Press release

SER Curaçao advises on proposed revision of OB

WILLEMSTAD, March 3, 2023 – The Social and Economic Council (SER) of Curaçao, in its latest advice, released this week, speaks out on the proposed new regulations that the Minister of Finance wants to introduce in the turnover tax (Omzetbelasting, OB).

These new regulations relate to the introduction of withholding and remittance of part of the turnover tax due by local banks, tax- & duty-free shopping for tourists, exemption from import duties on purchases in the Free Economic Zone, the designation of online platform companies as taxpayers for sales tax and the introduction of the cash accounting system.

With these, the minister aims to increase tax revenue in the foreseeable future.

Through the implementation of amendments to the Landsverordening omzetbelasting 1999, the Landsverordening tarief van invoerrechten and the Algemene landsverordening Landsbelastingen, an attempt is being made to speed up and ensure the collection and remittance of OB. Also, through these legislative amendments, an attempt is being made to improve Curaçao’s competitive position vis-à-vis other tourist destinations and make Curaçao a sales tax and duty free destination. The expansion of the tax & duty-free shopping scheme is aimed at increasing the spending level of tourists on Curaçao on the one hand and stimulating activity among shopkeepers on the other.

The need to amend the Turnover Tax Ordinance further stems from the desirability of preventing unfair competition in situations where platform companies (such as Airbnb) offer services on behalf of those who have the enjoyment by virtue of ownership, possession or limited right of immovable property.

The SER has considered the proposed tax measures in detail over the past period and released its opinion this week.