Daily Archives: June 19, 2014

5 extraordinary treetop hotels

Wow Costa Rica made  this list as well!!!! 

Tree 1 tree 2 Tree 3 tree 4 tree 5

 

 

Book your trip today using the link below:


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TOP 5 HOTELS IN THE WORLD

Costa Rica made the list!!!!!!!

Hotel 1 hotel 2 Hotel 3 Hotel 4 hotel 5

Use the link below to book your trip to Costa Rica or any of these places TODAY!!!!!


 

 

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Costa Rica expects 7 percent higher yields in next coffee harvest

ICAFÉ says better management of coffee plantations and preventive measures against diseases, especially rust, are helping boost yields. The Tico Times

The Costa Rican Coffee Institute (ICAFÉ) on Tuesday said current estimates indicate the 2014-2015 coffee harvest will be better than the previous season, due mostly to the implementation of better agricultural practices and actions to control rust fungus.

ICAFÉ forecast a harvest of 2.1 million bushels (sacks of 46 kilograms) – a 7.25 percent increase over the 1.9 million bushels recorded during the 2013-2014 harvest, which was severely affected by rust fungus on plantations throught the country.

“Farmers had better management of their plantations in 2013 and at the start of 2014. They did a better job fertilizing and using mechanisms to prevent diseases, especially rust,” an ICAFÉ report noted.

The report states that crop renovation at many farms and a decrease in rainfall this year has benefited farmers in areas that are characterized by early grain maturity.

Coffee is Costa Rica’s third most important agricultural export, behind pineapple and bananas. The 2014-2015 harvest starts in November and runs through April.

Costa Rican coffee exports in 2013 totaled $301.9 million, a decrease of 26.7 percent from $412.2 million in 2012, mostly due to rust fungus.

The fungus and climatic factors caused the loss of about 15 percent of the 2013-2014 harvest, according to ICAFÉ.

Originally Posted on the Tico Times

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Manzana de Aguas are falling from the trees!

bestandworstofcostarica:

I have been meaning to try these and just haven’t gotten around to it. I haven’t seen them in the local Coope. :-(

Originally posted on Veggie Gringa Devours Costa Rica:

Photo: This morning's project : applesauce from manzana de aguas.

Also known as water apples, and sometimes confused with another similar one, rose apples, these things are mildly sweet, citrussy and a little astringent. This is in the process of becoming applesauce, which came out really good, and a lovely shade of pink.   I cleaned, took out the seed (at left) and chopped them into chunks. Cooked them in a little bit of water until fork-mashable. (about half hour) Then I added a small amount of the natural turbinado sugar (not the brown caramelized stuff, just the dried cane juice – Zukra brand).  I don’t like overpowering sweet – I just added enough to take out the astringency. Then, ran it through the blender.  Delicious! Keeps in the fridge a couple of days. My little farm has three trees bearing for the first time.  I have made apple crisps, apple fritters, apple cobbler, and have run about two 2-gallon buckets…

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I.R.S. makes major changes to Offshore Compliance Programs

WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service announced today major changes in its offshore voluntary compliance programs, providing new options to help both taxpayers residing overseas and those residing in the United States. The changes are anticipated to provide thousands of people a new avenue to come into compliance with their U.S. tax obligations.

The changes include an expansion of the streamlined filing compliance procedures announced in 2012 and important modifications to the 2012 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP). The expanded streamlined procedures are intended for U.S. taxpayers whose failure to disclose their offshore assets was non-willful.

“This opens a new pathway for people with offshore assets to come into tax compliance,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “The new versions of our offshore programs reflect a carefully balanced approach to ensure everyone pays their fair share of taxes owed. Through the changes we are announcing today, we provide additional flexibility in key respects while maintaining the central components of our voluntary programs.”

Balanced against the modified programs is the government’s ongoing effort to combat the misuse of offshore assets. The IRS, working closely with the U.S. Department of Justice, continues to investigate foreign financial institutions that may have assisted U.S. taxpayers in avoiding their tax filing and payment obligations. In addition, on July 1, the new information reporting regime resulting from the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) will go into effect. Thousands of foreign financial institutions will begin to report to the IRS the foreign accounts held by U.S. persons.

The current Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program was launched in 2012 and is the successor to prior voluntary programs offered in 2011 and 2009. Since the launch of the first program, more than 45,000 taxpayers have come into compliance voluntarily, paying about $6.5 billion in taxes, interest and penalties.

The expansion of the streamlined procedures and modifications to OVDP reflect the thoughtful input of the tax community given the growing awareness among U.S. taxpayers of their offshore tax obligations.

“Through our enforcement efforts and implementation of FATCA, taxpayers are more aware of their obligations, and we believe want to come into compliance,” Koskinen said. “In this rapidly changing environment, we listened to feedback from the tax community as well as the National Taxpayer Advocate about our voluntary programs. We have made important adjustments to provide opportunities for all U.S. taxpayers to come in, including those who are not willfully hiding assets.”

Streamlined Procedures Expanded

The changes announced today make key expansions in the streamlined procedures to accommodate a wider group of U.S. taxpayers who have unreported foreign financial accounts.

The original streamlined procedures announced in 2012 were available only to non–resident, non–filers. Taxpayer submissions were subject to different degrees of review based on the amount of the tax due and the taxpayer’s response to a “risk” questionnaire.

The expanded streamlined procedures are available to a wider population of U.S. taxpayers living outside the country and, for the first time, to certain U.S. taxpayers residing in the United States. The changes include:

  • Eliminating a requirement that the taxpayer have $1,500 or less of unpaid tax per year;
  • Eliminating the required risk questionnaire;
  • Requiring the taxpayer to certify that previous failures to comply were due to non–willful conduct.

For eligible U.S. taxpayers residing outside the United States, all penalties will be waived. For eligible U.S. taxpayers residing in the United States, the only penalty will be a miscellaneous offshore penalty equal to 5 percent of the foreign financial assets that gave rise to the tax compliance issue.

Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) Modified

The changes announced today also make important modifications to the OVDP. The changes include:

  • Requiring additional information from taxpayers applying to the program;
  • Eliminating the existing reduced penalty percentage for certain non–willful taxpayers in light of the expansion of the streamlined procedures;
  • Requiring taxpayers to submit all account statements and pay the offshore penalty at the time of the OVDP application;
  • Enabling taxpayers to submit voluminous records electronically rather than on paper;
  • Increasing the offshore penalty percentage (from 27.5% to 50%) if, before the taxpayer’s OVDP pre–clearance request is submitted, it becomes public that a financial institution where the taxpayer holds an account or another party facilitating the taxpayer’s offshore arrangement is under investigation by the IRS or Department of Justice.

Full details of the changes to both the streamlined procedures and OVDP can be found on IRS.gov.

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