Costa Rica: San JoséFlamingo Tamarindo Nosara


Capital Gains Tax

May, 2021

The Law 9635 created a Capital Gains Tax of 15% which apply to all investment income and real estate.
A capital gain arises from the difference between the value of an asset at the time of purchase and the asset's value at the time of sale. If there is gain or the value is positive, said amount should be subject to a 15% tax. In a nutshell: Purchase price plus (+) value of the investments and improvements made minus (-) the sales value * 15% = Capital Gain Tax to be paid.

The law provides three exceptions regarding the payment of the 15% of capital gains:
A one-time exemption for property owners that owned property before the law came into effect on July 1st, 2019. For this one-time exemption, the seller will pay 2.25% on the gross sale price: Selling price * 2.25% = Capital Gain Tax to be paid.
The sale of the primary residence/home is and will always remain exempt from capital gains. For these purposes, according to the law and its regulation, the 'primary residence', is the property whose primary purpose is to serve as the 'shelter, protection and home, in which the owners reside'.
However, if the property is owned by a foreign corporation and/or person that does not have a domicile in Costa Rica, known as a 'non-domiciled person', the law requires that the BUYER holdback 2.5% of the purchase and sale price of the property to ensure that any capital gains tax is covered and paid. Selling price * 2.5% = holdback for Capital Gain Tax to be paid.
We are at your service to answer any questions you may have for real estate, residency or corporate law at

Need An Appointment For Legal HElp?

Make An Appointment