Saint Lucia citizenship by investment program was launched on January 1, 2016. During 2016, 38 applications were approved by the government and 65 passports were issued to foreign investors and their family members. Why Saint Lucia? Because here you can apply for citizenship for the whole family within 3-5 months, being confident in the complete discretion of the process. Saint Lucia has signed visa-free travel agreements with 120+ countries and offers favorable tax conditions. The tax system of Saint Lucia will be in the focus of our today’s article.
Taxation of individuals and legal entities
Residents of Saint Lucia pay a tax on global income and profits derived from domestic activities. Individuals who are not residents of Saint Lucia pay taxes only on income received from local sources.
There is a progressive PIT scale:
- up to 10,000 East Caribbean Dollars (XCD) – 10%;
- 10,000 to 20,000 XCD – 15%;
- 20,000 to 30,000 XCD – 20%;
- over 30,000 XCD – 30%.
The minimum non-taxable PIT for individuals is 18,000 XCD.
Income derived from work and business, interest payments, royalties, and proceeds from the lease of property are subject to taxation. There is no inheritance, capital, dividends, wealth tax.
The current law on international companies provides for a preferential tax treatment. Companies registered in Saint Lucia pay only corporate income tax at a minimum rate of 1% (in some cases, a zero rate applies) or an annual license fee, the amount of which depends on the size of the company’s charter capital. If the company pays the license fee, it is not obliged to submit annual reports to the relevant state authorities and conduct an audit.
On June 6, 2017, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet stated that the Government of Saint Lucia plans to implement a program for simplified tax residency application. Individuals who obtain a residence by investment will be taxed at very low rates. This scheme will give the right to apply for citizenship in five years.
VAT payment terms
Taxes are imposed on the transactions related to sale of goods and rendering services in the territory of the state and importation of goods to Saint Lucia. The accepted VAT rate is 15%. For a hotel business, a reduced rate of 8% applies.
Registration for VAT payment is required if the total annual cost of supplies exceeds the threshold of 180,000 XCD. There is also an option of voluntary registration with tax authorities. The payments must be made, and the reporting documentation must be prepared by the 21st day of the month following the reporting month.
What are other taxes paid on Saint Lucia?
Wage earners shall pay a 5% tax on their salary to the social security fund, but this amount should not exceed 5,000 XCD.
Property tax is 0.25% of the market value of housing. Buyers of real estate who are non-residents of Saint Lucia should additionally obtain a license for land ownership, paying 7.5% of the property value. The seller, who is a resident of the jurisdiction, pays a tax in the amount of 2.5-5% of the actual value of the object offered for sale. A seller who is not a resident pays 10%.
Fines for violation of tax legislation
An annual declaration must be filed with the state authorities by March 31, otherwise, a fine of 5% of the tax will be imposed. By the time of filing the documents all arrears must be paid, otherwise, a 10% fine will be imposed. There is also a late payment interest fee payable on the arrears.
Saint Lucia citizenship by investment
According to the terms of the passport program, foreign investors are offered four options for investing:
- Non-refundable contribution to the national fund. The minimum amount of donation is $100,000 per applicant. The amount of the donation increases depending on the number of applicants included in the application – from $165,000 per investor and spouse; from $190,000 for a family of 4 people.
- Purchase of real property. There is a list of objects approved for investment by the government. The minimum cost is $300,000. The retention period is 5 years.
- Investment in a business project. The project can be selected from the objects approved by the government – restaurants, pharmaceuticals, roads and highways, research institutions and others. An investor should invest at least $ 3.5 million and create at least three new jobs.
- Investment in government bonds – at least $500,000. The investment is returnable, but there is an additional $ 50,000 of non-returnable administrative fee that has to be paid by an applicant. Other countries of the Caribbean region do provide for such an option.
An investor is eligible for the program if he:
- is over 18 years of age;
- has no criminal record;
- has an ideal personal and business reputation;
- has no serious health problems.
Along with the main applicant, his spouse, children under the age of 26 and parents above 65 years of age may be included in the application. The status is issued for life and may be inherited. The duration of application process is 3-5 months.
St. Lucia is most often referred to as the “tax paradise.” Due to the loyal taxation system many businessmen choose Saint Lucia as a place for establishment of foreign controlled companies. It is worth mentioning that since 2016 the country runs citizenship by investment program. Obtaining citizenship gives an opportunity to travel freely around the world and have a “quiet harbor” outside of the home country.
Interested in more detailed information about Saint Lucia’s Citizenship By Investment Program? Contact us!
- We offer free consultations, understanding how important it is for the client to make the only correct decision.
- We work only in the field of investment immigration, integrating gained experience into the investor’s goal.
- We work only with official programs of the European Union and Caribbean countries.
- Before signing the contract, we inform our clients about all additional fees and expenses.
- We conduct a screening to assess the investor’s chances of obtaining the desired citizenship.
- We oversee the process at each stage and work exclusively towards the result.
- We are in touch 24/7.