Editor’s note: This story has been significantly corrected and retitled. Maybe because it is Friday, but we significantly misinterpreted a press release issued by the Association mentioned in the story below in our original reporting of this story. Originally titled “Costa Rica consumer associations calls for 100 percent tax on imported beer,” the original version of this story was inaccurate. Instead, The Association is calling for 100 percent of the imported beer tax to be charged at the time of import, rather than the current situation that is described in the now updated story below. We sincerely regret the error. The correction will be noted on our corrections page.
October 9th, 2015 (ICR News) The Association of Consumers of Costa Rica is pressing the Ministry of Finance for tougher enforcement of a tax on imported beer that has been in place since 1999.
Currently, 36 percent of the tax is collected at the time of import, and the remaining 64 percent of the applicable tax is supposed to be charged and collected by retailers at the point of sale. However, many retailers do not comply by charging and collecting the tax, especially in recent years.
The solution, according to the Association, is for 100 percent of the tax to be collected by customs officials at the time of import.
Association president, Erick Ulate said that the government has lost some ¢13 billion in tax revenue over the last 15 years from retailers failing to charge and collect the imported beer tax at retail.
Vice president of the association, Gilberto Campos, said the failure of retailers to collect tax on imported beers is also hindering Costa Rican artisanal producers.
“The beer market is growing in the country thanks to the proliferation of small artisanal producers who offer consumers new varieties and qualities. The low price of some imported beers as a result of evasion of tax is jeopardizing these new Costa Rican entrepreneurs and consumer choice, and the Government should address this,” Association vice-president, Gilberto Campos said.