Costa Rican Chinchilla mandates e-invoicing for professional services

To cut down on tax evasion, doctors, lawyers, accountants, engineers, dentists, and other professionals have to issue electronic invoices later this year. Especially these job types are addressed, because they show the highest rates of tax evasion. We wonder if that is the case in other countries as well, but that’s just by the by. It is one of the measures announced by the Costa Rican president Laura Chinchilla (#nokidding).

Costa Rica electronic invoice compliance

InvoiceWare has a nice overview on its website on Costa Rican electronic invoicing and compliance.

By means of the resolution DGT-002-09, (Dirección General de Tributación), the General Revenue Office in Costa Rica, authorised the use of:
- electronic invoices
- electronic credit notes
- electronic debit notes
as a voucher for the support of income, cost, and expenses as an efficient instrument of managing the financial process and reporting.

To utilize electronic invoices, both the issuer and the recipient of the invoice must comply with the list of requirements established by resolution DGT-002-09:

  • Be authorized by the General Revenue Office
  • Identification of the taxpayer
  • Consecutive numeration
  • Date of the transaction
  • Name of the buyer
  • Details of the merchandise being acquired
  • Subtotal amounts
  • Applicable taxes
  • Total amount including taxes
  • NEW: Professionals must have a digital certificate on a smart card

Mandatory e-invoicing for professionals

As said before, mandatory e-invoicing for Costa Rican professionals is one of the measures announced by the Costa Rican president Laura Chinchilla (#nokidding) to counteract tax fraud and tax evasion.

The Director General of Taxation, Carlos Vargas, reported to work in two fields:

  • a draft resolution containing the details of the implementation, called: “the liberal professions and corporations and limited liability individual enterprises used these to serve as liberal professionals, are required to produce proof of income in electronic form.”
  • a computer system to provide a free option for professionals, but with the use of digital signatures.

The purpose of it all is to have a tool to verify the income of professionals, which are important in determining the income tax (which applies to the difference between income and expenses).


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