Benefits for Investors, Pensioners and Rentistas: How can I obtain the incentives created in 2021 by Act 9996 to attract Investors, Pensioners and Rentistas and what are the biggest take aways expats should know?

by Quatro Legal Immigration Team | Jan. 2, 2024 | Article, Immigration

The world chaged when COVID-19 happended and Costa Rica was not the exception. Countries realized the importance to create programs and regulations that incentivize and attract foreign investors as a way to compensate for the economic loss created by the global system shutting down and that would make the general recovery more effective. Also, for a big number of expats, investors and businessmen that held assets in different countries or wanted to do so in the near future, it was clear that buying a piece of paradise to secure their liquidity or have a place to spend time in warm weather became a priority. Under this scenario, in July 2021, the Costa Rican Government enacted Law 9996 to attract Investors, Pensioners and Rentistas creating benefits for a five-year period counted from the date of enactment. The purpose of the law is to contribute to the country’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery. The law declared to be of public interest the creation of benefits for all foreign citizens obtaining the lawful immigration status of Investor, Pensioner or Rentista. It also established the General Directorate of Immigration as the overseer of the law’s enforcement.

The benefits created are the following: a) One-time exoneration of import fees on household goods, including new and used items in a reasonable amount and proportion to cover personal and family needs. The law expressly references furniture, appliances, decor, kitchen and bathroom accessories and linens; b) Exoneration of import fees on up to two air, land and/or sea vehicles. In case of the destruction, loss or theft of a vehicle, the beneficiary will be entitled to import another vehicle; c) All sums of money declared to obtain the benefits will be exonerated from paying income tax; d) Exoneration of twenty percent of transfer fees on all real estate acquired during the law’s effective period if the person is the recorded owner of the asset; e) Exoneration of import fees on all materials and instruments directly related to the beneficiary’s profession or economic activity. Moreover, beneficiaries will not automatically be considered taxpayers.

The law states that if the beneficiary surrenders his/her immigration status or the status is canceled by the General Directorate of Immigration on legal grounds, all exonerated taxes will become due.

Finally, the law reduced the minimum investment amount for the Investors category to US$150,000.00, legal tender of the United States of America, in any form of real estate, registered assets, stock, securities, economic projects or projects of national interest.

The benefits obtained by a beneficiary will be valid for ten years. If you want to know more about these benefits and how to take advantage of them, don’t be shy please fill out the courtesy e-meeting form at the bottom. We will be glad to assist you!

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