AUTHOR: Mauro Esquivel


The General Directorate of Taxation through a press release indicated “As part of the actions to improve tax collection, the list of cross-border digital services on which the tax rate of 13% value added tax (VAT) must be applied was updated as of November 1st.


Cross-border digital services are those provided by a provider not domiciled in Costa Rica through the Internet or any other digital platform and that are consumed from Costa Rican territory.

The 13% VAT levy on these cross-border services began on October 1, 2020 and applies to the acquisition of digital services made by final consumers or VAT payers from a supplier domiciled outside of Costa Rica, in order to be used or consumed in Costa Rica.

The new services included in the list are hosting services: Airbnb, Homeaway and Vrbo.


“In accordance with article 17 of resolution DGT-R-013-2020, the Tax Administration is empowered to include or exclude suppliers or intermediaries by simply publishing the updated list on the website indicating the effective date, with at least three business days in advance and without the need to issue a new resolution”, added the tax portfolio.

The updated list is published on the website of the Ministry of Finance in the Tax Information section, “List of Interest” section.


Airbnb, Homeaway and Vrbo are companies that offer a digital platform dedicated to offering accommodation to individuals and tourists (vacation rentals) through which hosts can advertise and rent their properties with their guests; hosts and guests can rate each other, as a reference for future users.


As of July 1, 2019, in terms of real estate leases, we have a general rule:

The new chapter on income from real estate capital (rentals) establishes that such must be taxed monthly, with a rate of 15% and with an automatic deduction of expenses of 15%, without the need for proof (electronic invoices, contracts, etc.). The fact that it is the general rule is that by default all rental income will pay its income tax under these provisions, unless it falls within the exceptions.


Taxes to Airbnb
Taxes airbnb

About Ballena Tales

Ballena Tales  is a free travel guide and comprehensive online magazine for travellers, locals and investors. It covers everything on the Costa Ballena at the south pacific of Costa Rica in the Osa region. Ballena Tales is a multilingual, colourful magazine that publishes it's digital version every two months.

We present our local community throughout interviews with pioneers, writers and artists. Moreover do we provide information about restaurants, hotels, experiences, nature and wildlife at the southpacific region in Costa Rica.



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