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Residence and domicile
How is residence/domicile determined for tax liability purposes in your jurisdiction?
In the Bahamas a person’s residency status or domicile does not affect tax liability. Rather, taxes are assessed in respect of real property ownership, a value added tax (VAT) regime and other indirect modes of taxation.
Describe the income tax regime in your jurisdiction (including tax base, rates, filing formalities and any exemptions, reliefs or deductions).
Income taxes are not assessed in the Bahamas.
Describe the capital gains tax regime in your jurisdiction (including tax base, rates, filing formalities and any exemptions, reliefs or deductions).
There is no capital gains tax regime in the Bahamas.
Inheritance and lifetime gifts
Describe the inheritance and gift tax regime in your jurisdiction (including tax base, rates, filing formalities and any exemptions, reliefs or deductions).
There is no inheritance and gift tax regime in the Bahamas.
What taxes apply to individuals’ acquisition and disposal of real estate in your jurisdiction?
On an individual’s acquisition of real estate in the Bahamas, VAT and stamp duties are payable. VAT on the transfer of real property is presently assessed at a rate of 7.5%, while stamp duty is assessed at a rate of 2.5%. During the ownership of real property, annual property taxes are assessed and payable based on the value of the real estate.
Non-real estate assets
Do any taxes apply to the acquisition and disposal of other assets apart from real estate?
Stamp duty is payable on some transfers of personal property. Stamp duty on the transfer of personal property is assessed at a rate of 2.5% of the value of the asset.
Other applicable tax regimes
Are any other direct or indirect tax regimes relevant to individuals?
The Bahamas implemented a VAT regime in 2014. The VAT Act provides for the imposition, assessment and collection of tax on the supply and importation of goods and services in the Bahamas. VAT is assessed at a standard rate of 7.5%. Additionally, the Bahamas also utilises a stamp duty and customs and excise duty tax regime. Stamp and custom duty rates vary based on the nature and type of the asset, transaction or goods involved.
Are there any special tax planning considerations for individuals with a link to your jurisdiction?
While there is no income, capital gains or estate taxes payable in the Bahamas, permanent residents and Bahamian citizens with residences in taxable jurisdictions should be mindful of their lengths of stay in those taxable jurisdictions to ensure the total time stayed does not result in unintended tax residence in those jurisdictions.
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