Barbados - Income Tax

Barbados - Income Tax

Taxation of international executives.

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Tax returns and compliance

When are tax returns due? That is, what is the tax return due date?

30 April.

If this date falls on a Sunday, then the due date is the next working day. Administratively, this is also true if the due date falls on a Saturday.

What is the tax year-end?

31 December.

What are the compliance requirements for tax returns in Barbados?

Residents

Tax returns are required to be filed by a resident individual whose total income derived from sources in and out of Barbados is more than the minimum threshold of BBD25,000. Spouses file separate tax returns. There is no joint filing in Barbados.

Non-residents

Tax returns are required to be filed by non-residents who derive any Barbados-sourced income including payments for fees or charges arising under a contract for the provision of services, amounts received from an office in Barbados, and income from royalties deemed to arise in Barbados.

Tax rates

What are the current income tax rates for residents and non-residents in Barbados? 

Residents

Income tax

The income tax rates are 16 percent on the first BBD35,000 of taxable income and 33.5 percent thereafter. There is a basic personal allowance of BBD25,000. The personal allowance is BBD40,000 for pensioners who are 60 years of age or over and in receipt of a pension.

Income tax table for 2015

Taxable income bracket Total tax income below bracket Tax rate on income in bracket
From BBD To BBD BBD BBD
0 25,000 0 0
25,001 60,000 5,600 16.0
60,001 Over 0 33.5

 

Non-residents

The income tax rates are 16 percent on the first BBD35,000 of taxable income and 33.5 percent thereafter. No deductions or allowances in respect of the calculation of assessable income shall be made in respect of income or the production of income not derived from Barbados.

Residence rules

For the purposes of taxation, how is an individual defined as a resident of Barbados?

A person is deemed to be resident in Barbados in an income year if that person:

  • Spends in the aggregate more than 182 days in Barbados in that income year; or
  • Is ordinarily resident in Barbados in the relevant income year that is, if the person: 
    • has a permanent home in Barbados which is permanently available for use of the person but not including accommodation solely used as vacation property; and
    • notifies the Revenue Commissioner that he/she intends to reside in Barbados for at least 2 consecutive income years including the year in question.

Is there a de minimus number of days rule when it comes to residency start and end date? For example, a taxpayer can’t come back to the host country for more than 10 days after their assignment is over and they repatriate.

No.

What if the assignee enters the country before their assignment begins?

The residency threshold address the aggregate days spent in the year.

Termination of residence

Are there any tax compliance requirements when entering or leaving the country?

On or before entering Barbados, non-residents are required to apply for a work permit in the form or manner prescribed. The application is usually made by the entity who will be employing the individual.

On or after leaving Barbados, a final income tax return must be filed and a Tax Clearance Certificate should be requested.

Departure tax

There is no income tax specifically related to departure.

What if the assignee comes back for a trip after residency has terminated?

Ordinarily resident rules will apply (aggregate number of days).

Communication between Immigration and Taxation Authorities

Do the immigration authorities in Barbados provide information to the local taxation authorities regarding when a person enters or leaves Barbados?

If not currently in place that is the intention.

Filing requirements

Will an assignee have a filing requirement in the host country after they leave the country and repatriate?

The requirement to file a tax return depends on the residency and source of income of the individual. Where the individual no longer meets the residency criteria and does not derive any Barbados source income, no further returns would be required. However, where the individual derives Barbados source income, a return may be required depending on treaty considerations.

Economic employer approach

Do the taxation authorities in Barbados adopt the economic employer approach to interpreting Article 15 of the OECD treaty? If no, are the taxation authorities in Barbados considering the adoption of this interpretation of economic employer in the future?

Barbados taxation authorities do adopt the economic employer approach to interpreting Article 15 of the OECD treaty.

De minimus number of days

Are there a de minimus number of days before the local taxation authorities will apply the economic employer approach? If yes, what is the de minimus number of days?

There is no de minimus number of days before the local taxation authorities will apply the economic employer approach.

Types of taxable compensation

What categories are subject to income tax in general situations?

Generally income derived from the following categories are subject to income tax :

  • Earned Income.
  • Income from self-employment.
  • Trade or business partnership.
  • Dividends, interest and royalties when received.
  • Foreign exchange gains realised (to extent on account of income).
  • Employment income is taxable when received or when the employee is entitled to receive it, if earlier. Employment income is subject to tax to the extent it was earned / derived during a period of Barbados residence, or in the case of income / derived earned while non-resident to the extent it was earned in respect of duties performed in Barbados.

Tax-exempt income

Are there any areas of income that are exempt from taxation in your country? If so, please provide a general definition of these areas.

  • Certain employer provided housing allowances.
  • Certain employer provided tax reimbursements.
  • Certain employer provided relocation reimbursements in the first year of relocation.
  • Income of specially qualified non-nationals.
  • Per special enactment.

Certain Employer Provided Housing Allowances

Where the employer provides a rent-free residence for an employee, amounts in excess of BBD48,000 are not taxable.

Certain Employer Provided Tax Reimbursements

Where an employer undertakes to pay the tax on the benefit enjoyed by an individual in respect of a rent-free residence as described earlier, then the benefit represented by the tax paid thereon by the employer is not included in assessable income of the employee.

Certain Employer Provided Relocation Reimbursements

Reimbursement by the employer of the actual cost of relocation will generally be exempt from income tax in the year of relocation.

Income of Specially Qualified Non-Nationals

Income tax exemptions are granted to specially qualified non-nationals as follows:

  • 35 percent on income not exceeding BBD150,000
  • 50 percent on income exceeding BBD150,000 but not exceeding BBD500,000 and
  • 60 percent on income exceeding BBD500,000

Specially qualified non-nationals are individuals who are in receipt of a valid work permit for employment in Barbados with an entity in the international business sector for a period of not less than 3 years.

Per Special Enactment

No tax is payable under the Income Tax Act by a person who is exempted from paying income tax by any other enactment in force in Barbados. For example, staturoty instruments under Cap. 67B of the Laws of Barbados.

Expatriate concessions

Are there any concessions made for expatriates in your country?

Normally, there are no concessions when an expatriate comes to Barbados.

However, where the individual obtains a work permit for no less than 3 years to work with an entity which is involved in the international business sector, then there are tax concessions that allow a prescribed percentage of the employee’s salary, fees and any other emoluments :

  • To be exempt from income tax in Barbados;
  • To be paid in a foreign currency in a trust account without being liable to income tax in Barbados as to the amount paid or any interest earned thereon; or
  • To be paid in some other prescribed manner in another currency or otherwise without being liable to income tax in Barbados, notwithstanding any provision of the Income Tax Act or the Exchange Control Act. 

Salary earned from working abroad

Is salary earned from working abroad taxed in Barbados? If so, how?

An individual who is both resident and domiciled In Barbados is taxable on his/her worldwide income. However, foreign tax credits are available where tax is payable in a country other than Barbados on profits, income, or gains derived from sources in that country. The tax credit shall not exceed the amount of tax, as computed before the credit is given, which is attributable to the income derived outside Barbados.

An individual, who is resident but not domiciled in Barbados, does not include in his/her assessable income, salary from working abroad where that salary is not derived from an office in Barbados, and is not remitted to Barbados.

Taxation of investment income and capital gains

Are investment income and capital gains taxed in your country? If so, how?

Investment income (such as dividends, interest, and rental income) is assessed to tax in the year in which it is received. However, where the individual is resident but not domiciled in Barbados, and these amounts are not derived from Barbados, or remitted to Barbados, these amounts would not be included in assessable income of the individual for Barbados tax purposes. Tax is levied at ordinary personal income tax rates, subject to the foreign tax credit rules in respect of foreign taxes paid.

Capital gains are not subject to tax in Barbados.

Dividends, interest, and rental income

Dividends, interest, and rental income are generally taxed when received. Interest is also included in assessable income when it is credited on account, reinvested, accumulated, or capitalized.

Where income is received from the rental of residential property, the tax rate to be applied is 15 percent of net rental income. 

Gains from employee stock option exercises

Residency Status Taxable at:
Grant Vest Exercise
Resident N N Y/N
Non-resident N N Y/N
Other (if applicable) N N Y/N

Residents and non-residents would both include in income, as a benefit of employment, the difference between the market value of the shares at the time of purchase and the purchase price, being less than the market value of shares purchased by an employee from an employing company to the extent this amount is in excess of 10 percent of the assessable income of that employee for the income year. That is, this benefit is exempt from tax to the extent it is equal to or less than 10 percent of assessable income. However, if the shares are disposed of within 5 years of the date of purchase the exempt portion of the benefit is included in assessable income.

There are also certain exemptions for shares issued in certain circumstances such as retirement gifts, or long-term service (at least 20 years) but these are not discussed in detail in this section as it would likely not apply to an expatriate.

Where the employee is resident but not domiciled in Barbados (likely the case for an expatriate employee), stock option benefits which are not derived from employment in Barbados, and are not remitted to Barbados should not be taxable in Barbados. 

Foreign exchange gains and losses

Capital gains are not taxable in Barbados. Therefore, the distinction of whether a particular gain is on account of an income or capital is very important. Foreign exchange gains and losses on account of income are included in the taxpayer’s assessable income in Barbados if he/she is resident and domiciled in Barbados. Such gains and losses are included in assessable income of a resident but non-domiciled individual only if those gains or losses are derived from Barbados sources or are remitted to Barbados. A non-resident is assessable on these gains or losses only if they are derived from Barbados sources.

Principal residence gains and losses

Capital gains are not taxed in Barbados; therefore there is no tax on gains arising from the sale of an individual’s principal residence.

Capital losses

There is no capital gains tax in Barbados. Accordingly, capital losses are irrelevant for tax purposes. 

Personal use items

Gains or losses realized on the disposition of personal use items are generally on account of capital. Therefore, there is no tax assessable on such gains or losses. 

Gifts

There is no gift tax in Barbados.

Foreign property reporting

Not applicable.

Non-resident trusts

Not applicable.

Additional capital gains tax (CGT) issues and exceptions

Are there capital gains tax exceptions in your country? If so, please discuss.

Capital gains are not taxed in Barbados.

Pre-CGT assets

Not applicable.

Deemed disposal and acquisition

Not applicable.

General deductions from income

What are the general deductions from income allowed in your country?

A deduction is permitted in relation to all losses and outgoings to the extent that they are incurred in gaining or producing assessable income, or are necessarily incurred in carrying on business for the purpose of gaining or producing such income, except to the extent to which they are losses or outgoings of a capital, private, or domestic nature, or are incurred in relation to the gaining or producing of exempt income. In addition, deductions are specifically permitted for certain types of expenditures such as the following :

  • Costs incurred in the course of employment (for example, subscriptions to professional associations and journals).
  • Amounts expended by that person and not subsequently reimbursed for travelling expenses or maintaining and operating a vehicle to the extent that the amounts expended may reasonable be regarded as representing the cost to the person of travelling in the performance of the duties of an office or employment.
  • Subscriptions paid to a Registered Trade Union (maximum BBD240).
  • Spousal allowance of BBD3,000 if spouse had no income or income from dividends and interest of BBD800 or less, and habitually lives with the taxpayer.
  • Interest paid or payable on borrowed money used for the purpose of the production of assessable income.
  • Portion of foreign taxes paid which is not allowed as a foreign tax credit.
  • Child allowance of BBD1,000 per child under the age of 18 years or over 18 years but under 25 years at the end of the income year and in full time attendence at an educational establishment (maximum claim is two children).
  • Certain gifts to charities registered in Barbados (maximum claim is limited to 10 percent of assessable income).

Tax reimbursement methods

What are the tax reimbursement methods generally used by employers in your country?

Current year gross-up is the normal method of recognising tax reimbursements paid by the employer.

Calculation of estimates/prepayments/withholding

How are estimates/prepayments/withholding of tax handled in your country? For example, Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE), Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG), and so on.

Pay-As-You-Earn Withholding

Deductions from employment income are covered under the PAYE system.

If an individual is paid and/or employed, the employer will be required to withhold tax from their salary and wages and remit the tax to Barbados Taxation Office.

At the end of the year the employer will provide the individual with a Statement of Remuneration paid and deductions during the year. The document issued to prepare the income tax return.

When are estimates/prepayments/withholding of tax due in your country? For example, monthly, annually, both, and so on.

For employed persons, the company is required to withhold and remit, the tax computed on a monthly basis and pay to the Barbados Revenue Authority by the 15th of the following month.

Withholding taxes on interest income derived is a final tax for the individual.

Relief for foreign taxes

Is there any Relief for Foreign Taxes in your country? For example, a foreign tax credit (FTC) system, double taxation treaties, and so on?

Where tax is payable in a country other than Barbados on profits, income or gains derived from sources in that country, the tax so payable in that country shall be allowed as a credit against the tax payable in Barbados on such profits, income or gains.

The tax credit shall not exceed the amount of tax, as computed before the credit is given, which is attributable to the income derived outside Barbados.

General tax credits

What are the general tax credits that may be claimed in your country? Please list below.

In addition to the tax credits described in the deductions section, the following may also be claimed:

  • Foreign tax credits
  • Foreign currency earnings credits if the individual carries on business in Barbados and earns assessable income from fees, premiums, payments or rewards in respect of the undertaking of qualifying overseas construction projects or qualifying overseas professional services

Sample tax calculation

This calculation assumes a married taxpayer resident in Barbados with two children whose 3 year assignment begins 1 January 2015 and ends 31 December 2017.

The taxpayer’s base salary is USD100,000 and the calculation covers 3 years.

  2015
USD
2016
USD
2017
USD
Salary 100,000 100,000 100,000
Bonus 20,000 20,000 20,000
Cost-of-living allowance 10,000 10,000 10,000
Housing allowance 12,000 12,000 12,000
Company car 6,000 6,000 6,000
Moving expense reimbursement 20,000 0 20,000
Home leave 0 5,000 0
Education allowance 3,000 3,000 3,000
Interest income from non-local sources 6,000 6,000 6,000

Exchange rate used for calculation: USD1.00 = BBD2.00.

 

Other assumptions

  • All earned income is attributable to local sources.
  • Bonuses are paid at the end of each tax year, and accrue evenly throughout the year.
  • Interest income is not remitted to Barbados.
  • The company car is used for business and private purposes and originally cost USD50,000.
  • The employee is deemed resident throughout the assignment.
  • Tax treaties and totalization agreements are ignored for the purpose of this calculation. 

Calculation of taxable income

Year-ended 2015
BBD
2016
BBD
2017
BBD
Days in Barbados during year 365 366 365
Earned income subject to income tax      
Salary 200,000 200,000 200,000
Bonus 40,000 40,000 40,000
Cost-of-living allowance 20,000 20,000 20,000
Housing allowance 24,000 24,000 24,000
Company car 10,000 10,000 10,000
Moving expense reimbursement 0 0 0
Home leave 0 10,000 0
Education allowance 6,000 6,000 6,000
Total earned income 300,000 310,000 300,000
Investment income 0 0 0
Total income 300,000 310,000 300,000
Deductions      

Basic Allowance      

Spouse Allowance

Child Allowance

25,000

3,000

2,000

25,000

3,000

2,000

25,000

3,000

2,000
Total taxable income 270,000 280,000 270,000

Calculation of tax liability

 

2015

BBD

2016

BBD

2017

BBD

Taxable income as above 270,000 280,000 270,000

Barbados tax thereon:

0 – 35,000 at 16%

Over 35,000 at 33.5%

 

5,600

78,725

 

5,600

82,075

 

5,600

78,725
Total income tax 84,325 87,675 84,325

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