Global

Details

  • Service: Tax, Global Indirect Tax
  • Type: Regulatory update
  • Date: 6/1/2013

Curacao: TT essentials 

Essential information regarding TT as it applies in Curacao.


Scope and Rates

What supplies are liable to Turnover Tax?


The Curaçao turnover tax, also known as “Omzetbelasting” (OB) is comparable with a sales tax.


Curaçao OB will in general be due in connection with the supply of goods, the rendering of services and the import of goods by certain manufacturers and entrepreneurs within the framework of their enterprise. The tax base is in principle the remuneration.


What is the standard rate of Turnover Tax?


The Miscellaneous Sales Tax Act introduced some important amendments to the OB rates. As of May 1, 2013 (unless stated otherwise) the OB rates are as follows:


  • 6% standard rate;
  • 0% on basic commodities, including rice, flour, potatoes, fresh vegetables and fruit, and on non-profit sales by social, cultural, charitable, sportive, and religious organizations;
  • 7% on insurances; and effective January 1, 2014 on the provision of accommodations;
  • 9% on luxury and unhealthy goods and services such as cars, pleasure crafts, alcohol, tobacco, meals consumed in hotels, coffee shops, restaurants or take-away meals, cellular phones and other communication devices, computer games, fireworks, Christmas trees, lotteries, movies, exhibitions, and theatres.

Are there any reduced rates, zero rates, or exemptions?


Certain goods and services are exempt from sales tax with no right to recover input tax, including:


  • on request the OB in respect of the goods used for the manufacturing or packaging of goods for export
  • the delivery of real property provided that real estate transfer tax is levied
  • specific supplies of fuel
  • supply of goods and services to oil refineries, used for their operations
  • services rendered to companies established in an E-zone
  • services rendered to and by companies with a foreign exchange license
  • certain services to customers abroad are deemed to be rendered outside Curaçao (non taxable), for instance financial, IT, licensing services and services rendered by E-zone companies, provided that the service is factually enjoyed abroad.

What are the other local indirect taxes beside turnover tax?


  • Real estate tax
  • excise taxes
  • stamp duty & registration dutyland tax (real estate) (with considerable certainty, by January 1, 2014 the term land tax will disappear and will be replaced by the term property tax, as a result hereof tax is levied on the value of all property and not only on the value of land)room tax & casino tax. (As the basis for the room tax and the sales tax is the same, the room tax will be embedded into the sales tax legislation as per January 1, 2014. A special transitional provision will apply to entrepreneurs to whom a room tax exemption was granted in the past)

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Registration

Who is required to register for Curaçao Turnover Tax?


Entrepreneurs carrying out a business provided they are collecting revenues from the sale of goods or the rendering of services in Curaçao.


Upon request, entrepreneurs may be exempt from turnover tax provided that the turnover in the preceding year was less than ANG 30,000 (not applicable for real estate leasing activities).


Are there penalties for not registering or late registration?



If taxpayers do not follow the registration procedures explained above, there is a penalty depending on the gravity of the case and with percentages ranging between 5 and 100 percent of the tax due with maximum amounts between ANG 2,500 and no limit respectively.


Is voluntary Turnover Tax registration possible for an overseas company?


There is no special registry for OB but it is lawful practice to register a taxable foreign company in the Curaçao Taxpayers Registry. As mentioned above, such a registration involves the identification of the relevant taxable person with a valid identification number for all tax purposes (including invoicing, filing tax returns, and other reports to the tax administration).


Are there any simplifications that could avoid the need for an overseas company to register for Turnover Tax?


There are no simplifications.


Does an overseas company need to appoint a fiscal representative?


If an overseas company is registered in the taxpayer’s registry, there will in general not be an obligation to appoint a fiscal representative.

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Turnover Tax grouping

Is Turnover Tax grouping possible?


N/A.


Can an overseas company be included in a Turnover Tax group?



N/A.

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Returns

How frequently are Turnover Tax returns submitted?


Taxpayers are obligated to submit monthly tax returns relating to taxable and exempted operations.


Are there any other returns that need to be submitted?


No, there are not.


If a business receives a purchase invoice in foreign currency, which exchange rate should be used for Turnover tax reporting purposes?


Generally not applicable but if the reverse charge mechanism is applicable then the daily exchange rate should be used.

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Turnover Tax recovery

Can a business recover Turnover Tax if it is not registered?


In general, no.


Does your country apply reciprocity rules for reclaims submitted by non-established businesses?


No.


Are there any items that businesses cannot recover Turnover Tax on?


In general it is not possible to recover OB.

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International Supplies of Goods and Services

How are exports of goods and services treated?


Export of goods and services performed abroad are not subject to OB.


How are goods dealt with on importation?


When goods are imported into Curaçao, import OB and customs duties must be paid before the goods are released from customs control.


Exemptions apply like supplies to inherent vessels or trade products.


How are services which are brought in from abroad treated for Turnover Tax purposes?


Services rendered abroad which are enjoyed in Curaçao (enjoyment of services) are taxable.


If services are rendered to a local entrepreneur and if OB should be due in this scenario, a reverse charge mechanism will in principle apply which means that the local entrepreneur becomes liable for OB in connection with the services rendered by the foreign entrepreneur.

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Invoices

Is a business required to issue tax invoices?


Yes.


What do businesses have to show on a tax invoice?


Layout of invoices is strictly regulated. Among others, invoices must contain information about the identity of seller and buyer. In addition, invoices must disclose the price per unit and the OB charged separately from the sales price.


Can businesses issue invoices electronically?


No, to be requested.


Is it possible to operate self-billing?


No, to be requested.


Can a business issue invoices denominated in a foreign currency?


Yes.

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Transfers of Business

Is there a relief from Turnover Tax for the sale of a business as a going concern?


The transfers resulting from business reorganizations (merger or spin-off) or the sale of a (part of) a business are not subject to turnover tax. Transfers of individual assets however are taxable.

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Options to Tax

Are there any options to tax transactions?


No.

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Head Office and Branch transactions

How are transactions between head office and branch treated?


There are no special rules for OB, since both are considered as different taxpayers for OB purposes.

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Bad Debt

Are businesses able to claim relief for bad debts?


No.

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Anti-Avoidance

Is there a general anti-avoidance provision under Turnover Tax law?


There are no specific anti-avoidance rules in Curaçao legislation.

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Penalty Regime

What is the penalty and interest regime like?


There are certain penalties for failing to fulfill formal obligations (late registration, mistaken declaration of OB, late submission of an OB return and other irregularities).

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Tax authorities

Tax audits


How often do tax audits take place?


Once every 5 years.


Are there audits done electronically in your country (e-audit)? If so, what system is in use?


No.


Advance rulings and decisions from the tax authority


Is it possible to apply for formal or informal advance rulings from the (indirect) tax authority?


Not in general.


Are rulings and decisions issued by the tax authorities publicly available in your country?


N/A for rulings.

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Miscellaneous

In your country, are there unique specific indirect tax rules (regimes) that differ from standard indirect tax rules in other jurisdictions?


In general there is no right for entrepreneurs to claim deduction of turnover tax paid. Curaçao sales tax is based on a cumulative system, which means that there is in principle no reclaim of sales tax (no VAT system).


Are there indirect tax incentives available in your country (e.g. reduced rates, tax holidays)?


  1. E-zone: exemption from sales tax on services rendered to companies established in the E-zone and services rendered by these companies to customers abroad.
  2. Exemption from sales tax for qualifying tourism projects.
 

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