Thinking beyond borders
The type of an individual’s liability to income tax is determined on the basis of residence. Residents are taxed on their net worldwide income, whereas non-residents are taxed on income from certain mentioned sources in Curacao. The tax is levied on the net income of the resident individual and is calculated at progressive rates for both residents and non-residents.
The key tax consideration for Curacao will be whether the business traveler is a resident of Curacao or not. And if not, it is relevant whether or not he is employed in Curacao or has income from business. If less than three months, income tax may possibly be omitted by filing a special request with the Minister of Finance. In case the business traveler is a resident of Curacao, he may be eligible to the expatriate regulation – which provides a favorable income tax regime for expatriates – upon arrival on Curacao.
An individual’s liability to Curacao income tax is affected by residency status. Whether an individual is a resident depends on the facts and circumstances. These circumstances include the availability of a permanent home, habitual stay and other facts such as the center of economic and social interests.
The employer of the business traveler is a resident of Curacao or has a branch or permanent establishment (PE) in Curacao or the traveler operating as a permanent representative of his employer or the traveler deriving business income through a permanent establishment in Curacao including of being a permanent representative in Curacao for his own business.
If the individual qualifies as a resident for purposes of the Curacao Income Tax Ordinance, tax should be paid on income from real estate, from movable assets, from income from business and employment, and from rights on periodic income. If the individual is a non-resident, Curacao imposes source taxes on specific income items such as employment income earned in Curacao, unless a treaty provides otherwise.
Tax is calculated by applying a progressive tax rate schedule to taxable income. The income tax rates for 2017 are as follows:
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If the business traveler works and lives in Curacao, there is a liability for the AOV (general old-age insurance), the AWW (general widows and orphans insurance) and the AVBZ (general insurance against special sickness costs), unless a treaty provides otherwise. In case he is entitled to a collective (foreign) private health insurance program offered by his employer, he may not be liable to BZV (basic health insurance program), provided the insurance program offered equals that under the BZV.
The employer of a business traveler is required to pay compulsory sickness and accident insurance premiums to the Social Security Bank. The annual premiums are only due if the salary of the business traveler does not exceed a certain annual income (2017: ANG 65.005). The premium due for accident insurance depends on the type of risk run in the sector in which the business traveler is working.
If wage tax is due, filing a wage tax return to the inspectorate of taxes is mandatory. In this case also the social security premiums mentioned before have to be withheld by the employer and paid to the Social Insurance Bank.
If wage tax and premiums social security (payroll taxes) are due, payment of the taxes by the employer upon filing the tax return is due within 15 days after the end of the payment due date.
Work permits and visas are required.
Curacao has concluded full tax treaties to prevent double taxation (with Malta (not yet effective), Norway and the Netherlands), as well as a number of treaties on the exchange of information regarding taxes (TIEAs).
If the business traveler works for a PE in Curacao, the employer is obliged to withhold wage tax and remit these to the Tax Authorities.
In Curacao a sales tax is levied on the sale of goods and the provision of services against a compensation by entrepreneurs operating on the territory of Curacao. The price offered for goods or services includes sales tax, if due. The tariffs vary, based on the type of goods and services. The standard rate is 6%, for insurances, hotel accommodation or the like the rate is 7% and for certain (luxury) goods and services a rate of 9% applies.
Curacao also levies the following (indirect) taxes:
For profit tax purposes Curacao respects internationally accepted transfer pricing guidelines. Transactions between affiliated companies should be at arm’s-length. As from 2017 transfer pricing documentation rules apply.
On 1 October 2013 the regulation for the processing of personal data entered into force in Curacao. The Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) sets rules for the protection of personal data in relation to the recording and provision of personal data.
In Curacao, exchange control is administered by the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten.
Each employee is entitled to deduction of deemed costs of ANG 500 per year for execution of his employment. Prove with evidences is necessary to claim a higher deduction.
Non-deductible costs for assignees include, for example, workspace and personal care, non-work related clothes and representation costs, residential and communing expenses.
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