Taxation Chaos

ISSUE #761: May 19-25, 2019


Brian Timmons, Newsletter Author
Brian Timmons

Dear friends,

When I started Residencias Los Jardines, I started writing a weekly newsletter -determined to tell all the good, bad, and the ugly. I knew some readers would be interested in the construction process. I expected others might be interested in the lifestyle of two people who had decided to live outside the box. For others, the adventures of Lita, the parrot and the cat took on an entertainment saga all its own.

Residencias Los Jardines is finished. We periodically have re-sales and rental availability. Some readers may be interested in this information.

Brian Timmons
Developer / Property manager
Residencias Los Jardines


rentals & sales

Paradisus Condos / Rohrmoser
Visit our website

Paradisus Condos - click to visit

Each of the units consists of two bedrooms / two bathrooms, and a large living/dining/kitchen area. The floor plan of each of these units has eliminated the optional "den / office" divider. The result is a larger area offering more flexible furniture arrangements while still maintaining the option of including an office area. At 105m2 plus two parking spots each and storage locker, they offer a great opportunity for someone seeking views, security, central location, and first class, all round living...

Semi furnished unit: For sale: $235,000
Fully furnished unit: For sale: $245,000
Floor 12 -west view

Unit 12-2 / $1,350 mo.

Market activity
sales & rentals

Sales: Los Jardines: Units #114, #116 and #124


Paradisus: Available immediately 12-2 / $1,350

Los Jardines: Units #106C, #113 and #116

Residencias Los Jardines
property management, rentals & re-sales

Unit #114: $ 199,000 / See Unit
Unit #116: $ 195,000 $ 189,995 / See Unit
Unit #124: $ 125,000 / See Unit

Unit #106C: $ 950 mo. / Available immediately / See Unit
Unit #113: $ 1,200 mo. / Available immediately / See Unit
Unit #116: $ 1,250 mo. / Available immediately / See Unit

For sale

UNIT #114
$ 199,000

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1290
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1
Type: Semi-Attached
Furnished: Yes

This 2 bedroom/2bathroom,1,290 sf single floor end unit home includes a 150 sf front terrace plus parking for one car. This house is fully air conditioned and has recently been professionally decorated by international decorator Alcides Graffe and has undergone a complete renovation—new modern furniture, finishings, window coverings, and art work by Carlos Gambino. It is arguably the nicest furnished unit at Residencias Los Jardines and only steps from the pool

UNIT #116
$ 195,000 $ 189,995

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1290
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1
Type: Semi-Attached
Furnished: Yes

This 1,290 sf single floor home includes a 300 sf front terrace plus parking for one car and a separate, secure storage locker. It is and end unit and therefore attached on only one side by a 6 inch cement demising (common) wall, which prevents sound transfer.

UNIT #124
$135,000 $ 125,000

Total Area (Sq Ft): 662
Total area (Sq M): 61
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 1
Floor(s): 2nd Floor
Type: Semi-Detached
Furnished: Yes

This 662 sf, + covered parking for one car, is a one bedroom home on the 2nd floor overlooking the large pool. It is ideal for a single person or couple.

For rent

UNIT #106C
$ 950 mo.
Available immediately

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1250
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1
Type: 4-plex
Furnished: Yes

This is a fully furnished 2-bedroom unit situated in a 2-story building, which has two units on the ground floor and two units on the 2nd. floor. Each unit is the same size (1,250sf) divided into 800 sf of interior space and 450 sf of covered front and back terraces. Units 106A and B are on the ground floor; Units 106 C and D are on the 2nd. Floor. The solid masonry demising wall (common wall) as well as the 5” concrete slab prevent sound transference.

UNIT #113
$ 1,200 mo.
Available immediately

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1290
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1
Type: Semi-attached
Furnished: Yes

This 1,290 sf single floor home includes a 300 sf front terrace plus parking for one car. It is attached on one side by a 6 inch cement demising (common) wall, which prevents sound transfer. The three other sides allow light, ventilation and garden views.

UNIT #116
$ 1,250 mo.
Available May 1st

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1290
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1
Type: Semi-attached
Furnished: Yes

This 1,290 sf single floor home includes a 300 sf front terrace plus parking for one car and a separate, secure storage locker. It is and end unit and therefore attached on only one side by a 6 inch cement demising (common) wall, which prevents sound transfer.

Our Lives

Rainy Season... definitely here... rain most every day for an hour or so. Plants are happy... Garden rehab is on-going.

What Happened This Week

Vacancies: No one looking... no inquiries.

Tax Chaos: So many consultations, so many different answers, confusion reigns from accountants to lawyers, people trying to make adjustments, sometimes feeling they need to do something -and doing it- but with no confidence that what was done, was any better than standing still. This is a black hole of chaos and confusion... the typical BS for any CR implementation... The country decided to implement at $5 per head exit tax on people leaving to Nicaragua... it took several deferred deadlines and an additional 6 mo for this simple tax to be implemented. Now they are trying to make massive changes in a culture not known for efficiency and applied to a country where they will do anything possible to avoid paying taxes partially because they know they will be wasted, grafted, and squandered. I have decided to wait... I fully expect a deferral, and years of legal challenges...

Developers are really going to be hit if the rules are implemented as I think they are written... it will kill the industry... all professional service providers are trying to figure out how to avoid it. Lots of work will go further "underground". The government will get some money but lots will continue to be hidden... and a lot of damage done to the economy.

INS Law Suit: 4 years after starting, the "final arguments" -all 53 pgs- have been submitted to the Chamber of Commerce Tribunal for Dispute Resolution. I actually read it... All the arguments are simple but have been supported with legalese and "evidence" / testimony / declarations, etc., it was an interesting read. Included in my submission was a debunking of INS' arguments -(1) INS tried to say that the performance guarantee really wasn't a guarantee (BS!)- it was very clearly stated -and the criteria was very simple- if the borrower defaults, INS pays upon verification of default; (2) in case of default, INS has two options -accept the claim or deny the claim- instead they chose to defer the claim -that was not an option; (3) INS claims there was some corruption/ incompetence amongst their employees... well, hello... they are your employees; (4) the INS employee who signed off on the guarantee was crazy... GAWD!!! help me out here... (5) INS has appealed to the SALA 1 (supreme court of CR responsible for this type of issue) asking for a total annulment... wait a minute... INS paid out two claims and then realized how large the total claim pool could be ($21 mil) and then decided to "defer"... and they argued that they did everything absolutely legal... well then, on what basis can you now claim an annulment... as my brief said... there is no logic to this... So what have we claimed in damages -return of principle, all legal costs, interest payments- and I love this part -a legal penalty for late payments (30% addition to the interest rate)... I am suppose to receive the Tribunal's decision within 60 business days of submission... several other cases similar to mine have been ruled on favorably as per my claim... but we will see in my case. But even if the ruling is favorable, it won't make much difference because the appeal to the SALA 1 will take at least a year for a ruling... and who knows what twist will happen after that.

Garden Renewal: Continues but at a slower pace.

Rancho Lighting / Pool Lighting: Both projects now done.

Collections: Two have paid up / three are still outstanding...

News Items of the Week


Exchange rate: It remains fairly steady at 599 - 590. A year ago, this was not expected. Now it looks like it will be managed o.k. for the foreseeable future.

1. Port Union-Limon: It is broke now that the Moin port is functioning... there is no business, bloated payroll -they refused to innovate and cooperate- they chose to fight, delay, and be obstructionist. They lost... now a rich buy out but the company has no money to pay regardless of what they agree to.

2. Continued Incompetence... The government and world wants better knowledge of what is leaving the country... but the government has not built the simple but necessary infrastructure to house it.

3. Drug Seizure... Occurs weekly, sometimes multiple such seizures.

1. Japdeva offers early retirement at age 55 if employee turns 25 years of contribution

Government offered additional bonuses of up to 8 extra salaries for port employees who do not submit to a horizontal transfer or can not yet retire.

The Board of Port Administration and Economic Development of the Atlantic Coast (Japdeva) will enable pre-retirement for workers over 55 years of age who have contributed for 25 years.

This alternative is offered for those employees who do not submit to a horizontal transfer in other institutions of the public sector, in the middle of the process of restructuring the Board and the risk that the entity can not maintain the current payroll of 1,400 employees for lack of liquidity.

The offer of early pension was reflected in an agreement signed this Friday by representatives of the internal union (Sintrajap), the executive president of the entity, Andrea Centeno; the Minister of Labor, Steven Núñez; the Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Concessions of the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation, Olman Elizondo and the Deputy Minister of Finance, Nogui Acosta. This pension will be equivalent to 63% of the average salary of the last 12 best salaries received in the last five years, effectively worked in the public administration.

It was also established that workers who do not take part in any of the above processes and are included in the restructuring process will be granted a bonus that will be additional to the settlement and to what corresponds in law, according to their salary status.

For example, "the government will recognize each server whose salary is less than ¢ 1 million, an additional incentive of up to eight months of the average salary of the last six months actually worked," the government said.

According to the Japdeva data study, most of the entity's workers and those facing the most vulnerable conditions are located here.

The agreement of this Friday adds that "each server whose salary is higher than ¢ 1 million will also be recognized, an additional incentive of up to four months of the average salary of the last six months actually worked".

All the above must be reflected in a law of the Republic.

In a statement, the Ministry of Labor ensures that this initiative aims to guarantee the labor rights of employees of the institution, both those owned and interim.

The parties agreed to grant workers a period of three months from the entry into force of the rule, to choose one of the options exposed, as appropriate.

However, the information disclosed tonight does not estimate how much money should be reserved for the payment of these bonuses, or where it would come from.

"There is an understanding of the parties about the situation facing the organization and the unavoidable need to restructure it with the commitment to make the process in the most responsible and clear with current employees," said Centeno.

In the case of the Minister of Labor, he recognized the importance of taking this process in a climate of labor peace and opening of the different negotiators, to reach an agreement for the benefit of the working people of Japdeva.

With losses

Last March, La Nación reported that Japdeva accumulated its fourth consecutive year of negative financial results, reporting a loss of ¢ 3.146 million in 2018, according to the financial statements of the state company.

To this is added that the port institution projected a lower economic impact, compared to the reality it faces since the full operation of the Container Terminal of Moin (TCM), which just opened on February 28, the second berth for container ships.

The combination of both variables and the lack of execution of plans to diversify the business of the institution, would cause the Port Authority of Limón to enter into technical bankruptcy.

Beyond the financial losses reported since 2013, the board of directors of Japdeva blames the port director, the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (MOPT), for the decrease in revenues at the institution, due to alleged poor programming and distribution of the boats between the state dock and the port terminal, managed by APM Terminals.

2. Costa Rica Government Prevents APM Terminals From Putting Container Scanner to Work

Since March APM Terminals in Limón announced they now had the most modern container scanner in Latin America which helps verify all the cargos traveling to the United States and Europe as a tool to battle illegal traffic of weapons, drugs, cash radioactive materials, plagues, etc.

The But... In order to put the scanner to work the Government of Costa Rica has to invest in a monitoring center where images will get analyzed. This has not happened, and moreover, there is confusion in the government with regards to which institution is responsible for the execution of this project.

“We are ready to put our new scanner to the service of the country since the day we inaugurated the terminal. However, and despite the fact that we have all the permits and technology available, for the time being the scanner is not operational, this since the monitoring center from which the government authorities will analyze the images has not been built”, explained Kenneth Waugh, general director of APM terminals through a press release.

Just a couple of weeks back police and customs officials in the Rotterdam port (Holland) seized 1.6 tons of cocaine hidden in a shipment of bananas originating from Costa Rica, the shipment has an approximate street value of close to $45 million USD.

This is unfortunately not an isolated event, bananas and pineapple shipments are commonly used to conceal cocaine. Just last October, 6 tons of cocaine were found hidden among a banana shipment in the port of Setubal in Portugal, also originating from Limón (old JAPDEVA port). These events stain the country’s image in international markets since proper controls are not put in place.

At least half of the containers found to have contained cocaine aboard that have docked in Limón in the past years, arrived from Colombia’s port of Turbo, according to a report by national daily La Nación.

Before APM began its operations, it was estimated that some 1.2 million containers passed through the old port annually, out of which just a little over 1% were inspected.

Putting the new scanner to work could make a huge difference in battling contraband, however, the government requires the command center to monitor and analyze scans and surveillance feeds.

“This container (carrying 1.6 tons of cocaine) indeed passed through our terminal. We are collaborating with the International and local Police and facilitating all information gathered about the container, details such as who was the driver that brought the cargo, who is the exporter and through which shipping line it was sent”, said Waugh.

According to the Costa Rican Chamber of Exporters (CADEXO) the Government had estimated that the control center could be in operation by January 2021.

The cost of the scanner acquired by AMP terminals has a value of $2.6 million.

3. Costa Rican Authorities Intercept Vessel Loaded With More than 2 Tons of Cocaine

Costa Rican authorities received the alert from the US Coast Guard Service on a semi-submersible boat in waters of the Pacific; immediately the Costa Rican Coast Guard Service with the assistance of US Coast Guard Service organized the patrolling operation and after a chase they finally intercepted the vessel at 3 a.m. on Saturday close to Playa Llorona in Corcovado.

“The weather conditions at the time were adverse, the three occupants of the boat were able to escape towards the mountain area”, explained Michael Soto, Minister of Security.

During the search, the Drug Control Police counted a total of 81 bags which turned out to contain a total 2,377 kilograms of cocaine.

“This was a complex operation that involved the participation of several police bodies and institutions, the joint patrolling of the US and Costa Rican Coast Guard Service, Frontier Police, Public Police Force, Drug Control Police and members of the National System of Areas of Conservation (SINAC), we obtained very positive results for the country in the battle against drug trafficking”, continued Soto.

Authorities continued in the search of the suspects, a complicated task considering the size and dense forest conditions of Corcovado. At a given point, already late on Saturday, three men were spotted near the beach and as the park rangers approached them one of the men pulled out a gun and opened fire wounding one of the park rangers who is reported in stable condition.

Two of the men were arrested, both of Colombian nationality, the third man managed to escape through the jungle.


Brian C. Timmons
Property Manager RLJ and Newsletter Author

Costa Rica:
Cell: (+506) 8-455-59-35
Land line: (+506) 2282-4142 Ext. 101

VOIP: (+416) 461-2203


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