Study Reveals That Government of Costa Rica is Losing Millions in Unpaid Taxes by Street Vendors

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Street vendors are found everywhere in Costa Rica, and they will offer many different products, ranging from food to clothes and cell phone accessories.

According to a recent study by the Demoscopia for the Illicit Commerce Observatory of the Costa Rica Chamber of Commerce, there are over 5000 street vendors in the center of the capital city of San Jose alone; it is estimated that they could move close to $23.3 million dollars a year.

The study was carried out with the purpose of measuring and evaluating the magnitude of the problem and the fiscal and social impact it represents.

Among the articles sold most frequently are: home accessories, cell phone accessories, clothes, food, purses and handbags. sunglasses and toys.

The estimation is that this form of illegal commerce could be causing the Government loses for close to $3 million USD in taxes a year and approximately $9.7 million USD a year in Social Security (CCSS) payments.

Information gathered also shows that 71% of street vendors get their merchandise from providers that bring in illegal merchandise to the country.

54% of those interviewed stated they are “willing” to buy from street vendors, even if this involved getting replicas, fakes or counterfeit products.

“The promotion of formal commerce and the battle against illegal commerce have been bases of the Chamber of Commerce since its founding in 1915”, states the press release.

With the presentation of this study we will promote the coordination with different institutions with the purpose of having a comprehensive and efficient response to eradicate this problematic that affects the formal sector”, commented Jason Chavez, Executive Director of Illegal Commerce.

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