Costa Rica vs British Tobacco Centroamérica S.A. March 2022, Supreme Court, Case No 750-2022

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The tax authorities had started investigating a sales contract that British Tobacco Centroamérica S.A. had with a related company abroad for the import of goods.

The historical price of the imported goods was compared to the price contained in the later sales contract. In the customs forms, the company declared one value, but in its invoices it recorded another value for the same products. The tax auditor discovered that the sales contract had a clause extending its scope to the provision of consultancy services.

The company reported during the audit that the supplying company played a central role in the marketing of products that the local company made by assisting it in the elaboration of marketing studies, sales campaigns and quality studies.

On this background an adjustment was issued for additional withholding tax for source income in the form of consultancy services provided by the non-resident.

An appeal was filed by the Company.

Judgement of the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal of British Tobacco Centroamérica S.A. and upheld the assessment of additional withholding tax on source income.

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Costa Rica vs British Tobacco Centroamérica SA 750-2022

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