cajeroQCOSTARICA – The current administration continues looking for ways to fill its cash strapped coffers. The latest proposal: ATM transactions.

Legislator and former presidential candidate for the Movimiento Libertario party, Otto Guevara, says the government is planning to tax every automated teller (ATM) transaction over ¢100.000 colones (US$190).

The legislator says that law No. 19.959, called Ley para el Desarrollo Regional de Costa Rica (Regional Development Act of Costa Rica), will create a regional development fund. But how will be it financed?

Article 39 fo the bill, according to Guevara, would establish a 0.02% tax on the total amount of electronic transactions over ¢100.000 moved through the  Sistema Nacional de Pagos Electrónicos (Simpe) – the national electronic payments system, that includes ATMs.

“This project will impoverish more Costa Ricans. Another consequence of this proposal of the Executive is the ‘desbancarización’ (unbanking?) of many people…Libertarians will always be against more taxes,” said Guevara.

The legislator explained that many, to avoid paying the tax will use cash instead without resorting to the financial system. “They may even keep their home at home,” said Guevara.

The government’s proposal also calls for an annual review of the tax, based on the annual inflation.


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