Indirect tax snapshot
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Sales tax is the main type of indirect taxation in Curaçao.
It is a tax on consumption which is applied during the production and distribution process to most goods and services. It is also applied to import of goods. Although sales tax is ultimately borne by the consumer by being included in the price paid, the responsibility for charging, collecting and paying it to the tax authority rests with the business delivering the good(s) or providing the service(s).
A business registered for the tax will charge sales tax on its sales.
A transaction is within the scope of Curaçao sales tax if the following conditions are met:
- it is a delivery of goods or provision of services. Although the term ‘provision of services’ is not defined in the legislation, it has a broad interpretation.
- it takes place in Curaçao.
- it is made by a taxable person. A taxable person is a person or entity who is an entrepreneur for sales tax purposes.
There are three rates of sales tax that are applied to goods and services in Curaçao: the standard rate of 6%, the special rate of 7% for insurances, short term rent to tourists, and the special rate of 9% for listed delivery and provision of goods respectively services. In addition, some goods and services are exempted from sales tax.
Imported goods are taxed with sales tax at a rate of 9%. In this regard, sales tax is levied on the value of the good at import.
A 'person' who supplies goods or services must register for sales tax if the person can be regarded as an entrepreneur for sales tax purposes. An entrepreneur is anyone who independently carries out a business or profession, as well as anyone who exploits an asset to generate income from it.
A 'person' includes any legal entity.
Other than being an entrepreneur for sales tax purposes, no registration limit applies for the sales tax.
No, for business to customer transactions the non-established business needs to register itself at the tax authorities.
For business to business transactions, sales tax is levied from the established business on Curaçao.
Yes, for business to customer transactions the non-established business needs to register itself at the Tax Authorities and pay sales tax.
Sales tax returns are in principle submitted on a monthly basis before the 15th of the following month. However, on request, returns may be submitted every three months if the taxed revenue does not exceed ANG 10.000 in three months. Furthermore, on request, a return may under certain conditions be submitted once a year if the taxed revenue does not exceed ANG 30.000.
A penalty may be imposed by the tax authority if sales tax returns are not submitted on time. Penalties may amount to a maximum of ANG 10.000. The amount of the penalty will be determined for each case separately.
Sales tax must be paid within one month after the sales tax assessment is received. For the first late payment, the tax authority will issue a notification to the taxpayer confirming that if no payment is received within 10 days, the owed sales tax can be claimed by court order.
Yes. A range of penalties can be imposed where businesses do not comply with the sales tax legislation.
Penalties can be applied for errors and omissions made on tax returns. Penalties can also be applied where the business has failed to maintain adequate records. More severe penalties can be applied when a business is in bad faith when submitting a tax return.
A sales tax invoice must in principle show:
- the invoice date
- an invoice number which is unique and sequential
- the seller's name, address, Crib-number and registration number obtained from the Chamber of Commerce
- the customer's name and address
- a description sufficient to identify the goods or services supplied to the customer
- the total delivered goods and the scope of the provided services
- the unit price (without sales tax)
- the time of supply (also known as tax point) if this is different from the invoice date
- the applicable sales tax rate, or if a sales tax exemption is applicable or sales tax is levied from the purchaser, a notification thereof
- the compensation, as well as any discounts that are not included in the unit price
- the total amount of sales tax charged (in ANG)
- the total amount to be paid by the purchaser
Under certain specific circumstances an exemption can be obtained for the issue of sales tax invoices.
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