Bahamas Real Estate Buyers Guide

Government Taxes on Property Conveyances

  • 2.5 % Government Tax on all real estate transactions under $100,000.
  • 10% Government Tax on all real estate transactions over $100,000.
    The stamp tax is generally split equally between the purchaser and the vendor. This is typical but is subject to change during negotiations if the buyer and seller agree to a different deal structure.

The stamp tax is generally split equally between the purchaser and the vendor. This is typical but is subject to change during negotiations if the buyer and seller agree to a different deal structure.

Real Estate Commissions

Real estate sales and rental commissions are typically paid by the vendor or landlord. This is typical but is subject to change during negotiations if the buyer and seller agree to a different deal structure.

Commission Rates:

Developed Property is 6% while undeveloped land is 10%.

Value Added Tax

A 12 % Value Added Tax (VAT) is charged on all goods and services. This includes legal work, real estate commissions or appraisals.

Annual Real Property Tax (RPT) Rates

Improved Owner-Occupied Property

The first $250,000 in the value of owner-occupied residential property is exempt from RPT.
On the portion of the value of owner-occupied properties between $250,000 and $500,000, the rate is 0.75%

On the portion over $500,000,00 the tax rate is 1%
There is a ceiling of $50,000 for RPT on an owner-occupied home

Unimproved Vacant Property

For unimproved Bahamas property other than that exempt under the provisions of the Real Property Tax Act (section 39):

  • A fee of $100.00 per year is levied on the part of the market value up to $7,000
  • A tax rate of 1.5% per annum is applied to the part of the market value that exceeds $7,000

Commercial property

  • A tax rate of 1% per annum of the market value that does not exceed $500,000
  • A tax rate of 2% of the market value on the part of the market value in excess of $500,000

Exemptions:

Bahamas property owned by Bahamians and situated in the Family Islands is exempt from Real Property Tax (RPT). Property approved as commercial farmland by the Ministers of Agriculture is also eligible for Real Property Tax Exemptions.

Also exempt from Real Property Tax:

  • Unimproved Bahamas property owned by Bahamians (in New Providence or the Family Islands), meaning property without physical additions or alterations, or any works benefiting the land which have not increased the market value thereof by $5,000 or more;
  • Bahamas property used exclusively for charitable or public service from which no profit is derived.
  • All property located in Freeport, Grand Bahama.

A 12 % Value Added Tax (VAT) is charged on all goods and services. This includes legal work, real estate commissions or appraisals.

RESIDENCY/VISAS

Permanent Residency

The minimum real estate investment to apply for Bahamas Permanent Residency is $750,000. Owners who purchase property valued in excess of $1.5 million will receive expedited consideration for Bahamas Permanent Residency. Wives and dependents that usually reside in the household may also be endorsed on the Bahamas Permanent Residency certificate.

There are many personal benefits to Bahamas Permanent Residency with the main ones being The Bahamas has no capital gains taxes, capital transfer taxes, personal income tax or estate tax.

Additionally, you will be able to repatriate the entire proceeds at the time of sale including any profits provided you register the purchase with the Exchange Control Department of the Central Bank at the time of purchase. Your Real Estate lawyer will register the purchase for you at your request.

Entry Visas

Citizens of the United States of America, Canada, and the United Kingdom are not required to have an entry visa as long as their stay is less than 8-months and they can show proof of a return ticket departing the Bahamas. Visitors cannot engage in gainful employment without a permit issued by The Bahamas Department of Immigration. For detailed information on entry requirements please visit:

https://www.bahamas.com/entry-requirements

This information contained on this page is subject to change and is meant to be used as a guide only. When entering into any type of real estate transaction you should have legal representation. Bahamas Property Group is not responsible for any errors or omissions in the information contained on this website.

COMPLIANCE REQUIREMENTS TO TRANSACT PROPERTY IN THE BAHAMAS

To ensure that The Bahamas continues to be a trusted country for investing and conducting business, The Bahamas government passed legislation in May 2018 known as the Financial Transaction Reporting Act (FTRA). Under this act real estate brokers and developers are required to obtain and retain background information on each of our clients. Some of you may already be familiar with this process, known as Know Your Client/Customer (KYC), from your business dealings in countries like the United States, Canada and the U.K. The intention of KYC is to protect the investment grade of The Bahamas and ultimately our clients, promoting high ethical and professional standards that discourage criminal activity, namely anti-money laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT).

As it relates to our industry, prospective real estate sellers and buyers will be required to complete a KYC form that captures his/her personal information, country of residence and business, sources of funds and proof of permanent address.

Should you have any questions regarding this process, please don’t hesitate to contact us at info(at)bahamaspropertygroup(dotted)com and we will be happy to assist.