrativos siempre pueden superarse, lo que permite crear una base firme para el cumplimiento regulatorio".

Cómo Microsoft navega el Régimen

Microsoft está impulsando la transformación digital de Costa Rica a través de la nube y la inteligencia artificial. En octubre de 2019, el gigante del software ingresó al Régimen de Zonas Francas. TMF Group le brindó servicios integrales de cumplimiento regulatorio y de zona franca para la Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada (SRL) regional de Microsoft, una forma de compañía limitada favorecida por compañías extrajeras.

Para alcanzar los objetivos operativos de Microsoft, el enfoque general de TMF Group para el cumplimiento regulatorio abarcó los siguientes servicios:

  • Impuestos: directos e indirectos, precios de transferencia, cambios en las regulaciones de RZF.
  • Balance general y analisis de estados financieros.
  • Servicios de asistencia contable.
  • Tesorería y asistencia bancaria.
  • Auditoria estatutaria (externa), auditoria interna y cumplimiento SOX.
  • Gestión y asesoramiento legal.
  • Revisión de presentaciones fiscales relacionadas con la nómina.
  • Clasificación de correspondencia y gestión de documentación.
  • Mesa de asistencia de órdenes de compra.

Silvia Cerdas, Statutory and Taxes Controller para Mid Americas y Venezuela en Microsoft explicó: "El equipo altamente capacitado de TMF Group demostró grandes habilidades técnicas desde octubre de 2018, cuando gestionaron, de principio a fin, todos los requerimientos contables y tributarios en relación con las nuevas operaciones de Microsoft en la Zona Franca de Costa Rica. El resultado fue continuidad de negocio y certeza de cumplimiento -un trabajo fundamental para el crecimiento en la región. TMF Group continúa siendo nuestro asesor de confianza".

TMF Group guía a Fisher Scientific en la Zona Franca

TMF Group brinda servicios de cumplimiento regulatorio y de zonas francas para Fisher Scientific de Costa Rica SRL. El objetivo es minimizar el riesgo de los obstáculos de cumplimiento que debilitan el buen funcionamiento de las operaciones. La compañía global de biotecnología disfruta del periodo inicial libre de impuestos, pero reconoce las dificultades regulatorias.

Fernando Rodríguez Ortiz, Accounting Supervisor en Fisher Scientific de Costa Rica SRL, comentó: "Hay muchas obligaciones, tales como la enumeración de los activos fijos y la provisión de documentación contable, que incluye las reconciliaciones del balance general. No obstante, con el apoyo de TMF Group, cumplimos con todos los estrictos requisitos de auditoria de PROCOMER, sin grandes observaciones o preocupaciones ".

TMF Group continúa trabajando con Microsoft, Fischer Scientific y otras compañías en Costa Rica para ayudarles a entender y adoptar los próximos cambios en la Ley de Zonas Francas, que cumplen con los requerimientos de la OCDE (Organización para la Cooperación y el Desarrollo Económicos).

Asóciese con TMF Group para lograr el cumplimiento regulatorio en las zonas francas

Nos asociamos con compañías ambiciosas que operan en Costa Rica, ayudándoles a cumplir con las reglas y regulaciones de la RZF. Nuestro equipo de expertos tiene el conocimiento y la experiencia para minimizar los riesgos frente a sanciones administrativas, controles internos y otras multas que pueden impedirle disfrutar de los beneficios completos del Régimen.

Contáctenos hoy para conocer cómo puede apoyarle TMF Group con su éxito en Costa Rica.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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