Constitutional Court rejects motion for tax exemption for online purchases

January 17th, 2014 ( The Constitutional Court rejected this week a motion that questioned the difference in tax treatment for those who travel abroad to make purchases and those who make purchases online from merchants based abroad.


Under current customs law, goods valued at less than $500 are exempt from tax when a person returns from a trip abroad.


A citizen who works in customs brought a motion before the Court, arguing that online purchases shipped to Costa Rica should be treated the same way.


“The reason [current law] is unconstitutional is because I think there is unequal treatment affecting the constitutional principles of equality and justice because the tax exemption is granted to those who have the ability to travel (…) while people who do not have that possibility and shop online for products of the same value are required to pay import taxes,” said Carolina Gamez Aguilar in justifying her constitutional challenge.

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