BUYING OWNERSHIP & COSTS Bahamas Real Estate
GOVERNMENT TAXES ON PROPERTY CONVEYANCES
- 2.5 % Government Stamp Duty on all real estate transactions
- 7.5% Value Added Tax applicable on all property transactions valued at $100,000 or more
The usual practice in the Bahamas is for the tax to be shared equally between buyer and seller unless otherwise agreed upon.
A 7.5% 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 Bahamian attorney
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:
- 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%
In respect of unimproved property: (other than unimproved property exempt by virtue of Section 39 of the Real Property Tax Act)
- First $7,000 of market value is $100
- More than $7,000 of market value 1½%.
In respect of any other property:
- First $500,000 of market value is 1%
- More than $500,000 of market value is 2%
Property owned by Bahamians and situated in the Family Islands is exempt from property tax. Property approved as commercial farm land (by the Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources, and the Minister Finance) may be eligible for property tax exemptions.
Unimproved property owned by Bahamians, meaning property without physical additions or alterations, or any works benefitting the land which have not increased the market value thereof by $5,000 or more;
Places of religious worship; school buildings and their gardens and playing areas;
Property owned by foreign governments;
Property owned by foreign nations used for consular offices or residences of consular officials and employees;
Property used exclusively for charitable or public service from which no profit is derived
PERMANENT RESIDENCE STATUS
Overseas persons investing in a residence valued at $500,000 and over, may apply to the Department of Immigration for Permanent Residency status. Holding a Permanent Residency certificate can lead to significant tax advantages in your home country. Accelerated Consideration for a Permanent Residence certificate is offered to purchasers of residence (homes or condos.) of $1,500,000 or more.
ANNUAL HOMEOWNERS RESIDENCE CARD
Available to any homeowner in The Bahamas. Obtained from the Director of Immigration, it allows the permit holder, and family, to enter and remain in The Bahamas for the period of the permit.
SHIPPING FUNRITURE AND HOUSEHOLD ITEMS
Easily handled by a shipping or airfreight company which makes moving and decoration quite easy. A detailed inventory of items with approximate value is need and we suggest using local customs prior to clearing your items.
Local banks offer BSD$ and US$ Mortgages to finance the purchase of a home or property in the Bahamas.
BAHAMAS GOVERNMENT VALUE ADDED TAX (VAT)
As of January 1, 2015 the Bahamas Government has imposed a 7.5% Value Added Tax (VAT) on Real Estate Commissions and Legal Fees.