Saturday 25 March 2023


Paying the bills


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25 March 2023 - At The Banks - BCCR

Paying the bills


(QCOSTARICA) It’s that time of year again. It snuck up quickly this year, November 1, when the following year’s Marchamo becomes known.

Starting this morning, the INS website publishes the cost of the 2017 Marchamo – the annual circulation marchamo-1permit for every registered vehicle in the country, some 2.1 million at last count.

The Marchamo, due payable by December 31 of each year, includes items like property tax on vehicle (the single largest portion of the cost) and mandatory insurance, among other items. The Marchamo also includes outstanding traffic tickets.

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To find out what you own on your vehicle(s), go to the INS website. In addition, the information is available by sending a text message at 1467 with the word “marchamo” and the license plate number in the message or calling 800MARCHAMO (800 6272 4266).

The Machamo is payable online or in person at more than 2.262 point of sale (POS) online, at banks and financial institutions; even at supermarkets like Walmart and Masxmenos by way of Servimas and many other places.

The Q recommends waiting a few hours or even a day or two to avoid the online rush for the information. Posts on social media this morning, moments after the 7:00am when the INS portal opened, had people saying thinks like, “worthless, the website is down”

Back to the cost of the Marchamo, almost two thirds (69%) of the total cost is property tax, the tax applied to vehicles based on their “fiscal” (tax) value set by the Ministry of Finance (Ministerio de Hacienda).

According to figures released by Hacienda, 1.123.306 vehicles will be paying less property tax for 2017, as their fiscal value was adjusted down over the previous year. Meanwhile, 100.226 vehicles will be paying more for 2017.

Despite the belief by many that the fiscal value is etched in stone, Hacienda does have a mechanism in place for a review and appeal. The fiscal value for each vehicle can be found at the Hacienda website.

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The government expects take in ¢154 billion colones in tax revenuew from the 2017 Marchamo.

The next single highest cost is the Seguro Obligatorio de Automóviles (SOA) – mandatory insurance that covers third party liability, representing 19% of the overall cost of the Marchamo. The SOA for 2017 is ¢21.564 colones for all passenger vehicles regardless if it is new or old.

The SOA for 2017 saw an increase over the previous due to the high number of traffic accidents so far this year. The statistics show that between January and August of this year, there were 17.957 traffic accidents, a 27% increase over the same period in 2015.

Included in the SOA cover of medical costs and death in a traffic accident, with maximum coverage ¢6 million million colones. For additional coverage, vehicles owners need to by a separate policy.

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The balance of the Marchamo is made of up special taxes and outstanding traffic fines, including municipal parking tickets.

Important note: it is required your vehicle to have the Riteve (vehicular inspection) current to pay the Marchamo. If your vehicle does not have the current sticker, make an appointment to get your vehicle inspected, after which the Marchamo is payable a day later. Remember, that starting January 1 the outstanding Marchamo begins to accrue pretty steep penalties and interest.

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Paying the bills
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"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

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