ABOUT THE LIVING LIFE IN COSTA RICA BLOG

I (Vicki Skinner - aka "THE Sarong Goddess") created this blog in 2007 to share DETAILED Finds•Lists•Info•Events•Experiences to help bring more EASE to people living in or thinking of moving to Costa Rica since DETAILS are NOT easy to find here!
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Sunday, December 1, 2013

$7+ LAND EXIT TAX now REQUIRED for people EXITING Costa Rica by LAND (going into Nicaragua or Panama) PLUS you MUST PRE-PAY BEFORE you hit the Migracion•Immigration Office at the border!!!!!!!!!!!

(the LONE atm machine I saw at the Costa Rican border in Peñas Blancas on March 11, 2014.  Can you IMAGINE the lines for this ONE machine for people to service ALL the people that have not PRE-paid for Costa Rica's $7 Land Exit Tax!!   Read what I write about the machine and where to PRE-Pay for this tax below!)


WHERE CAN I PAY THE $7?? 
Search this document for
"
WHERE TO PAY THE $5+$2 = $7 Costa Rica
LAND EXIT TAX??"


Don't have one of the sources listed below to pay this $7 Land Exit Tax near you?
No way in @#$$ would I rely on the atm machine at the border as it does NOT always function AND/OR you might have a LONG LINE to wait for it if it IS working!

BUT - last I heard, the
ADUANA (Customs) 

had opened a NEW OFFICE and you could go to their office to pay for it AT the border (my torn meniscus knee was acting up a lot and I was schelleping luggage so I couldn't walk over just to check for y'all - hence no pictures)


WHERE IS THE NEW ADUANA OFFICE?:
What was described to me was - as you're entering a Peñas Blancas - JUST before the border is a split - going straight•forward leads you towards Nicaragua -
veering to the Left is a one-way street Exiting Costa Rica (so don't go up that way!)
To the left of that are LOTS of PARKED BUSES
Go into that bus lot (I'm not talking about TicaBus or TransNica) and walk all the way back and I HEAR it's a building on your LEFT.

I have not verified if it's the same $7 or if they're charging an extra $1-$2 Convenience Fee as many do.


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WHEN I WENT TO THE MIGRACION WINDOW - THEY DID NOT ASK ME FOR MY RECEIPT - WHY?
Some people have shared that the immigration officer didn't ask to see /for their receipt.
That's because when they scan your passport - it already shows up in their system (WARNING!!  This is also they know if you have an airline ticket as proof you're leaving Costa Rica within 90 days so SOMETIMES, if you have a ticket in the INTERNATIONAL IMMIGRATIONS system, they will only give you a ticket for that amount of time.  That happened to one of my friends that had purchased a throw-away ticket for 2 weeks later and guess how long she got her Visa stamp for???  Those 2 weeks!!!)

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WHEN DID THE $7 (originally just $5) LAND EXIT TAX GO INTO EFFECT?
APRIL 7, 2014

The fun part is how•where•when TO pay it!!!




This tax effects people EXITING Costa Rica by LAND
(entering into Nicaragua or Panama)
AND
you MUST PRE-PAY it in ADVANCE
because they do NOT have the ability to accept these payments at Costa Rica's Migracion office•window!!

Last time I did a Visa Run there was STILL JUST ONE ATM at the Nicaragua border crossing at Peñas Blancas
They're supposed to have ATM's also at Paso Canoas, Sixaola and Sabalito abutting Panama
(I'm not positive if they have installed these ATM's yet other than at
Peñas Blancas)


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ONCE YOU'VE PAID THIS $7 TAX - HOW LONG IS IT GOOD FOR?

I was told by an Immigration officer that it's ONLY good for 7 days.


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WHERE TO PAY THE $5+$2 = $7"+" LAND EXIT TAX??

*Vicki - Why the "+" after the $7??

Well, it looks like MANY of the businesses listed below are charging a Service•Convenience Fee to process this for you!  What I'm seeing is anywhere from $1-$7 so - be prepared!

We now have more options till they get the atm running more solidly at the border (which to ME - waiting to get it at the border seems like it will be a NIGHTMARE wait if the crossing is busy - that is IF the ATM is functioning!!):


#1 (depending on how you're getting there)
***BUSES taking you to Nicaragua and Panama***
If you're taking a bus - the EASIEST•most logical to me would be FROM the BUS COMPANIES that provide transportation over the borders to Nicaragua - BUT - you can ONLY pay it AT their main offices in San Jose.
(CR #s) -
•  TransNica - 2-223-4123
.  SERVICE CHARGE - +$2•  TicaBus - 2-221-0006 • 2-291-1193 [good luck getting them to answer but you can go onto their website and have a Live Chat with someone Monday-Friday from 7am-7pm and Saturday 8am-4pm]).  SERVICE CHARGE - +$2
• Central Line - 2-248-9929
• NicaExpress - ???.
Panama (TicaBus).


#2
Banco Crédito Agrícola 
BanCrédito branch - Liberia (the closest one to the border)  -  2-666-0611
BanCrédito call center with English-speaking agents  -  2-550-5060

BRANCHES ONLY in:
Curridabat  •  Desamparados  •  Escazu  •  Guadalupe  •  Pavas (Aeropuerto Tobias Bolanos)  •  Perez Zeledon  •  San Jose (Parque Central)  •  Santa Ana  •  Uruca  •  Zapote

Click here for a list of their addresses:
(make sure you put the www. first as it's ANOTHER one of those Costa Rica websites that was set up IMPROPERLY [I swear they must all have gone to the same school as this problem is prevalent heavily throughout the government sites so if you don't put the www. you get that it's a bad address)
SOME people have sworn they were charged a couple $s here while others said no so . . .


Coopealianza
Bank branches
They seem to have lots more branches in more out of the way places
www.Coopealianza.fi.cr/index.php/inicio/oficinas
(again - make sure to put the www. first)

ALL Immigration•MIGRACION Administration facilities
MAIN OFFICE:  La Uruca.  
PLUS:  Heredia, Cartago, Curridabat, San Pedro, Correo Central, Zapote, Desamparados, Tibás, Guadalupe, Santa Ana, Escazu, Alajuela, Pavas, La Cruz, Cañas, Guatuso, Ciudad Quesada, Cóbano, Puerto Viejo en Talamanca, Guápiles and Ciudad Neilly
LIST OF OFFICES:
Migracion.go.cr/institucion/oficinas_servicios.html

SELECT TRAVEL AGENCIES
NOTE that MANY of the alternative ways to pay charge a Service•Convenience Fee to give you this convenience.  That price is up to them.  I've seen•heard anywhere from $2-$7 PER TICKET)

3 Monkeys Tour - Filadelfia, Guanacaste  -  2-667-4012
Cast Corp. -  Escazu  -  2-228-1470
CATOURS - Sabana Oeste  -  2-291-2161
Coopealianza - Ciudad Neily  -  2-783-5785
Coopealianza - La Cruz, Guanacaste  -  2-679-8310
Coopealianza - Liberia, Guanacaste  -  2-666-9284
Coopealianza - Sabalito  -  2-783-5829
Daily Tours - Plaza Mayor-Rohrmoser  -  2-291-8989
Excursiones Marvi - Hatillo  -  2-214-2828
ItaliaBella Travel  -  2-228-7010
Libería y Bazar María José - Sixaola  -  2-754-2204
New World Quality  -  2-256-5383
Papagayo - Liberia  -  2-667-0422
Servicios Turisticos Ecológicos - Heredia  -  2-262-3424
Servicos Rápidos de Viajes FAST - San José.
Suerte Tour Pura Vida  -  2-654-5293
Swiss Travel Agency - San José, Ciudad Colón and Guanacaste  -  2-282-4898
(they charge a $2 fee per person and you can either go into their location or transfer the money into their bank account)

TAM in Los Yoses
Viajes Colón Agencia de Viajes Cactus (Heredia)  -  2-261-7942
Viajes Colón Agencia de Viajes Colón  -  2-547-2525
Viajes Colón Agencia de Viajes Faytur - Grecia  -  2-494-7878
Viajes Colón Viajes Ejecutivos Mundiales in San José
Viajes Nacionales Isla Bonita - San José Downtown  -  2-257-0505


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WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS?
The head of Hacienda•Tributación says the money will go toward improving the country’s land border crossings and the +$2 is to help pay off the 2 scanners at the border entrance (for the Aduana•Customs [even though last I heard the only scanner was at Peñas Blancas)


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**COMMENTARY
(well - much of what I share is some form of a commentary!)
It will be very interesting to see how this will play out since OFTEN "rules"•"laws" are SUPPOSED to happen in Costa Rica - on a certain day - and change just before or after - especially if systems aren't properly in place!!  ESPECIALLY since to GET things "in place" in Costa Rica - can take awhile!!!  My bet is it won't last a day before they put it on hold!  What do you think??

You might want to watch the Facebook pages for the
Hacienda (aka the Dirección General de Tributación) though so far there has been NO mention of ANY of it that I've found and even their website that mentioned it from a few days ago ONLY spoke of the $5.  Oui!!!

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DEPARTING•EXITING COSTA RICA BY AIR•AIRPLANE?

That Departure Tax is
$29
NOW - they HAD passed a new law that it was to now be built into the ticket price (so you would not have to pay it on your own [
like much of the rest of the world has done for AGES!]) - BUT - last I heard it was . . . you guessed it -
ON HOLD - for at LEAST 90 more days!!
(note SOME airlines supposedly DO have it built into the ticket so ask)
TicoTimes.net/2014/11/27/travelers-in-costa-rica-can-pay-departure-tax-at-airports-for-3-more-months

So you STILL HAVE to PAY THE $29 AIRPORT DEPARTURE TAX - AT the airport (or at BanCrédito banks • hotels and travel agencies)

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Please "SHARE" my page with everyone you know that may be doing a border crossing from Costa Rica in the future:

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