Rental income foreign condo-owners under fire

POSTED: 01/24/12 1:35 PM

St. Maarten – The tax office is busy investigating whether foreign owners of real estate are liable to pay taxes on rental income they collect abroad. “We are of the opinion that this is so,” Geert Bergsma, the manager of the tax office said yesterday, “but we are still researching legislation on this issue.”
mr. Mark Kortenoever, the attorney for Rainbow Beach Club developer Sabra N.V. said last Friday in court that is well-known that condo=owners have not been paying taxes over their rental income. “They even filed false information after they were addressed by the tax office by saying that their rental income was zero. They are of the opinion that they do not have to pay anything in St. Maarten. They keep the court busy (for minimal cost) and claim in the meantime entitlement to police presence and to the use of our roads, but the income they generate from letting their condos disappears tax free to their bank account in the United States.”
mr. Kortenoever said that the foreign condo-owners compete this way with hotels and with the Rainbow rental pool, “where room-, wage- and turnover taxes are being paid, and they think they are able to get away with this. That worked up to now but not anymore. Currently they are hurting themselves and the tax office has the authority to put a lien on their apartments or on the income they generate.”

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