With the unanimous vote of 47 legislators present, the Legislative Assembly approved in the first debate, on Tuesday night, the Ley de Alivio Fiscal ante el Covid-19 (Tax Relief Law before Covid-19), after an intense day of negotiations between the legislative factions and the Minister of Finance, Rodrigo Chaves.

Finance Minister, Rodrigo Chaves (center) was hands on during the day Tuesday, in negotiations with legislators, that led to the approval of the bill to alleviate the effects of the covid-19 on businesses. Photo: Courtesy Nueva República.

With the approval of the plan proposed by the Government, it benefits companies, merchants and independent workers, since the Ministry of Finance will postpone the payment of four types of taxes for the months of April, May and June.

The bill, once it gets approval in second and final reading and the signature of President Carlos Alvarado, will implement a moratorium of taxes such as the Value Added Taxe (VAT), on profits, selective consumption and tariffs for the import of merchandise into the country.

Instead of paying it in April, May and June, tax collectors or taxpayers may pay up no later than December 31.

Legislators also guaranteed to exempt from the payment of the VAT, for three months, on rents paid by businesses. Currently, that is a 13% tax is paid by those who rent premises with a cost greater than ¢668,000 colones per month.

The exemption applies as long as the lessee and the lessor are registered Single Tax Registry (Registro Único Tributario).

Important to note that the above is the simplified version of the bill, the actual process of what and how the tax moratorium and postponment, penalties, fees, etc are complicated and taxpayers are best to consult their accountants or tax lawyer as to how they changes apply to them and their effect on their business.