FAQ’S – RPT

1. Define Real Property Tax.
A tax levied by the government on real property, the value of land and improvement(buildings, paved areas, attachments).
2. When was Real Property Tax established?
It was established in 1969. With several amendments made to the Act.
3.Why I am paying Real Property Tax?
Because it is the law to help the government and country to meet its financial commitments. E.g. for pay public servant salaries – nurses, doctors, police, other officers, garbage collectors, fix and maintain roads.
4. When is the tax due?
The tax is due once you have received your tax bill or by January of each tax year.
5. Can I pay in instalments?
Yes, in quarterly or monthly installments.
6. Do I have to pay my bill in full? Are there any concessions for paying my bill in full?
You have the option to pay in installments or pay in full.
7. Are there penalties for non-payment of property tax? If yes, what are they?
Yes, If tax is not paid by Dec 31st of any tax year a 5% surcharge is applied
8. What if I do not pay my tax on time, can the government take my House/property?
If payment is not made before the end of each tax year a 5% interest is added to the outstanding tax amount. Additionally, the treasurer of the Government can put a lien against your property and it can be taken by the Gov’t after due process.
9. Is Real Property “Tax Relief” available? If yes under what circumstances?
Yes, one can apply for tax relief on an annual basis. This can be granted after an investigation has been carried out, or a deferral of the tax – this meaning that the tax will be held until the sale or transferral of the property.
10. How is Real Property Tax calculated?
■      Owner-occupied property (owner resides and uses exclusively as a dwelling).
*   1st $250,000 of property value: Exempt
*  
Next $250,000 of property value: 0.625% of the next $250,000 of property value
*  
Above $500,000 of property value (balance): 1% of remaining part of value
■      Residential properties (has 4 units or less, and is used solely as a dwelling place)
1st $75,000 of property value: $300 flat fee
Anything above first $75,000 of property value (balance): 0.625% of remaining property value
■      Commercial properties (above 4 units even if used as a dwelling place)
*  
1st $500,000 of property value: 0.75% of property value
*  Anything above $500,000 (balance): 2% of remaining property value
■      Vacant land for foreigners
1st $7,000 of property value: $100 flat fee
Anything above $7,000: 1.5% of remaining property value
11. How is Real Property Tax collected?
By paying to the Department of Inland Revenue on Carmichael Road or at any Royal Bank of Canada. You can also pay by credit card, cheques or wire transfer.
12. Is VAT charged on Real Property Tax? Why/Why not
No Vat is added to REAL PROPERTY TAX because it is already a tax.
13. Are there any concessions for First time home owners?
Only the exemption under stamp and first time home owner’s exemption.
14. Am I entitled to any rebates/benefits?
If you paid your bill by…..Senior Citizens Benefit: After 250,000 exemption, a 50% discount on balance of home value not exceeding 1 million dollars. But they must be 65 years or older, have an NIB Senior Citizen’s card.Full Payment Benefit: If tax is paid by Mar 31st of any tax year, a 10% discount is applied.
15. What is the percentage paid on property tax?
Yet to be determined by this Department, but can be obtained through Ministry of Finance.
16. Do Bahamians on all the family islands pay property tax?
NO at this time they are tax free , only foreigners pay on these islands
17. Which islands of the Bahamas (if any) are exempt from property tax?
No islands are exempt with the exception of Freeport who is still under the Hawksbill Creek Agreement.
18. Are pensioners and senior citizens exempted from paying property tax?
Senior Citizens are exempt up to 250,000 from paying real property tax.See question & answer #14.
19. What is the procedure for purchasing property from a non-Bahamian?
Through the Investment Board at the Ministry of Finance.
20. Where do I go to pay property tax?
Department of Inland Revenue office on Carmichael road or at any Royal Bank of Canada.
21. What is required for payments made at any Royal Bank of Canada?
The property assessment number.
22. Are personal cheques accepted as a form of payment for property tax?
Yes, but a bounced cheque will result in a $30.00 charge.
23. What are the requirements when completing a declaration form?
All answers must be true and correct and show current market value.*
24. 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.
25. Does the Real Property Tax office send inspectors out to sites?
Yes, a visit is made to each property. Measurements and photos are taken of the ALL REAL property. (e.g. pools, gazebos, anything that is not detached or removable is considered to be real property.
26. If my property is not in the tax listing, how can I get it on?
By declaring your 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 your valid passport.
27. My house is mortgaged, does the bank pay the taxes?
Any lending institution can pay taxes on your behalf but they will add it back into your loan amount should you qualify.
28. Will my value ever change on my property?
It can change if an addition is made to the property or if there is a general reassessment of properties in the country.

29. What is considered a multi-purpose structure?

How is tax applied?

A multi-purpose structure is an apartment where the owner occupies a part of the building and the remainder is rented.

The tax is then calculated in proportion to the percentage of the space occupied e.g. If owner occupies 60%, then 60% is then allowed as exempt but not exceeding $250,000.

THIS IS ONLY APPLICABLE UP TO FOUR UNITS

30. What are the various zones for Real Property tax purposes?
There are no zones at this time, but each area/location can carry a different rate.
31. How is Vacant land treated for Bahamians vs. Non-Bahamians?
Bahamians DO NOT pay any real property tax on Vacant landNon-Bahamians pay based on value: e.g. value up to 7,000.00 pay $100.00, anything over 7,000 in value @ 1 1/2%
32. How is Real Property Tax treated with regards to Diplomats, Embassies, Churches/Charitable organizations
Any property owned by a foreign entity is exempted from tax.
Property owned by Churches/Charitable organizations are also exempt
33. Is a Business license required if you are renting your apartments?
No Business licence is needed.
34. Is a TIN required when renting to the gov’t?
Yes, a TIN is required.