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Resources to File Your US Taxes from Costa Rica

General Information for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens

If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien, the rules for filing income, estate, and gift tax returns and paying estimated tax are generally the same whether you are in the United States or abroad. Your worldwide income is subject to U.S. income tax, regardless of where you reside.
If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien residing overseas, or are in the military on duty outside the U.S., on the regular due date of your return, you are allowed an automatic 2-month extension to file your return and pay any amount due without requesting an extension.
For a calendar year return, the automatic 2-month extension is to June 15. If you qualify for this 2-month extension, penalties for paying any tax late are assessed from the 2-month extended due date of the payment (June 15 for calendar year taxpayers). However, even if you are allowed an extension, you will have to pay interest on any tax not paid by the regular due date of your return (April 15 for calendar year taxpayers).
If you qualify for the 2-month extension but are unable to file your return by the automatic 2-month extension date, you can request an additional extension to October 15 by filing Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, before the automatic 2-month extension date.
Please note that even if you are allowed extensions to June 15 and/or October 15, you will owe interest on any unpaid tax amount from the original due date of the return (April 15 for calendar year taxpayers).

For detailed information on filing your U.S. taxes from abroad, please read the IRS Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad.

Tax Treaty Information

The United States has tax treaties with a number of foreign countries. Under these treaties, residents or citizens of foreign countries are taxed at a reduced rate, or are exempt from U.S. taxes on certain items of income they receive from sources within the United States.

Since there is no treaty between Costa Rica and the United States, you must pay tax on the income in the same way and at the same rates shown in the instructions for the applicable U.S. tax return.

Foreign Earned Income Exclusion

American taxpayers who live and/or work abroad may be able to exclude all or part of their foreign earned wages and self-employment income from their U.S. federal income tax through a provision called the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion.
To find out whether you qualify for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion and to see the annual limits for the exclusion, click here.

Costa Rica and the United States: FATCA Intergovernmental Agreement

There is currently an Intergovernmental Agreement in Effect between Costa Rica and the United States.
Under FATCA provisions, participating nations are obligated to share financial information of United States citizens with the IRS.

Currency Converter from Costa Rican Colon to U.S. Dollar

Costa Rican Colon Converter

Reporting Foreign Financial Accounts

If you have a financial interest in or signature authority over a foreign financial account, including a bank account, brokerage account, mutual fund, trust, or other type of foreign financial account,
AND the aggregate value of all foreign financial accounts exceeded $10,000 at any time during the calendar year,
you MUST report all of your foreign accounts by completing an electronic informational form called FinCEN Form 114 through the BSA E-Filing System.

When converting the value of your foreign accounts to United States dollars for FBAR reporting, you must use the Official Year-End Currency Exchange Rates, as published by the US Department of the Treasury.

For specific information regarding Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), visit our Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts page.

Additionally, you must file Form 8938 to report the ownership of specified foreign financial assets if the total value of those assets exceeds an applicable threshold amount.
The reporting threshold varies depending on whether you live in the United States, are married, or file a joint income tax return with your spouse. Specified foreign financial assets include any financial account maintained by a foreign financial institution and, to the extent held for investment, any stock, securities, or any other interest in a foreign entity and any financial instrument or contract with an issuer or counterparty that is not a U.S. person.
You may have to pay penalties if you are required to file Form 8938 and fail to do so, or if you have an understatement of tax due to any transaction involving an undisclosed foreign financial asset.

United States Embassy Services

Embassy of the United States of America
Calle 98 Via 104
Pavas, San Jose
COSTA RICA

Phone: (506) 2519-2000
Fax: (506) 2519-2305


If you need assistance with your US taxes, please complete the contact form below to schedule a FREE consultation: