Costa Rica is somewhat of a haven for those looking to buy houses, as the property taxes are low compared to many other countries. However, some find the system confusing and are not sure how to go about registering all the necessary details or checking that their taxes are up to date. While there are many agencies in Costa Rica that can handle all of this for you, if you want to avoid those additional fees, you can do it yourself.In this guide, we take a look how to pay your property taxes in Costa Rica as well as where to check whether your taxes are up to date. We will also briefly touch upon how to access your property details.
Property Tax (Impuesto Sobre La Propiedad) In Costa Rica
If you own a property in Costa Rica, you will be required to pay an annual property tax. This can be paid once, or split quarterly. You will usually receive a discount if you pay once in advance for the whole year. The tax you pay is 0.25% of the property value (in the municipality, not in the National Registry). You will need to declare the value of your property every five years. Tax payments are made to the municipality in which you live and where your property is located.
Can I Make The Payments Online?
Yes, you can pay your property tax online, but you will need to have a BCR (Banco de Costa Rica) account to do this. If you do not have one of these accounts the process can be complicated, so it’s best to get this in place at the point of purchasing your property.
Where Do I Pay?
You can pay the property tax in person at your local municipality office. Some municipalities allow you to pay by credit card, while others have an online payment system; this varies, so it is worth enquiring. You can also pay online through your BCR account. It’s worth noting that the municipality will also have a services charge, which may or may not be added to your property tax total; sometimes this is done separately. This is to cover the costs of local maintenance, street lights and so on.
You will not receive a notification or reminder telling you that you have to pay. When you purchase property in Costa Rica you pay the property taxes at closing. Following on from this, you can pay quarterly or annually.
How Can I Check My Property Details?
You can check your property details on the Registro Nacional or Registro Público. Visit this website to make an online account and search your property details. You can find the value of your property and check that your taxes are up to date. If you cannot check your taxes on the website, contact your local municipality office, who should be able to give you the details. You will need to have your deed details at the ready for either of these options.
Have you lived in Costa Rica? Share your thoughts in the comments below, or answer the questions here to be featured in an interview!