Business and Taxes
June 8, 2022
Reading Time: 7 min

Caribbean taxes: how much do individuals and companies pay?

Entrepreneurs get Caribbean passports by investment to develop their business and transfer assets to more convenient tax jurisdictions.

There are no capital gains or inheritance taxes in the Caribbean. Residents of some states do not pay income and property taxes.

We discuss the general taxation principles in the region and tax rates in five countries: St Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St Lucia and Dominica.

Albert Ioffe
Albert Ioffe

Told about Caribbean taxes

Caribbean taxes

Caribbean taxes: how much do individuals and companies pay?

Who pays Caribbean taxes

The taxable items and tax rates depend on whether a person or a company is a tax resident.

Tax residents are individuals who live in a Caribbean country for more than 183 days a year. Otherwise, they are not tax residents.

To permanently live in a Caribbean country and become a tax resident, you need a residence permit, permanent residence, or citizenship. The fastest way is to get a passport by investment.

Signs of tax residency for individuals are listed in the Ernst and Young report:

  • residing in the state for at least 183 per year;

  • a valid registration address in the country;

  • social, economic, political or cultural activities on the country’s territory.

All companies registered in the country or managed by a country structure are tax residents.

Non-residents pay taxes if they have a source of income in a Caribbean country.

Taxes for individuals

There are no inheritance or capital gain taxes in the Caribbean. Taxes on income, dividends, royalties and interest, and social contributions are the main taxes paid by individuals in the Caribbean countries.

Income tax is not paid by residents and non-residents of Antigua and Barbuda and St Kitts and Nevis. In other Caribbean countries, income tax is calculated on a progressive scale.

Income tax rates are the same for residents and non-residents. The difference is that residents pay tax on all their income, while non-residents only pay income from sources in the country.

Income tax in the Caribbean countries

Country

Taxation object

Tax rate

Not taxed

Not taxed

Not taxed

Not taxed

Income from labour and entrepreneurial activities

10% — the first EC$24,000;

28% — from EC$24,000

Income from employment and business activities, royalties, interest, rent, except for the first EC$18,400

For amount over EC$18,400:

10% — EC$0 to EC$10,000;

15% — EC$10,000 to EC$20,000;

20% — EC$20,000 to EC$30,000;

30% — above EC$30,000

Income from labour and business activities, royalties, interest, rent

15% — EC$0 to EC$20,000;

25% — EC$20,000 to EC$50,000;

35% — above EC$50,000

Taxes on dividends, royalties and interest are not paid by all Caribbean tax residents except for St Lucians. The St Lucia tax rate on interest and royalties is 10% for income from the country’s sources.

Non-residents who receive dividends, royalties and interest from a source in the country pay taxes too. Exceptions are interest and royalties in Grenada and dividends in St Lucia.

Tax rates for non-residents individuals

Country

Dividends

Interests

Royalty

15%

0%

0%

0%

15% for CARICOM* residents;

25% for non-residents

15% for CARICOM* residents;

25% for non-residents

15%

15%

15%

15%

15%

15%

25%

25%

25%

Social contributions from wages received from a source in the country are paid by tax residents and non-residents. For both categories, the rate is the same and, depending on the local tax law, ranges from 5 to 6%. The money goes to support healthcare and education.

Levon, a Dominica citizen and tax resident

Levon, a Dominica citizen and tax resident,

Pays taxes in Dominica since 2021

I obtained Dominica citizenship in 2020, became a tax resident, and relocated my business there in 2021. As a result, I reduced the tax burden by 1.5 times.

Property taxes in the Caribbean

Taxes and government fees are related to buying, owning and selling real estate. Property tax laws differ for individuals and legal entities, for tax residents and non-residents, and for citizens and investors who do not have a Caribbean passport.

The real estate purchase without a land acquisition is accompanied by transfer tax and stamp duty payment. The tax rates for legal entities and individuals are the same for residents and non-residents, except for Grenada.

Tax rates and stamp duties when buying real estate

Stamp duty

Property transfer tax

Stamp duty

Country

For individuals

For companies

For individuals

For companies

Not taxed

5—15%

Not taxed

1%

Not taxed

Not taxed

2.5%

2.5%

2%

2%

2%

2%

Not taxed

Not taxed

Not taxed

Not taxed

6%

6%

4%

4%

Other rules apply to investors who are not the country’s citizens. If an investor buys a villa, he acquires a special license to own land in 5—10% of the plot value. If an investor buys a villa to participate in the citizenship program, he does not need a license.

Property ownership tax is not paid by Dominica residents and non-residents, whether individuals or legal entities. In other Caribbean states, the purchase or sale of a property is taxed at 0.1 to 0,5%. The tax rate depends on the property type.

Property tax rates

  • Antigua and Barbuda — 0.1 to 0,5%

  • Grenada — 0.1 to 0,5%

  • St Lucia — 0,25% for residential properties and 0,4% for commercial properties

  • St Kitts and Nevis — 0.2 to 0,3%

  • Dominica — not taxed

The tax rate for the real estate sale in the Caribbean varies from 2.5 to 15% and depends on the property type and the seller status.

St Lucia tax rates also depend on the value of the property. For example, for real estate worth up to EC$75,000, the seller with the country’s passport will pay a tax of 2,5%. For an object worth up to EC$150,000, the tax is 3,5%, and for an object costing over the EC$150,000 EC$ — 5%.

Tax rates and stamp duties for real estate sellers

Country

Tax rate

Stamp duty

5% — for citizens: residents and non-residents

15% — for non-citizens and/or non-residents

Not paid

Not taxed

7.5%

2.5 to 5% — for citizens

10% — for non-citizens

2.5 to 5% — for citizens

10% — for non-citizens

Not taxed

10%

6%

2.5%

Here are examples of tax calculations for properties suitable for participation in Caribbean citizenship programs.

Tax calculation for property in Dominika:

  • 10% — property tax and stamp duty for buyer

  • 2,5% — property tax and stamp duty for seller

  • Not taxed — property ownership tax

Tax calculation for property in Saint Kitts and Nevis:

  • Not taxed — property tax and stamp duty for buyer

  • 10% — property tax and stamp duty for seller

  • 0,3% — property ownership tax

Tax calculation for property in Grenada:

  • 0%, if without a land plot — property tax and stamp duty for buyer

  • 5% — property tax and stamp duty for seller

  • 0,2% — property ownership tax

Tax calculation for property in Saint Lucia:

  • 4% for St Lucia citizens; 10% for other investors — property tax and stamp duty for buyer

  • 10% for St Lucia citizens; 20% for other investors — property tax and stamp duty for seller

  • 0,25% for residence property; 0,4% for commercial property — property ownership tax

How an individual can become a taxpayer in the Caribbean

To become a tax resident and spend at least 183 days a year in the country, you can obtain Caribbean citizenship.

St Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St Lucia and Dominica offer citizenship with 2—6 months of processing time. The minimum investment is $100,000.

James, 32 years old

has a game developer company

How a US investor obtained Dominica tax residency

James’s company creates video games and ranks among the top video game developers. The company’s revenue is about $3 billion. But much of it goes to taxes. James has decided to change his tax residency to pay fewer taxes.

Immigrant Invest lawyers helped James get the Dominica passport by investment, register as a taxpayer, and receive a Tax Code.

Learn a case

Registration in the taxpayers' database occurs after obtaining residence status. First, the investor receives a tax registration number — Tax ID. Upon request, the tax department issues a Tax Code, which allows you to file tax returns.

Individual cost calculation of the St Kitts and Nevis citizenship

Individual cost calculation of the St Kitts and Nevis citizenship

How to open a company in the Caribbean

Registration of a company occurs on the state portal by filling out forms, scanning documents and uploading. State duty is also paid — about $1,200. All documents must be translated into English and certified with an apostille.

You need to choose a type of company before registration:

  • International Business Company (IBC);

  • Holding Company;

  • Import and Export Company;

  • Shipping Company;

  • Finance Company.

IBC is the most common company type in the Caribbean. An IBC is suitable for businesses that work with partners or have subsidiaries outside the country of incorporation.

Check: does the company fit the IBC type?

The company has at least one director, one shareholder and one manager. The director, shareholder and manager can be the same person

The shareholders elect the directors of the company

The company name has the abbreviation Ltd. or Inc.

Documents required for Caribbean company registration

  1. Articles of Association/Incorporation

  2. Memorandum

  3. Shareholders’ passport copies

  4. Confirmation of the registration address of all shareholders

  5. Payment of the authorised capital. The legislation does not establish a minimum, the recommended amount is $50,000

Caribbean countries that exchange tax information

Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia and other Caribbean countries submit data to the CRS automatic tax information exchange system. For example, China and India also participate in the information exchange. This means that the county tax services will receive information about the investor’s taxes in the Caribbean countries.

CRS list includes more than 150 jurisdictions. The USA is not a part of CRS. But the country is a member of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. The United States has agreed to implement tax-related transparency and information exchange.

Caribbean countries that exchange tax information

  • Anguilla

  • Antigua and Barbuda

  • Aruba

  • Bahamas

  • Barbados

  • Cayman islands

  • Curacao

  • Dominica

  • Grenada

  • Montserrat

  • St Kitts and Nevis

  • St Lucia

  • Saint Martin

  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

  • Trinidad and Tobago

  • Virgin Islands

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for citizenship and residence by investment programs in the EU, the Caribbean, Asia, and the Middle East. Take advantage of our global 15-year expertise — schedule a meeting with our investment programs experts.

Download the guide of comparison of the Caribbean and Vanuatu programs

Practical Guide

Download the guide of comparison of the Caribbean and Vanuatu programs

Frequently asked questions

  • Who pays Caribbean taxes?

    Tax residents and non-residents pay taxes in the Caribbean.

    A person becomes a tax resident if they live in the chosen country for more than 183 days a year. A company becomes a tax resident if registered in a Caribbean state.

    Non-resident individuals and companies also pay taxes if they receive income from a source in the Caribbean country.

    Property taxes in the Caribbean are paid by buyers, owners and sellers, both individuals and legal entities. Higher tax rates apply if the land buyer does not have a country passport.

  • What taxes do individuals pay in the Caribbean?

    Income tax, tax on dividends, royalties and interest, and social contributions.

    There is no income tax in Antigua and Barbuda and St Kitts and Nevis. In the other Caribbean states, income tax is paid progressively. The income tax rate varies from 10 to 35%, depending on the income level.

  • What taxes do legal entities pay in the Caribbean?

    The main tax that Caribbean companies pay is corporate tax. The tax rate varies from 25 to 33%.

    VAT is paid by companies engaged in wholesale and retail trade or the provision of services in the territory of the Caribbean states. The standard VAT rate is 15%.

    Resident companies in the Caribbean do not pay tax on dividends, royalties and interest at source. Only St Lucia resident companies pay tax on interest and royalties at 10%.

  • What taxes are paid when buying or selling a property?

    In these cases, tax residents and non-residents of the Caribbean states will pay property tax and stamp duty.

    The property tax rate varies from 0.1 to 0,5%. The stamp duty rate is from 2 to 10%. The rate depends on the type of transaction — sale of real estate or purchase, on the type of real estate — whether there is a land plot, and in some countries — on the tax status of the buyer or seller.

  • Is it profitable to register a company in the Caribbean?

    Caribbean companies do not pay tax on dividends, royalties and interest, except in Saint Lucia. Country residents pay tax on interest and royalties at a rate of 10%.

    In the Caribbean, companies do not pay capital gains tax. Corporate tax rates range from 25% to 33%.

    You can register a company in the Caribbean online. To do this, you need to upload a package of documents to the state portal and pay a fee.

  • How to become a tax resident in the Caribbean?

    To become a tax resident of a Caribbean state, you need to spend at least 183 days a year there. Entrepreneurial investors receive a second passport to become a resident of a Caribbean country with a more comfortable tax jurisdiction.

  • Are there taxes in the Caribbean?

    Yes. Individuals pay taxes on income, dividends, royalties and interest, and social contributions in Caribbean countries.

    Caribbean companies pay corporate tax. In some cases, legal entities pay VAT and tax on interest and royalties.

  • Which Caribbean islands are tax-free?

    Income tax is not paid by residents and non-residents of Antigua and Barbuda and St Kitts and Nevis. All Caribbean tax residents do not pay tax on dividends, royalties and interest except for St Lucians.

    Caribbean companies do not pay capital gains tax, but they do pay corporate tax. In some cases, legal entities pay VAT and tax on interest and royalties.

    Property ownership tax is not paid by Dominica residents and non-residents, whether individuals or legal entities.