Thinking beyond borders
The individual’s liability to income tax is determined on the basis of residence. There are two possibilities: someone is a resident or he is a nonresident. Residents are taxed on their worldwide income, whereas nonresidents are taxed on namely mentioned Curacao-sourced income. The tax is levied on the net income of the individual and is calculated against a progressive rate.
The key tax consideration for Curacao will be whether the business traveler is a resident of Curacao or not. If not, whether he is working for more than three months or not in Curacao. 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, the consideration is whether the expatriate regulation – which provides a favorable income tax regime for expatriates – would apply or not upon arrival on Curacao.
An individual’s liability to Curacao income tax is determined by residency status. A person can be a resident or a non-resident for Curacao tax purposes. Whether an individual is a resident depends on the facts and circumstances. These circumstances include permanent home, habitual stay and factors 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.
If the individual qualifies as a resident for the Curacao Income Tax Act, tax should be paid on income from real estate, movable assets, income derived from business and labor, and rights from periodic income. If the individual is a nonresident, Curacao calculates source taxes on specific income like amongst others 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 are as follows for 2015:
|Taxable income bracket||Total tax income below bracket||Total tax income above bracket|
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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 issurance 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 (2015 : ANG 64.615). The premium due for accident insurance depends on the type of risk of the sector in which the business traveler is working.
If wage tax is due, wage tax declaration 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 Tax Authorities.
If wage tax and premiums social security (payroll taxes) are due, payment of the taxes by the employer at declaration 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 (for example with Norway and the Netherlands), as well as a number of treaties on the exchange of information regarding taxes (TIEAs). The tax arrangement between Curacao and the Netherlands (BRNC) is similar to a double tax treaty.
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 Curaçao 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%, insurances, hotel accommodation or the like is 7% and certain (luxury) goods and services 9%.
We also have the following (indirect) taxes:
Curacao respects internationally accepted transfer pricing guidelines. Transactions between related parties should be at arm’s-length. It is the intention that as of the year 2016 transfer pricing documentation rules will be codified in our Corporate Income tax legislation.
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.
Nondeductible costs for assignees include, for example, workspace and personal care, not work related clothes and representation costs, if the relationship with the employment of latter costs cannot be proven satisfactorily, residential and communing expenses.
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