Venegas Nexia

We report from La Nación in its edition of February 5, 2024, some important facts regarding VAT collection, which we summarize below:

Collection of $1.5 million in the third quarter of 2023

During its first three months of registration, Airbnb reported that it collected and transferred to the Ministry of Finance a total of $1.5 million in Value Added Tax (VAT).

Airbnb leads VAT collection among cross-border digital service companies

These revenues represent 21% of the total collected by cross-border digital services in a specific period, according to data from the Ministry of Finance. Carlos Muñoz, Director of Public Policy and Communications at Airbnb, highlighted the company’s role as the main VAT collector in Costa Rica among cross-border digital services.

Registration and direct VAT withholding

In June 2023, Airbnb registered with the Ministry of Finance to directly withhold 13% VAT on its fees to national users. Since October 2022, Hacienda included Airbnb in the list of digital cross-border services subject to automatic withholding of the tax when paying with debit or credit cards.

General collection and company records

In general terms, the Ministry of Finance reported a 17% increase in the collection of cross-border digital services between January and November 2023, compared to the same period the previous year. Until September 2023, the Costa Rican Tourism Institute registered 604 non-traditional lodging companies, while the General Tax Directorate counted 5,238 taxpayers for short-term property rental services. As of February 1, 2024, the ICT registered 837 companies or individuals in non-traditional lodging.

Proposed limits on Airbnb

The Association of Free Consumers criticized a letter from the Costa Rican Chamber of Hotels suggesting to the Legislative Assembly to prohibit non-traditional lodging activities for less than six nights. This proposal is part of bill 23,766, which seeks to reform the regulation of lodgings offered by platforms such as Airbnb and Vrbo.

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