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Everything posted by CMinCR

  1. Eleanor, I would greatly enjoy sharing coffee (or better yet, that beer!) with you, but because it is with you, someone whose head is well placed on her shoulders. Not to hash out any facts. Election discussions rank right up there with root canals for me. The election is over and there'll be four years to bemoan whatever happens, and then another chance to continue or flip. I saw a meme on Facebook that said it all for me. "After the Election If you win, don't gloat. If you lose, don't despair. This has been hard for all of us. Treat others the way you want to be treated. We all will need it."
  2. Wow, I'm sorry that your preferred candidate/party lost, but after 8 miserable years it seems that the U.S. citizenry pulled on those reins and said "whoa there Nellie, that's enough of that!" We'll see what the next four years brings. He may not be my ideal, but the alternative was even less so. Now both sides are represented in posts on the forum, so I vote not to flog a dead horse...
  3. Dennis, it may be possible to pay online now but it wasn't the last time I paid corporate taxes (before they suspended them). I would suggest going to BCR (if you're in country) with the corporation cedula juridica number and ask a teller how much you owe. You aren't required to actually pass over the money, but you'll know what is due. If it is the 550,000 that Registro reports, you can pay, be current, and keep the receipt! Then dissolve the corporation before the end of this year. Note: without the corporate books it will take the lawyer longer because they must re-create the books and have them approved by the Registro before they can dissolve the corporation. I would assume at least 2 months (not counting holidays) for an on-the-ball lawyer, but it could take longer depending on your lawyer. Do it now and avoid another year of taxes.
  4. Dennis, I'm sorry I wasn't more clear in the descriptions. I was interested in whether yours was in a different status. You'd said you would look up your corporation on the Registro website to "see what it says" I'd checked the Registro for status of current and dissolved corporations, to note how they appeared ("inscrita" and "liquidada") I suggested that you report how yours appears, assuming it had been marked as not having paid the taxes, and it still appears "inscrita" The brief PDF was for those that might not be aware you can look up "personas juridicas" online. In the PDF it also indicates how to check whether "personas juridicas" have outstanding taxes via "Impuesto personas juridicas". That is where you could check if it shows outstanding taxes on the corporation. Again, sorry for the confusion. Colin
  5. I just looked up several "persona juridica" (corporations) that I knew were active or formally dissolved by a lawyer. That is what they show "inscrita" and "liquidada". If the taxes haven't been paid, it was widely reported (several years ago), that they enforced the taxes by not permitting actions to the corporation in the Registro. That would prevent changing owner/board membership, selling/buying, other official updates including dissolution. Doppelt, could you report what you find for a "no taxes paid for a long time" corporation? Update: for those unfamiliar, the attached .pdf shows briefly how to check the Registro for corporations. (It has reduced resolution to meet the 500Kb file limit for posting...) Registro - check corporations.pdf
  6. True, it is normally a percentage of the amount/value that is assigned by the College of Engineers, which is why you agree to a percentage not an amount. When the architect or engineer submits the plans, the College reviews them and assigns a value based upon such things as square footage, features, and expected materials. That number is (fortunately!) usually lower than your actual costs will be. When you actually begin building, whether you stay close to that estimate will be determined by you (and the price of materials at that time.) The materials you select (e.g. granite, cabinets, doors, fixtures, etc.) are usually better quality than the engineers would expect. There are often changes or additions you decide to make, which also increase the cost but don't affect the agreed-on percentage. So you won't really know even a ball park estimate, unless your architect or engineer helps with that. I've seen the College value being 25% or more lower than the actual construction cost. Most gringo construction that I have known cost more than the $50k you mention. Also remember that you are required to have an engineer, who visits the ongoing construction and records things. It is a College requirement. If you have both an engineer and architect they (hopefully) work as a team, and will both be part of that percentage-based payment. Be sure to ask your architect that question. When construction happens, you pay the materials as they're needed. You pay the labor (including their CAJA, INS, and Aguinaldo) although you may get the engineer or architect to do the legwork, for a fee.
  7. Missy, the word for "toe kick", "baseboard", etc. is rodapié. Hope that helps. You learn a lot of words when you build a house here, in Spanish.
  8. In San Jose he should be ok. Not all rural Acueducto (water companies) are set up to accept online payments via bank, much less credit card. Ours only started bank transfer support a year and a half or so ago.
  9. In Grecia there is a pool store in front of the "new" (San Jose & other long distance) bus station. 1.5 blocks west (toward Sarchi) from the park.
  10. Tom and his wife were regulars at the ferias in Atenas and Grecia for many years. Before coming to Costa Rica (15 years ago?) Tom had worked in bakeries (among other things) and applied that knowledge to our benefit. Honest-to-goodness real baked goods (pies, cakes, brownies, cinnamon buns, bread...) "just like home". We've never found equivalent baked goods anywhere in Costa Rica (not that they don't exist.) Tom's signature "boater" straw hat was always an eye-catcher. I didn't realize he was retiring but he will be sorely missed.
  11. Missy, there are two (known) ways to get boxes. It really depends upon the type and quality you need. Easiest: Stores will allow you to take their used product shipment boxes. EPA, Pricesmart, Walmart, and probably any large store in the area where you live. Mostly the boxes are "broken down" (unfolded) so check them out and select those that weren't cut/damaged when opened and product unloaded. Then use strong tape to make them boxes again. Alternative: (that actually sells boxes) Cajas de Cartón el Universo (2226 1015) Address: 400 meters South of "El Pipiolo" in Plaza Viquez, San Jose, CR. So if you need to purchase new, that's the only place that I know. If you just need sturdy boxes, free with careful selection is an alternative. Good luck! Colin
  12. I assume there are more specifics to this... like specific domestic animals, endangered species, etc.? Otherwise it would rule out eating locally produced chicken, beef, or pretty much anything coming from animals, which are staples in the Tico diet. I agree that it sounds like a "see we're Green and compassionate" effort, but enforcement would be very difficult in many areas.
  13. You're absolutely right TC. Legal and illegal of each apply. From my perspective the (legal) immigrant vs the (legal) expat is still a nice distinction. One shows intent or association with the host country. The other just indicates that the individual doesn't live in their home country. That's what I found attractive... host country-based vs individual status-based... "I'm proudly living in Costa Rica" as opposed to "I'm proudly not living in my home country." Only my own feelings, I'll stop commenting now...
  14. Ignoring all the racial byplay of the article... actually ignoring the article... I just like the distinction Induna introduced. I believe what struck me was that "immigrant" identifies with a particular country (Costa Rica for us)... while "expat" just means someone who isn't living in their home country... I could be an expat from the U.S. who lives in Aruba but is on vacation in Costa Rica. I'm still an expat... If I'm an immigrant to Costa Rica there is no question... I live in Costa Rica. Plus, a legal immigrant has legal residency. An expat is a person living somewhere, legally or not, outside their home country. I like the clarity of the one over the other...
  15. Very nicely said, Carol. You make an excellent point about immigrants (legal residents who have immigrated) vs expats (those living outside their home country... legal resident or not)... A good distinction. I will follow your (and Induna's) lead on this...
  16. Happy (belated because I was offline yesterday) Birthday, Jessica! Enjoy the magical anniversary of another year at 21... I must say that you look young too so whatever you're doing... keep it up! Colin
  17. Sorry. Ron's correct. I've just been reading about the fallout of Obama's executive action to halt deportation of illegal aliens. While it doesn't make them legal aliens it apparently paves the way for making them eligible for Obamacare, Medicaid, and the Social Security system... Easy to confirm from reliable, major-network news sources online... Ouch!
  18. Yep, only $3.50 for the card (plus shipping and/or tax depending) but then you need to add minutes. By the time you're done it is $20-25 invested... and the card is of no use after the time expires... You need to buy a new one next time... I'll bet that horse is tender though... (did I really say that?)
  19. That's the AT&T card I used last month and just swap the SIMs. Great for international travelers... if you visit regularly. What it doesn't say is that no matter whether you chose days, months, or minutes the service still expires at the end of the month (with a couple months in which to renew). Next visit (in 4 months) it won't work and can't renew so I must buy a new one. I'll give that poor horse a rest...
  20. Dana, thanks for the confirmation. The monthly Tracphone plan is what I've used on occasion. After buying the phone and monthly plan for the couple week's I'm there, I'd need to pay monthly (duh...) for the 5-6 months I'm not there until the next time I need it... That's what I was trying to avoid. Still looks like there is no option for (let's say 2 weeks every 4-5 month) to have a phone that only makes a dozen calls or so.
  21. As with Paul, I value a cell phone when needing to alert folk (or get directions) whether here or in the U.S. Ergo, as Eleanor pointed out, the point of the thread was to see what cheap cell phone options there were for occasional U.S. visits. Ain't none without paying monthly. Horse... dead... stop the beating!
  22. Eleanor, as usual you cut through all the hyperbole and nailed it. Buy a new SIM (or phone) every time, unless you go often enough to keep a number active Use a Skype number (if you want calls forwarded to your phone), Google Voice if you don't. [Note: benefit of Google Voice and Skype is they let you give your (non-computer literate) friends a phone number to call. ]
  23. Unlike Google Voice, Skype numbers do forward calls to cell phone or home numbers outside the U.S. which make them great for keeping a U.S. contact number and living here (or elsewhere). I have my U.S. (Skype) number forwarded here most of the year (when not in the U.S.) Your contacts don't need to know when you're in the U.S. to know when to call that number. It isn't free but you don't need to be at your computer to receive the calls. BTW, This info would be a great thread for "Keeping a U.S. number while living in Costa Rica". As far as this topic, Cell phone plans for visits to the U.S., it seems unless you visit frequently enough to justify $10/mo or so we don't have options other than buying a new number each visit. Just remember to change Skype number forwarding from your C.R. number to the new number (or with Google Voice, alert the folk when to use your U.S. GV number that is forwarded to the new, temporary U.S. cell number).
  24. Mark, GV and Skype are both good choices. We've had a Skype number for several years, (although the delay in forwarding to the C.R. cell phone is sometimes longer than people will wait)... Nice to have a permanent number. The problem with forwarding your known Skype/GV number to a U.S. cell phone is that you'll need the cell phone. So "cell phone plan for visits to the U.S." is still stuck on "buy a new number every trip..." I was hoping, but it probably isn't worth it for carriers to keep your number alive for $50-60 a year.
  25. Hi Dana and Gayle (and Paul as always), and thanks STW for your explanation and for everyone's comments. I've purchased TracPhone, AT&T, etc. service over the years. TracPhone was the first and I "tossed it in a drawer" as Dana describes. Unfortunately when I tried to use/reactivate it on my next trip 6 mo. later it was expired/number lost and I had to buy another. That has been my experience with almost every phone. Attempting to do anything online (with any carrier thus far) to keep it going requires them sending a text to your phone... which doesn't work so well here. Once online with AT&T in the States I could make changes but still stuck with $25/90 day which is too much. So thus far it seems that Paul and STW's $100/yr (or at least the first year) is the only option to keep the same number. I guess I'm stuck buying new service/new number each time for my 10-20 phone calls per trip. A shame, but $30 every trip is less hassle. Colin
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