View Full Version : Taxes on Bonaire

09-26-2017, 12:43 PM
I am approaching retirement and am strongly considering Bonaire. I have a few questions. I will be drawing a government retirement from the US as well as some rental property income. Would i be double taxed? In the information i have found there is alot of conflicting information on taxation in Bonaire for foreign income. Does anyone know the current taxation on foreign income from the US for a retiree?

09-27-2017, 06:54 AM
Hi Jimbo,

I am in your same situation and am happy to tell you that pension income and rental income are exempt from Bonaire taxation. You will be subject to Income tax when you have obtained your residency but it amounts to a filing and a small charge for your participation in the healthcare system here which is essentially free to you. Your vehicle will be subject to an annual road tax and your residence will be subject to and annual property tax which is low if this is your primary residence and a little higher if this residence is used as a vacation rental. You will be required to show an income in order to qualify for residency (not citizenship) but as stated above, this income is not subject to local tax if it comes from pension or rents. For all things tax related there is an outstanding local resident (Bruce Zavon) specializing in these things who can help sort out the proper paperwork at tax time.

03-18-2018, 03:31 PM
I am a new owner of Bonaire property and will be paying property taxes for the first time. Does anyone know the process around taxes:
When to expect tax invoice? How it arrives, mail or email? Many thanks in advance, Golonik.

04-16-2018, 03:46 PM
Hi, I just found this forum. Did you find any accurate sources or information about taxes on US-derived income? I will have a corporate pension, and portfolio income, (and social security income in 2 years).

Thank you

04-18-2018, 03:51 PM
THE expert on US/Bonaire taxation is Bruce Zavon (website: www.zavontax.com)

04-19-2018, 05:21 PM
Thank you very much!

05-22-2018, 03:59 PM
Hi Golonik - Did you get an answer to this (or your bill)?...
I received my paper property tax bill in U.S. mail, I think in March.
It was in Dutch but I managed to figure it out with some help from Google. If you have an account at MCB (probably the same at other island banks), the tax agency is a known payment account so you can just pick them from the options in online payments.

03-22-2019, 02:03 PM
New question, has anyone bought a lot and subsequently built a home on it? If so, do you avoid the 6% + tax on the cost of the build and only pay tax on the lot, or do they hit you for tax on the house itself after you build?

03-25-2019, 10:21 AM
Gelonik -

The government will send you a bill in the mail for your property taxes, no matter where you live in the world. It can take 2 months to 6 months to arrive if you don't live in Bonaire. They will send it to the address that was on the deed when you purchased the property. You can go to the tax office and fill out a form if you ever need to change your address.

There are three type of property "taxes":

- If you are resident (have a sedula and live here full-time more or less) you will be charged "grondbelasting" (GB): The tax amount is 0.345% of the assessed value of your property minus $70,000. Assuming you buy your house for $170,000 the tax is computed as follows: $170,000 (assessed value) minus $70,000 (living unit exemption) times 0.345% =$345. Your grondbelsting tax bill as a resident would be $345. THIS TAX RATE ONLY APPLIES TO YOUR PRIMARY RESIDENCE IF YOU ARE A RESIDENT.

- If you are a non-resident (live here less than 6 months per year, and don't have a sedula) you will be charged "vastgoed belasting" (VGB): The tax amount is 0.8% of the assessed value of your property minus $70,000. Assuming you buy your house for $170,000 the tax is computed as follows: $170,000 (assessed value) minus $70,000 (living unit exemption) times 0.8% =$800. Your vasgoedbelasting tax bill as a non-resident would be $800. THIS RATE ONLY APPLIES TO ALL PROPERTIES THAT YOU OWN IF YOU ARE A NON-RESIDENT. THIS TAX RATE ALSO APPLIES TO ALL OTHER PROPERTIES THAT YOU OWN IF YOU ARE A RESIDENT, SUCH AS RENTAL PROPERTIES, OR COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS.

- If you own a property that is on LEASED LAND you will also pay a land lease fee to the local government. This fee is charged on a per square mater basis and it ranges from $1.49 per square meter for oceanfront properties to $0.75 in Belnem and Hato to between $0.10 and $0.15 per square meter in most of the other neighborhoods on Bonaire where there is leased land. The annual lease cost depends on how large your lot is, and what the leased land fee is.

If you have any other questions, just let me know.

03-25-2019, 10:34 AM
Xspect -

If you buy a lot on Bonaire and build a house you will pay for the cost of the land. plus between 6% and 7% for closing costs when you transfer the deed.

When you are building, all of the building materials that you BUY at retail will include the 8% import duty on the price you pay. If you purchase services locally, like labor or project management those vendors will charge you a 6% sales tax called ABB.

If you import construction materials from the US or the Netherlands (roofing materials, lumber, cabinets, plumbing fixtures, etc.) you will pay 8% import duty on the cost of the materials and shipping costs.

Ro Cargo can provide you withe the exact import duty on the thing you are importing, as some import taxes could be higher or lower.

There is no way to avoid these taxes.

GOOD NEWS: At the present time Bonaire is offering a 10 year tax holiday (you pay no property taxes for 10 years) on all new construction and on the net value of any renovation work that results in a significant increase in a properties value. You should apply for this tax holiday BEFORE you begin building. You contractor or accountant should be able to help you with the paperwork.

03-27-2019, 06:16 PM
Ok, hopefully they keep that going for a while since I won't be able to even think about moving for 7-10 years since my son is only in 8th grade and we can't retire this early. I'm 47 and my wife is 52. It doesn't seem like there is a whole lot to do in Bonaire for work (if you only speak English) other than lower paying service jobs in restaurants, hotels, and dive shops, so that might put us off a little further so we can get closer to getting social security for retirement income.