Thursday, 7 October, 2010

Netherlands Antilles cease to exist as a country.

On Sunday 10th October the Netherlands Antilles will cease to exist as an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. 

While there will be no immediate impact for anyone with interests in the five islands that form the Netherlands Antilles, they should be aware of the tax and legal implications.

Curaçao and St Maarten will effectively become autonomous on internal affairs, and are expected to adopt the current legal and tax systems, and form a monetary union with the Caribische Gulden as currency, which will be fixed against the US$.

The other three islands - Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba - will become special municipalities of the Netherlands and legal entities based there will become subject to Netherlands law as applied in the islands, although it has been agreed that for at least five years there will be no major changes. The three islands are also adopting the US$ as official currency from 1 January 2011.

In 2001, the Netherlands Antilles abolished the old offshore legislation, although existing tax structures were grandfathered until 2019. After 10 October, the grandfathering will remain in force in Curaçao and St Maarten, where virtually all offshore companies were established.

A completely new tax system is currently being established for Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba who, as part of the Netherlands, will not have fiscal autonomy. The proposals are not yet agreed, but could include: 

• no direct taxation on profits for active companies;
• profit taxation based on the Dutch corporate tax system for passive companies;
• annual taxation on commercial real estate based on the value of properties
• taxation on profit distributions
• a flat rate for wage and income tax
• turnover, import and excise tax
• transfer tax on real estate

The final tax bills of the BES islands are still not entirely clear, however, while we are waiting for the BES tax bills to be finalised and approved by the Dutch Parliament, we are positive that the BES tax legislation will create new possibilities for international structuring, creating an even more interesting and stronger place for the Caribbean islands of the Kingdom of the Netherlands on the short list of strong and trustworthy international financial hubs for international oriented operations. This is not only the perception of Vistra, but also of many competitors and advisory firms. While Vistra is already established on Bonaire, quite a lot of international oriented advisors legal as well as tax have, in preparation of the changes, domiciled or are in the process of domiciliating on one of the BES islands, in particular Bonaire.
 
For more information please click here to download our information sheet or contact Gerard Jan van Spallon +(599 9) 7366 044 On Sunday 10th October the Netherlands Antilles will cease to exist as an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. 

While there will be no immediate impact for anyone with interests in the five islands that form the Netherlands Antilles, they should be aware of the tax and legal implications.

Curaçao and St Maarten will effectively become autonomous on internal affairs, and are expected to adopt the current legal and tax systems, and form a monetary union with the Caribische Gulden as currency, which will be fixed against the US$.

The other three islands - Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba - will become special municipalities of the Netherlands and legal entities based there will become subject to Netherlands law as applied in the islands, although it has been agreed that for at least five years there will be no major changes. The three islands are also adopting the US$ as official currency from 1 January 2011.

In 2001, the Netherlands Antilles abolished the old offshore legislation, although existing tax structures were grandfathered until 2019. After 10 October, the grandfathering will remain in force in Curaçao and St Maarten, where virtually all offshore companies were established.

A completely new tax system is currently being established for Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba who, as part of the Netherlands, will not have fiscal autonomy. The proposals are not yet agreed, but could include: 

• no direct taxation on profits for active companies;
• profit taxation based on the Dutch corporate tax system for passive companies;
• annual taxation on commercial real estate based on the value of properties
• taxation on profit distributions
• a flat rate for wage and income tax
• turnover, import and excise tax
• transfer tax on real estate

The final tax bills of the BES islands are still not entirely clear, however, while we are waiting for the BES tax bills to be finalised and approved by the Dutch Parliament, we are positive that the BES tax legislation will create new possibilities for international structuring, creating an even more interesting and stronger place for the Caribbean islands of the Kingdom of the Netherlands on the short list of strong and trustworthy international financial hubs for international oriented operations. This is not only the perception of Vistra, but also of many competitors and advisory firms. While Vistra is already established on Bonaire, quite a lot of international oriented advisors legal as well as tax have, in preparation of the changes, domiciled or are in the process of domiciliating on one of the BES islands, in particular Bonaire.
 
For more information please click here to download our information sheet or contact Gerard Jan van Spallon +(5

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