Individual - Other taxes

Last reviewed - 16 December 2019

National Insurance contributions

Every individual between the ages of 16 and 65, who is gainfully employed in Barbados under a contract of service, must be insured under the National Insurance and Social Security Act. The current pensionable age is 66, with an increase to age 67 scheduled for 1 January 2018.

Effective 1 October 2018, a 1.5% Health Services Contribution will be collected by the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), where 1.5% will be paid by employers and 1% paid by employees and self-employed persons. This effectively increases the employee's contribution rate from 10.1% to 11.1% and employer's contribution rate from 11.25% to 12.75%.

Contributions are determined as a percentage of insurable earnings up to a maximum of insurable earning of BBD 4,820 per month or BBD 1,112 per week. Effective 1 January 2020, these will increase to BBD 4,880 per month or BBD 1,126 per week. Employers must remit National Insurance contributions by the 15th day of the following month. Effective from 1 October 2018, the employee’s share is 11.1%, with the employer paying 12.75%. Self-employed individuals make quarterly contributions of 17.1% on earnings of up to a maximum of BBD 4,820 per month (BBD 4,880 per month from 1 January 2020).

Consumption taxes

Value-added tax (VAT)

VAT is levied at the rate of 17.5% on the value of a wide range of goods and services imported or supplied in Barbados by VAT-registered persons.

See the Other taxes section in the Corporate tax summary for more information.

Stamp duty

Barbados imposes a stamp duty tax on various instruments, including written documents. The rates imposed vary depending on the document. Stamp duties applicable to documents for the transfer of shares, real estate, and mortgages are set out below:

Instruments Stamp duty rate
On sale of shares of companies listed on the Barbados Stock Exchange Exempt
On sale of real estate, leases, and shares in private companies * BBD 10 per BBD 1,000 or part thereof
On mortgages BBD 3 on each BBD 500 or part thereof

* Any transfer of shares to a person who is resident outside of Barbados, whether or not the transferor is resident in Barbados, where the assets of the company concerned consists of foreign assets and its income is derived solely from sources outside Barbados, will not be subject to transfer taxes in Barbados.