Property Taxes in Costa Rica

Information about the different taxes that must be paid by property owners in Costa Rica...

Property tax accounts for approximately 0.25 percent of the declared value of the property, although this amount varies depending on the property's location. Property owners must fill out a Property Declaration Form (Declaración de Bienes Inmuebles) every five years, and return it to the municipality where the property is located so that the tax can be calculated. Property taxes are due by 16 January of each year and are paid to the local municipality.

Luxury Tax

Often referred to as a luxury tax, the Solidarity Tax for the Strengthening of Housing Programs (Impuesto Solidario para el Fortalecimiento de Programas de Vivienda) only applies to houses over a certain value (111.000.000 colónes in 2012). Owners of land with no buildings on it are exempt from this tax. The purpose of the tax is to help finance housing for those living in extreme poverty.

Those liable for this tax must fill in the form called "Formulario Único de Inscripción, Declaración y Pago Impuesto Solidario para el Fortalecimiento de Programas de Vivienda, Ley 8683" every three years and the tax must be paid annually in the first two weeks of January, before 15 January.

  • To pay the luxury tax online via the tax office website: Click here

Municipal Taxes

Property owners in Costa Rica pay a small municipal tax to the municipality where the property is located. This tax is for street repairs and county costs. The amount of tax paid differs for each municipality, but is never more than the equivalent of ten dollars per month.

Transfer Tax

When real estate properties change ownership a 1.5 percent transfer tax is applied to the value of the asset or the value registered with the tax authorities, whichever is higher. Payment must be made right after the commercial transaction takes place and both the seller and buyer are responsible.

For vehicles, the same procedure applies, but the transfer tax is 2.5 percent.