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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 1:40 pm 
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Does Costa Rica accept VA disability checks as a threshold for a retirement pension?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 4:45 pm 
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Beer Made Me wrote:
Does Costa Rica accept VA disability checks as a threshold for a retirement pension?


If they are "for life", and a G or more per month, not temporary, I have a friend who has to renew every 5 years and that won't work for him.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:59 pm 
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Netgems wrote:
Beer Made Me wrote:
Does Costa Rica accept VA disability checks as a threshold for a retirement pension?


If they are "for life", and a G or more per month, not temporary, I have a friend who has to renew every 5 years and that won't work for him.


Thanks for the response.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2021 11:25 am 
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My question, if it is known, is whether the Caja takes from VA disability pensions as a pensionado, as the US doesn't tax it at all. If so, is it legal to file for the Pensionado using SSDA benefits that are just over 1k, and NOT inform the CR gov't that you receive VA money at all.

NOBODY taxes my blood money.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2021 12:39 pm 
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vegasveteran wrote:
My question, if it is known, is whether the Caja takes from VA disability pensions as a pensionado, as the US doesn't tax it at all. If so, is it legal to file for the Pensionado using SSDA benefits that are just over 1k, and NOT inform the CR gov't that you receive VA money at all.

NOBODY taxes my blood money.

Champ, with an attitude like that you should really reconsider filing for a pensionado until you have 1) visited CR a few times, 2) gone on a non-monger relocation tour, and 3) taken a relocation seminar such as the one through ARCR.net.

While I respect and honor the service of US vets, the CR government doesn't give a shit and will tax every penny they can get see. Right now, for a pensionado, it is only a caja tax. In the future, they may also institute a global income tax like many other countries.

I just received my residency as under the pensionado application which I filed in 2017. The rules and processes have changed over the years but here is MY experience. Yours will vary. You have to furnish a legal document that proves a lifetime, irrevocable income of $1,000 per month. You will be taxed 10% of the amount shown on that document. So, if your document says $1,000, your base caja payment will be $100 per month. If it says $2,000, your caja payment will be $200. The document must be notarized and apostilled (certified) by the secretary of state of the US state where it was issued (in my case Tallahassee, Florida). If your VA Disability is irrevocable, that might be accepted but if you file on the basis of it then the amount on the document will be used to calculate your caja payment.

Remember, I said that CR will tax every penny they can see. In my case, I structured my finances by acquiring an annuity that provides exactly $1,000 per month for life. The annuity is from a major financial institution. I did not have to declare all my wealth or income in my residency application. I autopay my caja through an agent which gives me a slight discount, so I pay $90 per month charged to a US credit card.

This does leave me a bit exposed. Any number of things could make more of my money visible. The CR government *could* audit my finances and see that my expenses are greater than $1,000 (this is a reason NOT to use a CR credit card or bank). Someone (pissed off chica, neighbor, etc) could denounce me to any number of CR ministries. US - CR financial reporting agreements could change in the future.

You should consult an immigration attorney about the legality of declaring SSDA benefits without VA benefits. Don't rely on the conjectures of board members. If you take the ARCR.net seminar, you will have the opportunity to ask one face-to-face before retaining any lawyer. The 2-day seminar costs $100.

Marrying a Tica or adopting a Ch*ld can speed the process and lower the caja costs. Of course that opens you up to alimony and Ch*ld support payments. True love ain't cheap. I also know other expats who filed before me that paid less, so the rules change. Don't try to figure it out. If you can't adapt to that level of ambiguity, remain a tourist. I know people who have lived here for years without getting residency. A quick flight to FLL or a land border run to Panama or Nicaragua can be cheaper. There are also an increasing number of flights from SJO to other countries (Mexico, Colombia, etc).

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2021 10:41 pm 
PHD From Del Rey University!
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Boynton wrote:
vegasveteran wrote:
My question, if it is known, is whether the Caja takes from VA disability pensions as a pensionado, as the US doesn't tax it at all. If so, is it legal to file for the Pensionado using SSDA benefits that are just over 1k, and NOT inform the CR gov't that you receive VA money at all.

NOBODY taxes my blood money.

Champ, with an attitude like that you should really reconsider filing for a pensionado until you have 1) visited CR a few times, 2) gone on a non-monger relocation tour, and 3) taken a relocation seminar such as the one through ARCR.net.

While I respect and honor the service of US vets, the CR government doesn't give a shit and will tax every penny they can get see. Right now, for a pensionado, it is only a caja tax. In the future, they may also institute a global income tax like many other countries.

I just received my residency as under the pensionado application which I filed in 2017. The rules and processes have changed over the years but here is MY experience. Yours will vary. You have to furnish a legal document that proves a lifetime, irrevocable income of $1,000 per month. You will be taxed 10% of the amount shown on that document. So, if your document says $1,000, your base caja payment will be $100 per month. If it says $2,000, your caja payment will be $200. The document must be notarized and apostilled (certified) by the secretary of state of the US state where it was issued (in my case Tallahassee, Florida). If your VA Disability is irrevocable, that might be accepted but if you file on the basis of it then the amount on the document will be used to calculate your caja payment.

Remember, I said that CR will tax every penny they can see. In my case, I structured my finances by acquiring an annuity that provides exactly $1,000 per month for life. The annuity is from a major financial institution. I did not have to declare all my wealth or income in my residency application. I autopay my caja through an agent which gives me a slight discount, so I pay $90 per month charged to a US credit card.

This does leave me a bit exposed. Any number of things could make more of my money visible. The CR government *could* audit my finances and see that my expenses are greater than $1,000 (this is a reason NOT to use a CR credit card or bank). Someone (pissed off chica, neighbor, etc) could denounce me to any number of CR ministries. US - CR financial reporting agreements could change in the future.

You should consult an immigration attorney about the legality of declaring SSDA benefits without VA benefits. Don't rely on the conjectures of board members. If you take the ARCR.net seminar, you will have the opportunity to ask one face-to-face before retaining any lawyer. The 2-day seminar costs $100.

Marrying a Tica or adopting a Ch*ld can speed the process and lower the caja costs. Of course that opens you up to alimony and Ch*ld support payments. True love ain't cheap. I also know other expats who filed before me that paid less, so the rules change. Don't try to figure it out. If you can't adapt to that level of ambiguity, remain a tourist. I know people who have lived here for years without getting residency. A quick flight to FLL or a land border run to Panama or Nicaragua can be cheaper. There are also an increasing number of flights from SJO to other countries (Mexico, Colombia, etc).


Boynton, I doubt that I will live long enough to use your advise, but appreciate your valuable post.

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