An informative talk on tax was given by Jaap Rutger Kos, a tax lawyer at KPMG Meijburg Caribbean, during the Strategic Conference held on St. Eustatius, which was attended by people from Saba, Statia and Bonaire. The Strategic Conference was organised by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry for St. Eustatius and Saba. The conference was moderated by representatives of CBI, a department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands with over 40 years of experience in international trade and investment projects in 48 countries worldwide. This writes The Daily Herald.
Jaap Rutger Kos’ key message was that the Caribbean Netherlands system overall is attractive to investors, despite the current complaints about taxes. He encouraged all participants to start looking at the positive aspects and competitive elements of the tax system, instead of only focusing on the negative side, which exists as well. This is crucial when attracting important investments on Saba and Statia.
One of the many benefits is that investors can have a choice between the European Netherlands system for corporate taxation and, if conditions are met, the Caribbean Netherlands system with a real estate tax (“vastgoedbelasting”) and 5 per cent profit pay-out tax (“opbrengstbelasting”) instead of a traditional corporate income tax.
Most participants were not aware of this choice and the fact that the European Netherlands tax system may be interesting in specific cases, among others, because it can replace real estate tax, which may constitute a heavy burden if no or minimal profit is realised.
For Statia and Saba, KPMG Meijburg Caribbean’s positioning is perfect. It is the only firm with offices permanently staffed with dedicated tax professionals located on both Bonaire and St.Maarten, as well as in Rotterdam. The permanent presence on Bonaire ensures an in-depth focus on the unique Caribbean Netherlands tax system also applicable to Statia and Saba. The St. Maarten office has the advantage of geographical proximity to Statia and Saba, which was the reason why Quincy N. Lont, tax lawyer at KPMG Meijburg Caribbean, St. Maarten, participated in the conference too. The firm’s Dutch Caribbean desk in Rotterdam is located closely to (potential) European investors and The Hague, where the Ministry of Finance is established. Other offices are located on Curaçao, Aruba and in Suriname.
Participants from the private and public sectors of Statia and Saba are looking forward to a further co-operation with KPMG Meijburg Caribbean. Those in attendance from Saba were so interested in the information that they requested Kos to come to Saba and present the same information. In this respect, Jaap Rutger Kos held a Town Hall Meeting especially for the Saba business community in Sunny Valley Youth Centre on Monday, September 15.