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Caribbean-On-Line / St. Barts / News / Changes to Come as Result of New Overseas Collectivity Status

Changes to Come as Result of New Overseas Collectivity Status

The elections of July 1 and July 15, 2007, confirmed Bruno Magras, as President, and his Territorial Council as the administration of the new Overseas Collectivity of St Barth. Some decisions have already been made regarding certain aspects of taxation for residents and non-residents. As an Overseas Collectivity, Saint Barth remains French, subject to the French Constitution. The new political status simply gives St Barth more autonomy relative to local issues.

Question number one: Who is considered a resident for tax purposes? A person's tax domicile will be considered to be in Saint Barth after they have resided on the island for at least a five-year period. For a non-French resident, the tax domicile only pertains to assets owned in St. Barth. These assets will be taxed as if they were domiciled in France, or perhaps Guadeloupe, depending on the modifications made to the Draft Tax Treaty. Income and other revenue earned on the island by non-residents will be taxed pursuant to the Draft Tax Convention, under the tax laws and directives of Metropolitan France.

The following information pertains only to non-residents and not to taxes to be paid by French or St Barth residents.

1. Income Tax is due to the extent income is earned and a profit is generated in St Barth. The tax is due payable in France, with credits applied for the purposes of U.S. taxes.
2. Transfer Taxes - A one-time transfer tax when purchasing real property on Saint Barth is already required. Now, the larger portion of the transfer tax will remain on Saint Barth rather than being paid to the Department of Guadeloupe.
3. Capital Gains Taxes - Anyone who sells real property on the island has been subject to capital gains taxes. For non-French, non-European sellers, the capital gains tax is 33.33%. There is currently no indication of any changes in the capital gains tax rates.
4. Tourist Tax - A tax on tourists will be instituted in the amount of 5% of the gross hotel room, vacation villa, or other vacation accommodation.
5. Port Duty - A port duty of 4% is currently due on the invoice or market value of all goods and merchandise brought into Saint Barth. The plan is to increase the port duty to 5%.

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