BAHAMAS REAL ESTATE GUIDE FOR BUYERS

 

TAX ON CONVEYANCES:

• 2.5 % VAT tax on all real estate transactions valued under $100,000

• 10% VAT tax on all real estate transactions valued at $100,000 and over.

The VAT tax is generally shared equally between buyer and seller - unless otherwise agreed upon. 

 

ANNUAL REAL PROPERTY TAX RATES:

The first $250,000 on owner occupied residential property is tax exempt.

On the value of owner/occupied properties between $250,000 and $500,000, the rate is 3/4 of one percent.

On the portion over $500,000, the tax rate is 1% of the market value of the property.

As of 2019, there is a ceiling of $60,000 on an owner occupied home  

For unimproved Bahamas property other than that exempt under the provisions of the Real Property Tax Act (section 39):

Upon that part of the market value that does not exceed $7,000 a fee of $100.00

Upon that part of the market value which exceeds $7,000, a tax rate of 1.5% per annum of the market value of the Bahamas property. 

For commercial property:

Upon that part of the market value that does not exceed $500,000 a tax at the rate of 1% per annum of the market value

Upon that part of the market value in excess of $500,000 a tax at the rate of 2% of the market value of the Bahamas property.

Exemptions:

Bahamas property owned by Bahamians and situated in the Family Islands is exempt from a property duty. Bahamas property approved as commercial farm land (by the Ministers of Agriculture, Trade and Industry and Finance) is eligible for property tax exemptions.

Also exempt from property tax:

Unimproved Bahamas property owned by Bahamians (in New Providence or the Family Islands), meaning property without physical additions or alterations, or any works benefiting the land which have not increased the market value thereof by $5,000 or more;

Bahamas property used exclusively for charitable or public service from which no profit is derived.

All property located in Freeport, Grand Bahama.

A 12 % Value Added Tax (VAT) is charged on real estate services, including appraisals, legal work and commissions.     

OWNER-OCCUPIED HOME RENTALS:

Proprietors of owner-occupied rental homes of one or more bedrooms are required to register if they intend to rent their premises to visitors. Owner occupiers must reside in their home for six months or more per year if they wish to retain owner-occupied status. Licences to rent are available through the local Family Island Administrator's Office, or the Hotel Licensing Department of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation in Nassau, Bahamas. 

RESIDENCY:

Major international investors and owners of residences valued at $750,000 may apply for permanent residency and at $1.5 million or more, owners will receive expedited consideration for permanent residency permits.

Applicants must be of good character, show evidence of financial support and commit in writing they wish to live permanently in the Bahamas. Wives and dependent children (under 18 years) usually resident in a household may be endorsed on the certificate when the original application is made.   

Annual residency cards are available to homeowners owning Bahamian Real Estate at any price point and can be renewed annually. The annual residency card allows the permit holder and their family to reside in The Bahamas for the duration of the permit.

VISAS:

Visas are not required of citizens of the USA, United Kingdom, or Canada provided their stay does not exceed 3 weeks and that they have a return ticket leaving the Bahamas. Visas are not required of US citizens if stays are less than 8 months. Bahamas Immigration Department permits are needed to reside, work or engage in any business.

SCHOOLS:

New Providence, upon which the capital of Nassau sits, has several private schools - from St. Andrew's, the international school, in the east to Lyford Cay School in the west.

St Andrew's School, Pre-School thru Grade 12 - Nassau East

Lyford Cay School, Pre-School thru Grade 12 - Lyford Cay

Windsor School. Pre-School thru Grade 12 - Old Fort Bay

St. Augustine's College, Grade 7 thru Grade 12

Queen's College, early learning thru grade 12, Village Road

Blairwood Academy, Kindergarten thru Grade 12, Village Road

Kingsway Academy, Kindergarten thru Grade 12, Bernard Road Xavier School, West Bay Street

Tambearly School Grade 1 thru Grade 9 - Behind SandyPort   

HOSPITALS

Doctor's Hospital (Private) - Shirley Street

Princess Margaret Hospital (Public) - Shirley Street

Western Medical Plaza (Private) - Blake Road

The Lyford Cay Hospital/Bahamas Heart Institute (Private) - Lyford Cay