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Saint Kitts and Nevis Corporate - Other taxes

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Value-added tax (VAT)

The standard VAT rate is 17%, while hotel accommodation, tour operators, and restaurants carry a reduced rate of 10%.

Most foods (excluding prepared food or meals from a restaurant, snackette, cafeteria, etc.; live animals; and plants), medicines, and funeral expenses by a licenced funeral home are exempt from VAT.

Persons who have made or are likely to make taxable supplies in excess of XCD 96,000 for certain professional services and XCD 150,000 for other business activities in a continuous period of 12 calendar months are required to register for VAT.

Customs duties

All imports are subject to import duties, VAT, and customs service tax (CST). In all instances, certain exemptions will apply.

Customs duty is levied on a wide range of imported goods at rates from 0% to 70% as specified in the Custom Duties Act. VAT is applied at a rate of 17%, and CST at a rate of 6%. Customs duty is levied on goods based on the cost, insurance, and freight (CIF) values and rates determined by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Common External Tariff.

Excise tax

The excise tax applies to a small range of goods, such as alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, petroleum products, motor cycles, aerated beverages, and firearms. The excise tax rate ranges between 5% and 25%.

Property tax

Saint Kitts

Property tax in Saint Kitts is levied at varied rates on the basis of the market value of the real property (including land and building as assessed by the Chief Valuation Officer) and its class.

Property classes and rates of tax are as follows:

  • Residential use property: 0.2%.
  • Commercial use property: 0.3%.

Annual allowances and tax rebates are available as follows:

  • Residential use property and condominium allowance of XCD 80,000 from the taxable value.
  • No property tax is assessed on any buildings, condominiums, etc. that are under construction.
  • New residential use properties and condominiums are exempt from tax for one year from the date certified by the valuation officer.

Note that residential use properties located in the South East Peninsula are assigned values based on fixed rates for land (XCD 20 per square foot) and buildings (XCD 300 per square foot). Property tax is then applied at a rate of 0.2%.

Where property situated in the South East Peninsula area is not developed within five years, a surcharge can be assessed at the rate of 1% of the assessed market value per annum, and increased annually at the rate of 1% thereafter until it reaches a maximum rate of 5% of the assessed market value while the property remains undeveloped. If property is less than one acre, undeveloped, and owned by a resident for the purpose of erecting a house, such property is exempt from the surcharge upon application in writing to the Comptroller of Inland Revenue.

Property tax is payable on or before 30 June of each year and is deemed to be in default if not paid within 30 days of becoming due. Interest is charged at a rate of 12% per annum on the unpaid taxes.

Nevis

Property tax in Nevis is levied at varied rates on the basis of the market value of the real property (including land and buildings as assessed by the Chief Valuation Officer) and its class.

Property class and rates are as follows:

Property class Building tax rate (%) Land tax rate (%)
Residential 0.156 0.075
Commercial 0.3 0.2
Accommodation 0.3 0.2
Certified farming 0 0.01
Institutional 0.2 0.15

Commercial use property is defined as property that does not include accommodation use property or property used for certified farming operations.

Accommodation use property is defined as property for short-term accommodation and includes a guest house.

Annual allowances and tax rebates are available as follows:

  • Residential use property and condominium allowance of XCD 80,000 from the taxable value.
  • No property tax is assessed on any buildings, condominiums, etc. that are under construction.

Property tax is payable on or before 30 June of each year and is deemed to be in default if not paid within 30 days of becoming due. Interest is charged at a rate of 12% per annum on the unpaid taxes.

Alien land holding licences

To hold land as an owner, a non-citizen must first obtain an alien land holding licence and pay 10% of the market value of property or XCD 750, whichever is greater.

A non-citizen is required to obtain a licence to hold shares in a company that owns land, to vote at shareholders meetings of the company, and to be a director of the company. Each licence costs XCD 250.

If a non-citizen purchases land in the Frigate Bay area, then there is no requirement to obtain a licence and only a minimal fee of XCD 50 is payable.

If a non-citizen wishes to purchase land in the South East Peninsula, the non-citizen is required to obtain a licence prior to purchasing the property; however, the payment of the 10% licence fee will be waived.

Stamp duty

Stamp duty applies to a very wide range of transactions (e.g. bill of sale, lease, mortgage, contract, bill of lading). Stamp duty on transfer of real property, transfer of shares, mortgages, and bank loans to aliens is specifically covered below.

Transfer of real property

Stamp duty is levied on the consideration for the sale or the value of property as assessed by the Property Valuation Officer, whichever is higher.

The vendor is responsible for the payment of all stamp duty on property transfers on the following basis:

Type of property transfer Rate
a. Transfer of property for consideration in money or value in kind of not less than the value of the property 12%
b. Transfer of property for consideration in money or value in kind of less than the value of the property 12%
c. Transfer of property without consideration in money or value in kind 6%
d. Transfer of property in any Special Development Area other than the South East Peninsula 14%
e. Transfer of property situated in the South East Peninsula 18.50%
f. Transfer of property other than stock or debenture stock or funded debt or land 2%
g. Transfer of property between husband and wife and between parents and children and vice versa XCD 100
h. Transfer of land by will or by similar instrument XCD 100
i. Transfer of registered condominium units 5%

Where a developer has obtained concessions in connection with a house or building constructed on the land being transferred, the developer is required to pay stamp duty on the same basis as noted in a, b, and c above.

Where a developer has obtained concessions in connection with a house or building to be constructed on the land being transferred, then the developer will be required to pay stamp duty initially on the land on the same basis as noted in a, b, and c above. However, when the house or building is subsequently constructed on the land with the aid of the concession, the owner of the building shall pay stamp duty on the house or building as provided in a, b, and c above as if the concessions or any part thereof had not been utilised.

Where a developer has not obtained concessions in connection with a house or building constructed on the land being transferred, the developer will be required to pay stamp duty on the same basis as noted in a, b, and c in respect of the land only.

Transfer of shares

Stamp duty is levied on the value of the consideration for the sale of shares or debentures issued by or on behalf of a company or at the value assessed by the Property Valuation Officer, whichever is higher. The stamp duty is levied at a rate of 2%. If the company owns property and its value exceeds 50% of the value of the company’s assets, then the stamp duty is calculated using the applicable rate on the transfer of real property (see above).

Mortgages

Stamp duty is levied on the total amount secured and is applicable to both the registration and discharge of the mortgage. The standard rate is 1%. For amounts secured in relation to a Special Development Area, the rate is 2%.

Bank loans to aliens

Stamp duty is levied on the total amount of a bank loan to aliens. The standard rate is 2.5%. For loans to finance development in a Special Development Area, the rate is 5%.

Life insurance premium tax

A premium tax of 5% is levied on the premium income of all life insurance companies, whether resident or non-resident. In addition, a registration fee of XCD 2 per XCD 1,000 of income or XCD 30, whichever is less, must be paid to the Comptroller of Inland Revenue.

General insurance premium tax

A premium tax of 5% is levied on the premium income (net of agent’s commission) of all general insurance companies, whether resident or non-resident.

Statutory payroll deductions

Social Security

The employer's portion of Social Security is 5% of chargeable income (on income of up to XCD 6,500 per month).

Housing and Social Development Levy (Social Services Levy)

The employer's portion of the Social Services Levy is 3% of chargeable income.

Employment Injury Benefit

The employer's portion of Employment Injury Benefit is 1% of chargeable income (on income of up to XCD 6,500 per month).

Severance Payment Fund

The employer's portion of the contribution to the Severance Payment Fund is 1% of chargeable income.


Last Reviewed - 22 December 2016

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