Frequently Asked VAT Questions

What is REAL PROPERTY TAX: A tax levied by the government on real property, the value of land, and improvements (buildings, paved areas, attachments).

How is Real Property Tax collected?  By paying to the Department of Inland Revenue on Carmichael Road or at any Royal Bank of Canada. It can also be paid by credit card, cheque, or wire transfer. 

Is VAT charged on Real Property Tax? Why/Why not: No Vat is added to REAL PROPERTY TAX because it is already a tax. 

Are there any concessions for First-time homeowners? Only the exemption under Government VAT Tax and first-time home owner’s exemption. 

Do Bahamians on all the family islands pay property tax? NO at this time they are tax-free, only foreigners pay on these islands 

Which islands of the Bahamas (if any) are exempt from property tax? No islands are exempt with the exception of Freeport which is still under the Hawksbill Creek Agreement. 

What is the assessment unit responsible for? This unit is responsible for assessing each property vacant or not, submit a report, and place a value on the property. The Real Property Tax Office will send inspectors out to the site to assess the value of real property. 

If a property is not in the tax listing, how can it be put on? By declaring the property to the department, a declaration has to be completed if an improvement is made to the site. Where an occupancy certificate or conveyance should be provided and if vacant, copies of owner’s valid passport. 

A house is mortgaged, does the bank pay the taxes? Any lending institution can pay taxes on an owner’s behalf but they will add it back into the loan amount should the person qualify. 

Will value ever change on a property? It can change if an addition is made to the property or if there is a general reassessment of properties in the country. 

How is Vacant land treated for Bahamians vs. Non-Bahamians? Bahamians DO NOT pay any real property tax on Vacant land. 

Is a TIN required when renting to the gov’t? Yes, a TIN is required. 


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