A BUYING GUIDE
The process of buying property in the Caribbean is straightforward. Below, as an example, we give a basic guide to making a purchase in Barbados.
- Anyone can buy property in Barbados; there are no restrictions, but if you’re a foreign national you need to get the permission of the Central Bank of Barbados. This is a formality.
- Your vendor pays a property transfer tax and the stamp duty. See below.
- You can raise finance in Barbados as a non-national. But if you choose to bring the finance with you, it must be registered with the Central Bank.
- For legal conveyancing of ‘unregistered’ land (which most is) you pay legal fees on a sliding scale:
Up to BDS $25,000 BDS*: $1,000
On the next BDS $75,000: 2.5%
On the next BDS $100,000: 1.5%
On the next BDS $300,000: 1.25%
Amounts above this threshold: 1%
- Further fees will be payable if you’re borrowing for the purchase, based on the loan amount.
- You should also budget for an annual land tax. Rates range from 0%-0.75% of the value of the property. The tax has a ceiling of BDS $60,000.
* As at 4May 2016, £1 = $2.90 Barbadian dollars
IF YOU’RE SELLING
- The seller pays a stamp duty of 1%.
- The seller pays a transfer tax of 2.5% for sales above BDS $50,000, or $150,000 if a building is part of the sale.
- To avoid both these taxes, many non-resident purchasers establish an offshore company to buy and own the asset. This also avoids any issues with withdrawing 100% of sales proceeds at once.
- There are rules on repatriating the proceeds of property sales from Barbados. As things stand, you may withdraw the original purchase price, and a gain of 4-8%. Any further profit can only be taken at the rate $100,000 a year, although the Central Bank may exercise some discretion for senior citizens and emergencies.
- There is no capital gains tax for non-nationals.
- You may also leave your property to whoever you choose; there are no succession laws for non-nationals.
Please note: This article reflects Aylesford’s current understanding of property legislation in Barbados as at November 2015. It is offered for general guidance only; specialist legal and tax advice should always be taken for any property transaction.