Buying in The Bahamas
GOVERNMENT TAXES ON PROPERTY CONVEYANCES
10% Government Stamp Duty on all property transactions valued at $100,000 or more.
2.5% Government Stamp Duty applicable on all property transactions valued at $100,000 or less.
The usual practice in the Bahamas is for the tax to be shared equally between buyer and seller unless otherwise agreed upon.
A 12% Value Added Tax (VAT) is charged on real estate services, including appraisals, legal work, commissions and insurance. Laws and policies are subject to change.
Both buyer and seller need legal representation by a Bahamian attorney- standard no more than 2.5% of the selling price.
BAHAMAS REAL ESTATE COMMISSIONS:
Developed property: 6% Undeveloped property (vacant land): 10%
ANNUAL REAL PROPERTY TAX RATES
The rates of tax on real property are as follows:
In respect of owner-occupied property: 6 months or more:
The first $250,000 of market value is tax exempt
More than $250,000 and not exceeding $500,000 of market value is 0.625%
More than $500,000 and not exceeding $5,000,000 of market value is 1%
More than $5,000,000 of market value is ½% (capped at $50,000 annually)
In respect of unimproved property: (other than unimproved property exempt by virtue by The Real Property Tax Act
First $7,000 of market value is $100 More than $7,000 of market value 2%
In respect of any other property:
First $500,000 of market value is 1% More than $500,000 of market value is 2%
ANNUAL HOMEOWNERS RESIDENCE CARD
Available to any homeowner in The Bahamas. Obtained from the Director of Immigration, it allows the permit holder, and family, to enter and remain in The Bahamas for the period of the permit.
Major international investors and owners of residences valued at $750,000 may apply for permanent residency and at $1.5 million or more, owners will receive expedited consideration for permanent residency permits.
Applicants must be of good character, show evidence of financial support and commit in writing they wish to live permanently in the Bahamas. Wives and dependent children (under 18 years) usually resident in a household may be endorsed on the certificate when the original application is made.
BAHAMAS GOVERNMENT VALUE ADDED TAX (VAT)
As of July 1, 2018 the Bahamas Government has imposed a 12% Value Added Tax (VAT) on all products and services in The Bahamas.
Selling in The Bahamas
SELLER'S STAMP TAX TO BE PAID:
Half of the 10% Government VAT tax for a total of 5% on all real estate transactions over $100,000 gross.
Real estate transactions under $100,000 gross for a total of 1.25%.
The stamp duty is usually based on your purchase price but is subject to review by Inland Revenue and they will normally request an appraisal reflecting market value upon completion.
REAL ESTATE COMMISSIONS TO BE PAID: are established by the Bahamas Real Estate Association:
6% commission plus 12% VAT service on developed property (example homes and condos)
10% commission plus 12% VAT on undeveloped land.
SELLER'S LEGAL FEE: is standard of 2.5% of the selling price plus 12% VAT service.
PROPERTY TAX: if any, needs to be paid in full and will be pro-rated as needed up to the time of completion
OTHER COSTS UPON CLOSING: may but not necessarily - include converting funds from Bahamian to U.S. currency and vice versa, and appraisal and surveying fees. Prices are noted in $B or $US dollars. Laws are subject to change.
Our agents have built strong relationships and work very closely with other licensed Bahamian Sales Agents and Brokers. The Bahamas MLS will provide your listing with maximum exposure to MLS members throughout the Bahamas with the advantage of an IDX feed to the majority of the Bahamas Real Estate agencies’ websites.
COMPLIANCE AND DUE DILIGENCE REQUIREMENTS (FTRA):
In May 2018, The Bahamas Government passed legislation known as the Financial Transactions Reporting Act 2018 (FTRA) in order to maintain a culture of compliance. As a result of this Act, Real Estate Brokers are required by law to carry out due diligence of their clients. Upon engaging us to represent you in the purchase or sale of real estate, we will require you to complete our CDD (Client Due Diligence) paperwork.