Guide to Doing Business
Curaçao is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Kingdom has a Tax Regulations for the Kingdom (Belastingregeling voor het Koninkrijk or BKR). The main purpose of the BKR is to avoid double taxation within the Kingdom. Additionally Curaçao is party to the treaty between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the United States of America concerning the exchange of data with regard to taxation.
Furthermore Curaçao has adopted the entire tax system as it applied in the former Netherlands Antilles. The system consist of taxes on corporations and taxes on individuals. For Curaçao tax purposes, corporations are classified as either resident or non-resident. The important Curaçao taxes on corporations are the income tax (inkomstenbelasting), profits tax (winstbelasting) and dividend tax (dividendbelasting). One of the taxes on individuals is payroll tax (loonbelasting).
The recent National Decree Tax Measures 2019 (the “Decree”) includes several changes in tax regulations for Curacao. When deciding to do or start a business in or from Curacao, it is important to engage a local tax adviser that has knowledge of the current tax treatment and laws.
The sales tax (omzetbelasting or OB) is levied on the delivery of goods and all services rendered ‘within the territory’ by resident or non-resident entrepreneurs within the scope of their business. Aforementioned Decree may result in replacing the OB by an Algemene Bestedingsbelasting or ABB
From non-resident guests staying at any form of accommodation against payment a room tax (logeergastenbelasting) is levied. Gasoline, cigarettes, beer, wine, alcoholic spirits are subject to an excise duty. A transfer tax (overdrachtsbelasting) is levied on the transfer of real estate. Furthermore there is a Real Estate Property tax (onroerendezaakbelasting). This annual tax is levied on the value of the real estate and charged to the owner of the property. A person who inherits money or property on the estate of a person who has died has to pay inheritance tax (successiebelasting).
Curaçao also has a social security system. The social security taxes are known as AOV, for old-age pension, and AWW, for widows and orphans. There is a contribution for both employers and employees.
An e-zone is an area designated for international trade. Curaçao has several economic zones (e-zones) where goods can be stored, packaged and traded. For companies with cargo traffic there are two e-zones available: one at the airport and one at the harbor. The profit of the e-zone companies will be taxed at 2%. Conducting business with other companies located in an e-zone is allowed. If business is also conducted with companies located on Curaçao, the company will have to request approval from the Department of Economic Affairs. The turnover generated through local business may not exceed 25% of the total turnover. Goods which leave an E-zone to be imported into Curaçao or goods which are transferred from an E-zone to a warehouse are subject to 9% sales tax. Only legal entities with capital divided into shares (the limited liability company and the private limited liability company) with actual presence in Curaçao may perform activities within an e-zone. The activities of these companies must in principle be focused on trading or providing services to companies located outside of Curaçao.
VANEPS is not a tax advisory firm. The information contained on this page provided general guidance for companies only. It should not be used as a substitute for consultation a tax lawyer.