Costa Rica

Second News Page
San José, Costa Rica || Thursday Edition, August 24, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 168
Real Estate
About us

Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.

Dr. Gray
Dr. Lucinda Gray
California Licensed
International Practice

• Anxiety
 • Depression
 • Relationship Problems
 • Trauma EMDR click here
 • NWM Training
CR (506) 2228-2041
US (310) 827-4241
Learn more about 
  New World Meditation: (Second Edition)
Discover True Happiness Thru
Experiential Healing 
Click Here

U.S. Income Tax
Tax time
U.S. Income Tax Services
Marlene B. Summers
ax Accountant
Let’s discuss your tax situation.

Marlene Summers
The IRS has become more aggressive and if you have not filed, you must do so. 

However, there are solutions to problems and your situation may be better than you think.

If your filing is not up to date, Streamlined Filing can be used with no penalties.

Including disclosure of foreign corporations to avoid serious problems.

If tax payment is holding you back, the IRS has options to solve payment problems.

You can file current or past due FBARs without payment to meet IRS  requirements.

If you have yet to file, do it now as there is still time.

Over 20 years in Costa Rica
and Silicon Valley.
Competitive rates.

Phone (506) 2289-6590 ; Cell (506) 8750-2316
Email: marlene.summers@gmail.com

Personal Assistant

Jacqui Monacell
Your “go to” person in Costa Rica!

Jacqui Monacell

With over 20 years of experience in Costa Rica, we understand the inner-workings of the “Tico system” and offer a wide range of services for newcomers and expatriates!

    • Vehicles: purchase, sale, storage, repairs
    • Real Estate: purchase, sale, title study, due diligence
    • Legal Assistance: residency, power of attorneys, incorporation
    • New Business: consultation, bank accounts, cellular lines

Visit our website to read more about our services and peruse our testimonials to see why we are recommended throughout the community!
Call or write us for more information and we will contact you the same day!
Costa Rica Phones: (506) 8878-4932 / (506) 2271-1845 / (506) 2271-1844
Email: info@yourcostaricacontact.com
Visit my web:  www.yourcostaricacontact.com


Legal Services

American/Costa Rican staff
to properly assist you


* Corporate, Labor, Family Law (marriage / divorce),
* Litigation. 
* Immigration: Temporary/Permanent Residency, Investor/Retiree Status, Work permits 
* Naturalization
* Real Estate
* Notary Services
* Collections and Foreclosures 
* Wills and Testaments, Probates 
* Free Zone Regime 
* Legal fees calculated by CR s Bar of Lawyers

Our Business/Construction Unit
will be glad to assist you on:
* How to start a business in CR
* How to import/export to CR: Sanitary, registration Certificates, free sales certificates, logistics
*Constructions projects: Municipal permits, contracts, due diligence to buy / build your home or project in CR. 

Contact Info:
Phone:​(506) 2239-4883 
Email: ​info@mbcproductscr.com
Web: ​www.mbcproductscr.com
*Offices conveniently located in Rohrmoser and Belén-Heredia / Costa Rica

Adrian Fernandez
Attorney & Notary

A Fernandez
Notary services and registrations. Collections and foreclosures. Real estate and litigation. Corporate Law. Immigration. Estate planning wills and testaments, probate.

I provide the highest professional standards. Official documentation and Notary deeds are always translated in English for better comprehension, client satisfaction and safety.

 Call me for advice
    Phone:  2280-9692 / 2253-3705
    Email: ajfernandez@racsa.co.cr
    Law Office is conveniently located near  Mall San Pedro, 350 meters south  from the Hyundai dealer, Los Yoses, San José.

Real estate agents and services

Costa Rica's first Realtor specialized
in eco properties, eco consulting and green living.

Eco graphic
   • Specialized in the Central and South Pacific.
   • Great network of Realtors, to find your dream
   • Homes, condominium & luxury homes
   • Eco lodges and hotels
   • Green properties and waterfalls
   • Farms and developments
   • Sustainable and green living communities.
   • Property management in the Jacó area

Romantic Country Bungalow Click Here
Dream Property River Click Here

www.ecorealtorscr.com    info@ecorealtorscr.com
Telephone: +506 2637-6285
cell: +506 8825-6556  
Skype: ecorealtorscr
Facebook: ecorealtorscr
In front of Subway at Plaza Herradura, Jacó Green NAR designee, member of the CCBR, CRGAR


                                                      Services rollover
Dental Services Costa Rica

Dr Oscar Vargas specialist in prosthodontics
Where Science and Art meet!

Give yourself a bright and healthy smile.  Our professional practice is geared to exceptional quality in all procedures.   We are dedicated to technical perfection using cutting-edge technology.     

* DENTAL IMPLANTS:  One of the most successful ways to replace missing teeth.  Improve your quality of life, enjoy social activities with a beautiful natural smile.   Learn more HERE! 

* FULL MOUTH RESTORATION. We are experts and have specialized training of integral science going beyond the architectural design of the patient's desired smile.  HERE!  

* PORCELAIN VENEERS. achieve wonderful results to aesthetic goals for worn down, chipped, broken, discolored, uneven teeth and gaps between them. HERE! 

* PORTFOLIO please browse for information about our work.  HERE!
Contact us:
Dial toll FREE from USA or Canada:  1.800.901.0114
CR local phone:  +506-2274-3231
Cell: +506-8302-5877
Email:  info@dentalservicescostarica.com
Web:  www.dentalservicescostarica.com

Insurance professionals

The Garrett Insurance Group
-Brokerage fully licensed by the
-Experience since 1980.
-Bilingual English/Spanish.
-Represent all the best insurance
       companies in Costa Rica,
       BMI, Blue Cross, Blue
       Shield, ASSA, INS, etc.
-Correspondents of WILLIS.
-Connections in all of Central
-Superb communications.
-Prize-winning Web site.
-English policy extracts.
-Helps you settle your claims.
Centro Comercial El Pueblo, Local #125, San José. Phone:  ( 506 ) 2233-9520  or ( 506) 2233-2455
E-mail : info@garrettbrokers.com
More information HERE!

Residency experts


A full service immigration agency
U.S. and San José offices
There are four primary ways to apply for legal residency in Costa Rica:
    Retiree (Pensionado):  For those with a pension or other retirement income.
    Legal Resident (Rentista): For those with guaranteed non-salary income or savings.
    Business/Investor (Inversionista): For those with Costa Rican business or real estate investments.
    Marriage/Relation (Vinculo): For those married to or related to a Costa Rican citizen.

Getting and authenticating documents can be a chore. We know how to do it. Experienced with many nationalities. Up-to-date on Costa Rica's evolving immigration law.
Your first stop for smooth, professional service and a positive experience.
Javier Zavaleta
Residency in Costa Rica
P. O. Box 86352, Los Angeles, CA 90086
U.S. Phone: (323) 255-6116
U.S.  Fax (323) 344-1620
Phone in Costa Rica: ( 506 ) 2226=0755  (En español )

Email:  javier@residencyincostarica.com
Web: www.residencyincostarica.com


U.S. Tax International
Plus Costa Rican taxes, accounting, and legal
 services. Over 15 years in Costa Rica
U.S. Tax
(English spoken). Tamarindo office hours now available.  If you or anyone you know would like an appointment in Tamarindo, please call our San José office at 2288-2201 to make an appointment.
Contact Us:
 U.S 786-206-9473         CR 506-2288-2201
FAX: 506 2231-3300
E-mail: ustax@lawyer.com
Web page: www.ustaxinternational.com

James Brohl, C.P.A. & M.B.A. US Income Tax,  U.S. GAAP Accounting
& Business Consulting
pecializing in all matters of concern to U.S. taxpayers residing abroad including:
Uncle Sam's
IRS filing requirements of foreign income tax exclusion (up to $102,100 for 2017).
Past-due tax returns: Taxpayers filing before an IRS notice do not face criminal sanctions.
Reporting foreign financial assets: FBAR and foreign corporations.
Up-to-date FATCA news.
All US Tax return preparation:
individual, business, estate and trust.
eFile returns: secure with faster refunds.
Business consulting to facilitate working in Costa Rica.
Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620
E-mail jrtb_1999@yahoo.com

Fine art restoration and conservation

Gilbert Carmichael
Master Art Restorer
European and U.S. standards. USPAP.
Paintings    Sculptures    Murals 
Porcelain and ceramic restoration
  Works on paper restoration
Gilbert Carmichael
  Conservation Curatorial  services
  Art expert services
  Other restoration services
  Condition evaluation
  Authenticity evaluation
  Art related insurance and 
       damage evaluations
  Art collection consultation
Experts in fine art restoration and conservation for the tropics. We clean mildew, mold, etc., repair, restore and offer art expert and curatorial services.

For more information please call (506) 8388-5328 or  email cocopopcr@yahoo.com

Bill to update construction law passes

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The legislative assembly unanimously approved in first debate a bill to modify the construction law, numbered 19.699.

The initiative, created by Marco Vinicio Redondo, a legislator of the Partido Acción Ciudadana, updates a law that has been enforced in the last 50 years without any change.

"The bill aims to make it easier for citizens to have minor repairs and fixtures in their homes," Redondo said. "Currently, a modification of its property that costs more than 5,000 colones must comply with all the permits of the municipality as if it were a great new building. That's ridiculous, because that amount corresponds to product prices half a century ago."

According to the legislator, the current rule promotes illegal building or improvements because nobody wants to pay the limits or fines. The new law states that improvements less than 10 base salaries will not require permits. In addition, it allows municipalities to create regulations adapted to the reality of their cantons, as long as they guarantee human life, public health and other essential aspects of infrastructure.

"This initiative is absolutely necessary and understood by all political groups," Redondo said. “In addition, many municipalities in the country recognize the importance of modifying an obsolete law. "

The project, according to the legislator, promotes a culture of responsibility on the part of citizens and municipalities, since there will be no pretexts to not comply with the law. The reform would increase the resources to the municipalities by updating the amount of fines.

Tax reforms remain in legislative limbo

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Since 1978, all the administrations in Costa Rican political history have tried to introduce some sort of reform to the tax system, according to data from the Minsterio de Hacienda. All but three changes have succeeded with the last being in 1997.

The more current initiatives first tried by Abel Pacheco and later Laura Chinchilla both failed. Now, the administration of Luis Guillermo Solís is on its way out and its main tax proposals are still hanging in legislative limbo. Since the Solís era began, the government has promoted over 13 bills within the Asamblea Legislativa. Eight of the bills became signed into law but the major ones were mainly pension reform.  The other half had a minor impact and did not stir much in the expatriate community. Five are left and three could significantly impact expats in Costa Rica.

A.M. Costa Rica has harped consistently on two of those: the value-added tax and the increase in the income tax. Both were introduced in August 2015 and both have been sitting in the legislature ever since despite pleas turning into what seems to be almost desperation from executive branch officials to pass them. The value-added tax simply includes a new tax for the government to collect revenue on that it could not quite get before.

The reform to the income is presented under the auspices of cleaning up the way it treats capital gains but really promotes a more progressive-based system of taxation and allows for taxing Costa Ricans’ income abroad. That last characteristic is similar to what the U.S. Internal Revenue Service does to U.S. citizens abroad as well.

The other bills held up in the legislature right now imposes a maximum cap on annuities for public servants and is intended to change qualifications to improve the bureaucracy. This was proposed in November 2015. Another bill is called the fiscal responsibility law that seeks to place a cap on public expenditure based on the debt of the central government to the country’s gross-domestic product. It was submitted back in May 2016 for consideration.

The last bill hanging around is on the regímenes de exenciones, or exemption regimes. This defines what is an exemption and a non-restraint for goods. It also says that it will establish controls for the correct use and destination of so-called exonerated goods.

Recently, a bill was passed on personas jurídicas back in March that establised a tax on sociedades mercantiles for using resources in securities. This is expected to go into force Sept. 1, according to Casa Presidencial’s data. There were also an anti-smuggling and tax fraud prevention laws put into force by the legislature. The rest related to pension reforms and limiting transfers of funds for public resources.

The Solís administration takes the position that it has implemented reasonable and efficient as well as transparent fiscal proposals. This comes despite criticism from other sides that the fiscal crisis and the issue of liquidity in government funding has been effectively concealed and ignored under his presidency.

“At this point, the government maintains the position of seeking a responsible management of the situation: it will insist to the deputies in the urgency to advance in the reforms,” Casa Presidencial said in a defiant statement. “It is the latest chapter in a series of efforts to consolidate a tax reform that has neither been relegated nor made impotent.”

Expats can likely breathe easy if they are opposed to the new or increased taxes that may effect their money or that of their companies. The legislature is still unlikely to budge on reforming the system during an election year and in spite of what some may consider simple shouting from an executive branch on the way out. Moreover, the legislature has been known to increase expenditures in the likelihood that those measures would financially survive on borrowed money and borrowed time.

Witnesses summoned for organ case

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Prosecutors Office Against Organized Crime has summoned 25 witnesses in the trial against four doctors and one merchant accused of illegally extracting organs for international traffic.

Officials attached to the Ministerio Público confirmed to A.M. Costa Rica that the trial will start next Sept. 11 and will end sometime around Nov. 30. The case began in 2013, when the Judicial Investigation Organization and the Public Prosecutor's Office made public an investigation against four doctors of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social and a merchant who sold pizzas near the Hospital Calderón Guardia in San José.

The case was brought to trial in early 2016 and prosecutors say the group approached poor people to offer them money in exchange for organs, mainly kidneys. During the preliminary investigation, it was possible to identify 14 victims who apparently received between $6,000 and $20,000 dollars for their organs. 

For their part, the band members are accused of selling the organs up to $120,000. In addition, the suspects would have used the Caja's facilities for procedures prior to the transplants. Most of the clients were Israeli citizens who came to the country to undergo the operations, according to authorities. 

During the investigation, a forensic report held by the police revealed that 12 victims suffered injuries that decreased their organic capacity by 25 percent.

drug bust
Ministerio Público photo       
Marijuana discovered in Peréz Zeledón raid.

28 arrested on suspected drug ring

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

28 people were arrested Wednesday morning on suspicion of drug trafficking, crimes against life and legitimation of capital.

According to the deputy prosecutor’s office in Pérez Zeledón, alleged members of this criminal organization have been questioned and processed since Wednesday afternoon. A hearing for precautionary measures against these individuals is expected for today at the criminal court in Pérez Zeledón.

A statement from the Ministerio Público said that the defendants, four of whom are women, were arrested in a series of 34 different raids occurring in Pérez Zeledón and Buenos Aires de Puntarenas. Investigators said that the group is allegedly involved in trafficking of cocaine and marijuana but also for collecting money for debts originated by negotiations of narcotics and committing assassinations against competitors.

During one raid alone, police and agents of the Judicial Investigation Organization discovered over 93 packages of compressed marijuana at a home in Pérez Zeledón. The organization controlled the drug market in San Isidro de El General and Buenos Aires with its attempt to expand its territory led to killing their rivals, sad Jorge Chavarría Guzmán, the attorney general.

Prosecutors say two brothers of whom one was already condemned to eight years in jail for drug violations but was let out of jail ran the organization. 13 of the 28 are accused of drug dealing. Three of the 28 are accused in distributing out the narcotics and one is directly associated with legitimizing capital for the organization, prosecutors indicate.

News from the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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