Costa Rican Company Responsabilities: Registry Of Transparency And Final Beneficiaries (RTBF)

by Quatro Legal Corporate Team | April. 26, 2024 | Article, Corporate

One of the first things thought by parents to their child/children is that, in life, we all have responsibilities and that we need to be diligent in complying with these responsibilities. Well, for Costa Rican companies is the same situation. The companies have certain responsibilities to be covered yearly, for example, the corporate tax, the income tax, luxury tax (these three among others and if applicable, for further understanding of the subject please refer to the following Quatro article: What are the most common taxes applicable in Costa Rica to corporations and individuals?)

One of the most important responsibilities is the Registry of Transparency and Final Beneficiaries (hereinafter RTBF for its initials in Spanish). And you may be asking yourself, “what on earth are the Ticos referring to with that???.” And that is a great question. The RTBF is a computerized system designed and developed by the Costa Rican Central Bank (BCCR for its initials in Spanish).

This allows the Central Bank and the Ministry of finance to have a tracking system of the members of the companies to pursue possible tax felonies made though a company. Is important to note that all the information gathered is confidential and will not be used in any moment if it´s not required. This registry must be done by any legal entity or legal structure such as trusts, third party resource managers and non-profit organizations.


What is RTBF?

As I typed before, the RTBF is a computerized system created by the Law to Improve the Fight against Tax Fraud and regulated by The Registry of Transparency and Final Beneficiaries Regulation and by any ruling or regulation that may improve its functionality and the data gathering every year. The main objective of the RTBF is to enable effective control in the fight against tax fraud, money laundering and financing of terrorism that may be conducted by a physical person or through a company.

The Central Bank has a specific site to make the declaration of the Registry. This webpage works as the main information gathering platform for this procedure and is named Central Directo. The RTBF can only be done through this webpage and using a specific digital certificate known as Firma Digital (Digital Signature).


About the Digital Signature:

The Digital Signature is only issued to Costa Ricans or foreigners naturalized Costa Rican. This tool works as an instrument to attribute authenticity to the document signed by the owner of the signature. Why this? Because can only be issued to the owner of the signature (if it is Paul´s signature, only Paul can go to issue the signature).

With this special Digital Signature, the owner may perform multiple digital procedures, one of them the RTBF. This is why is very important to safeguard the Digital Signature, if Paul´s signature is validating a document it doesn’t matter that John or George sign it using Paul´s signature (yes, I love The Beatles), it will always be assumed that the owner of the signature signed the document knowing its extents.


RTBF period 2024

This declaration will take place yearly in a period defined by the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank. The exact period is not known beforehand and is not pre-established by the institutions. With this announcement of when the declaration must be presented, the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank issue some directives for the period, like specific game rules for every specific year, according to what they believe is the best way to ensure that the information given is accurate.

For 2024: the period indicated for this year will be from July 1st to July 31st to present the declarations. This period is not final, and may suffer some modifications, but in principle and at the date of issuance of this article, is set to take place between the dates above stated.

The Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank have changed some rules regarding the nature of the Power of Attorney that must be issued for us to be able to make the presentation of the declaration. Years prior, it was agreed that a Special Power of Attorney was the needed authorization to carry out the process. However, this year the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank have decided that is needed a General Power of Attorney and only in qualified cases will apply the issuance of the Power of Attorney. (The list of cases where the General Power of Attorney will be allowed has not been disclosed).

Some institutions, like the Costa Rican BAR association, have raised their concern regarding the nature of the Power of Attorney wanted by the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank. The concerns are mainly because the Special Power of Attorney by its nature is sufficient to carry out the process, and the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank are asking for a more “qualified” Power of Attorney (the General Power of Attorney).

Another concern is that the Digital Signature is only issued to Costa Ricans, so, if you are a foreigner, you will need that a Tico manage the process. Currently we are waiting for the final rulings from the institutions for the current period.

We know, A LOT of not answered questions at the moment, but, we will keep you updated on any further changes on this matter.


How to present the declaration?

Now, the question that you may have been wondering pretty much since you opened the article: How to present it? At Quatro Legal we offer to you the service of Maintenance Packages, that consist in a series of packages that cover services if you are owner of a company, owner of a Real Estate, a package if you have both conditions, and multiple other services covered by our Compliance Department.

One of these packages is the one that covers the RTBF. Through this one, we will let you know when the period of declaration will be that year, and once the declaration period is met, we will take care of the entire process. From you, we will need some signatures and/or some information, but nothing major.

We know that is a lot to take, but that is why we are here! To take care of you, your company, and your assets.

If you have any doubt regarding this topic, the Maintenance Packages, or any other topic, please contact me, Felipe Esquivel, at It will be my pleasure to guide you.

Felipe Esquivel C
Corporate Law Senior Paralegal

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