The export regime applies to companies that are active internationally. There is no distinction between companies owned by local or foreign shareholders. The most important requirement is that 90% or more of the company’s business profit is the result of transactions with foreign clients. There is also no distinction between income from trade or from services.
The regime supports the following activities:
Through the use of a transparent company, the risks of operating a business may be limited without the company being subjected to profit tax. The company is transparent for tax purposes and will be treated as a partnership and the shareholders as the partners in that partnership. The shareholders / partners are deemed to have received direct benefits according to their share in the profit of the company.
The transparent company is for example often used to set up a joint venture.
The BV and the NV can obtain an exempted status for profit tax. The exempt company regime is geared towards investment and finance purposes. An exempt company may for example be used as a mutual fund or for intercompany finance activities. However, investment in real estate is not allowed. To qualify for the exempted status, the BV must meet certain conditions with regard to the allowed activities, management, shareholders registry and annual accounts.
Private foundation and a Curaçao trust
A private foundation and a trust are widely used for investment purposes or for management of family assets. If the private foundation or trust do not carry on a business, it is exempted from corporate income tax. It is possible to request that the private foundation or trust are regarded as a taxable Special Purpose Fund (in Dutch: doelvermogen).
The corporate tax rate will be 10% on regular income as well as capital gains. In case the Private Foundation does operate a business, the profit from that business will be subject to the general profit tax rate of 25%, and 22% in 2016.
Two special income tax regimes are available for those who want to move to Curaçao:
Available to individuals who earn pension income or who live from capital returns and take up residence in Curaçao. To be eligible the following requirements must be met. Persons can apply that:
There is no requirement as to nationality and no stipulation of a minimum period of residency.
The legislation provides for two income tax options, namely:
- Income from foreign sources is taxed at 10%, or
- Foreign income is fixed at ANG 500,000 (USD 280,000) and the corresponding income tax due amounts to approx. ANG 220,000 (USD 120,000).
Depending on the age of the individual social securities will be due as well.
The regime is meant for employees who contribute ‘specific expertise’ to a company in Curaçao. It offers advantages such as exempted salary components and fringe benefits. Most important advantage is that a net salary does not have to be grossed up. If granted it applies for a maximum of 5 years, with the possibility of an extension up to 10 years.
For more information on the Investment Guide go to www.curinvest.com.