The collection of 13% IVA, will be applied to digital services generated in other countries.
- A.M. Costa Rica illustrative photo -

Published Monday, September 28, 2020

New 13% sales tax for online
purchases begins Thursday

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The deadline for collection of 13% of the value-added tax, known as IVA, on purchases made online, begins on Thursday, Oct. 1, the Ministry of Finance announced.

The tax was originally set to begin Aug. 1. but because banks and companies have not finished developing a system for applying the tax, it will be enforced as of Thursday, two months later.

The collection of 13% IVA, will be applied to digital services generated in other countries. The tax also applies to international platforms that have representation in the country.

International digital services are understood to be those provided by a company not located in the country through the internet or any other digital platform, such as Amazon, Uber,, HBO, Netflix, among many others.

To collect this tax, customers must choose one of the two mechanisms established:

The foreign company will charge the tax directly to the client. International companies that directly charge taxes must be registered with the Ministry of Finance in Costa Rica.

Banks will automatically charge the tax when detecting a payment made with a card, for each purchase made on international companies listed by the Ministry of Finance.  The list of these companies can be reached at the Ministry website.

According to the Ministry, the list will be updated every six months with information on more companies charging IVA tax and those companies excluded from the tax.

According to Priscilla Zamora-Rojas, representative of the Ministry, the collection of the international digital services tax was established following the recommendations of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD.

Do you have to pay taxes for the use of online application services in your country? 
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