Costa Rica’s Double Tax on Things Bought Abroad

Costa Rica News – The Costa Rican government is trying to get money anyway they can and as we all know getting money back from any government is a long and tedious process.

The Ministry of Hacienda has its work cut out. It needs to change a plan to charge value added tax (VAT) on all purchases abroad. This is because the current plan makes almost no sense at all.

As is, the plan is that all goods and services paid for abroad with a Costa Rican card will be taxed 13%. This poses so many problems. First, if someone buys a pair of shoes online they would have to pay the tax at the time of purchase as well as in customs and then go to request a refund for the double charge. If someone travels abroad, the tax is charged but doesn’t apply. They would be charged for every purchase, every hotel stay, every restaurant and then have to return to Costa Rica to claim refunds.

The Ministry of Finance, along with banks, are looking for a solution as these problems function as disincentives to use the cards. Some adjustments will have to be made. One option is that perhaps one could show proof of paying the tax when they go to customs so as not to pay it twice.

Another option is to separate out the “cross-border services,” such as Uber and Netflix that the Government wants to tax, instead of taxing everything and then giving refunds.

 

Costa Rica’s Famous FBI Dog Dies

Costa Rica News – Aquiles, the OIJ’s trained dog, has died at age 9.

This bloodhound participated in over 280 investigations. He was even certified to conduct research throughout all of Latin America.

The special dog was trained in detecting blood and human remains. The Judicial Investigation Agency confirmed that he died on Wednesday morning.

His career started when he found the remains of a Mexican journalist in Bello Horizonte de Escazú.

He is best known for playing a large part in the investigations of the Liberia massacre, where five college students were murdered last year. He was the one who found traces of blood used to convict Gerardo Ríos Mairena to 216 years in prison for the crime.

His work was also vital the year before in discovering a buried body in Purral de Goicoechea. It was buried a meter and a half deep but his sense of smell didn’t fail.

Round Trip Flights to Costa Rica At $225

Costa Rica Travel – It’s a good time to be locking in your summer vacation between $99 flights to Icelandand $300 round-trip fares to Hawaii. Add Costa Rica to the list of discounted destinations, as highlighted Thursday by Scott’s Cheap Flights.

Costa Rica Looks Good Against Scotland in Soccer Friendly

Costa Rica Sports – After a five-game drought, the “La Sele” finally takes a win. Costa Rica won the game against Scotland, 1-0 in Glasgow.

This is a joyful moment but, experts warn, it should not be taken to mean the team can now take it easy.

Scotland didn’t put up much of a fight. Still, it was good practice for the World Cup and a definite confidence booster.

The game, especially the first half, was impressive. Marco Ureña’s goal was, of course, the highlight. Bryan Oviedo and Daniel Colindres combined well on various occasions. The order in defense worked, despite changes.

Colindres in the starting lineup was a good choice.

There are a few improvements to make based on this game. For instance, the match had only two direct shots. Then there’s the aspect of giving away possession of the ball in the second half. T

his happened with very little pressure from the opponent, and such a problem could be fatal in Russia.

Shirley Álvarez to Host Costa Rica’s ExpoNovia

Costa Rica Events – Shirley Álvarez, best known as the presenter of the ballroom contest Dancing with the Stars, will now host Expo Novia for its 30th anniversary.

The event will be from March 16 to 18.

The fair will show off the new trends and many options related to wedding planning. The Wyndham San José Herradura Hotel will hold the event and the many concerts planned along with it.

Álvarez has previously participated in the event as a wedding dress model. Although her role will change, she doesn’t think her passion for weddings ever will. She is already married and loves how this event reminds her of the illusion of the process. She especially likes the hairstyles and makeup.

Anyone planning a wedding should be at this event. It’s the perfect way to find a variety of ideas all in one place. 80 companies will be there offering services.

The cost of tickets is just ¢5,000 and BAC Credomatic card users can enter for free.

Costa Rica Poas Volcano Lagoon Has Dried Up

Costa Rica News – The hot lagoon of the Poás volcano has vanished, drying up over the last 12 days.

Experts attribute this to a decrease of rains and an increase in the temperature of the bottom of the crater.

By March 5, only small puddles remained. Additionally, it became evident that the gas output increased. These changes were not expected. They were initially perceived by specialists on February 18th.

This is considered a natural event based on a decrease in the water supply to the volcano’s hydrothermal system. It has happened before and is not considered cause for concern.

There is no increased risk of immediate eruption, according to an expert, because the local seismic activity is very low, according to the National Seismological Network and the National Volcanological and Seismological Observatory.

Costa Rica Prepares to Export 10 Tons of Hammerhead Shark Fins

Ten tons of hammerhead shark fins, stored in Inversiones Cruz S.A’s warehouses, are awaiting export approval from the Costa Rican Fisheries and Aquaculture Institute (INCOPESCA).

Ten tons of hammerhead shark fins have been in storage in Costa Rican warehouses since March 1 of 2015, when the government issued a ban on the export of hammerhead shark fins as part of its Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) obligations. The fins were obtained and stored during the export ban and any attempt to export them is considered a violation of CITES. Thousands of individuals and 22 Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) from around the globe are petitioning the government to stop any export attempt.

In 2013, the Costa Rican government led an international campaign to list endangered hammerhead sharks under Appendix II of CITES, in an effort to limit international trade of shark products and improve hammerhead shark conservation in Costa Rica.

Cocos Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site off Costa Rica, is famous for its population of Scalloped hammerhead sharks. The island is visited by numerous tourists from around the globe each year, wanting to experience the island’s premier shark diving and world-class Costa Rica liveaboard diving.  Cocos Island is vulnerable to illegal shark fishing in and around its protected waters and the Scalloped hammerhead is listed as Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. This hammerhead shark species, along with other hammerhead species, is in dire need of protection; both to secure the health of Costa Rica’s ocean ecosystem and the thriving marine tourism industry.

‘In March 1 of 2015, Costa Rica became one of the world’s few countries to ban the export of hammerhead shark fins. In spite of this bold and visionary step, the ban has had no positive impact on hammerhead shark conservation,’ stated Isabel Naranjo, the president of CREMA, a Costa Rican non-profit marine conservation organisation, in a letter to the President of Costa Rica dated February 19, 2018.

Naranjo explains ‘the Costa Rican Fishery authority, INCOPESCA, has allowed fishing efforts upon hammerhead sharks to continue at their current unsustainable levels, resulting in a stockpile of over 10 tons of hammerhead shark fins (possibly even 20 tons) in the port city of Puntarenas, waiting for a future approval to export.’

The letter, written on behalf of 12,000 individuals and well-known global NGOs including WildAid, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and Fins Attached, urges the government to stop any attempts to export hammerhead sharks by issuing a Presidential Decree to permanently ban the export of stockpiled fins.

According to CITES, Costa Rica must determine if it is possible to remove hammerhead sharks from their natural environment without putting the species population at risk, or confirm if the international trade in hammerhead sharks from Costa Rica should be banned. Studies performed by Costa Rica’s CITES Scientific Authority Representative Council in 2015 and 2017 both confirmed it was not possible to export fins sustainably.

The government has since determined the sharks are not protected under the Wildlife Conservation Law and have granted the Costa Rican fisheries authority INCOPESCA the authority to undertake its own study. The results of this study will be released in March 2018.

“Obviously, INCOPESCA will recommend that fin exports be resumed, despite two panels composed of the country’s best scientists indicating that the activity cannot be done sustainably”, said Randall Arauz from the USA based organization Fins Attached. “Once again, Costa Rica is evading its CITES obligations in order to favor private interests, in this case the shark fin exporter, in detriment to the public’s interest and of course hammerhead sharks”

This article was written by divers and writers for Liveaboard.com.

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Looking for a House in Costa Rica? Visit Expoconstrucción this Weekend

Costa Rica News – Expoconstrucción 2018 brings together 260 housing projects in the metropolitan area, San Carlos, Guanacaste and Puntarenas.

The fair started on Wednesday and will go until February 25th.

It takes place at the Pedregal Events Center. The cost is ₡1,000 for today and tomorrow and then ₡2,000 for Saturday and Sunday. It will be open 1pm to 10pm tomorrow and Friday and then 10am to 8pm on the weekend.

There are over 700 stands of companies offering new houses or materials to remodel and expand houses. Expoconstrucción offers a portfolio of 115 options for buying housing in buildings, 95 horizontal options and 50 projects for the sale of lots. 16 financial entities will be present to offer different credit options to buy or remodel.

The most affordable option is Los Frutales, in Orotina. Lots start at $20,000 and homes at $60,000.

An income level of ₡625,000 is required. The most exclusive, luxurious options are from Kirebe, in towns in the West of San Jose.

They can exceed $1 million. The same company offers studios in buildings at $120,000.

Severe Turbulence Injures 2 Aboard Air Canada Flight to Costa Rica

Costa Rica News – Two people were taken to hospital after an Air Canada Rouge flight encountered turbulence on the way to its destination in Costa Rica.

AC1806 was en route to San Jose when it encountered severe turbulence approximately 90 minutes into the flight, according to data from Flightradar24.com.

The plane then turned around just over Asheville, North Carolina and returned to Pearson airport, where it landed without incident.

Peel Paramedics say two flight attendants were taken to hospital with minor injuries.

Air Canada says passengers have since departed to San Jose on another aircraft.

From Toronto City News

Manqala; Beers & Table Games in San Jose, Costa Rica

Costa Rica Entertainment – Manqala is one of the best bars in San Jose.

It opened last December with the idea of offering craft beers and over 250 table games to the clientele. Playing a table game is a great way to meet people.

The bar is in Barrio Dent, 100 meters south of the Cultural Center. The atmosphere is pleasant and fun. Alejandro Quirós is the administrator. He is a big fan of table games, with 110 games in his personal collection.

He based the idea for the bar on the Canadian restaurant Snakes and Laggers. He partnered with Roy González and Carlos Camacho and the rest was history. A bar where you can enjoy boards, dice and cards was born.

Interestingly, the place has staff dedicated to explain how to play the games. The waiters wear black and those in gray make game recommendations and explain the rules. Fine craft beers complete the picture.