Saint Lucia

Basic taxes (briefly)

Personal tax 10-30%
Corporate tax (in detail) The income tax rate is 30% (for companies with tax arrears - 33.3%).
Capital gains tax. Details Gains from the sale of assets are not taxed, unless they are profits from ordinary commercial activities, in which case the profits are included in the income tax base.
VAT. Details The standard VAT rate is 12.5%. A preferential rate of 7% applies to the hospitality industry.
Other taxes Social contributions, Real estate tax
Government fee
Stamp duty 2-10%

International tax agreement

Tax treaties entered Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago
   
Tax Exchange Information Agreement (TEIA) Aruba, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, United Kingdom


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TAXATION

Overview

As in many other offshore jurisdictions, there is a special tax regime for IBCs in Saint. While local companies are required to pay corporate income tax, withholding tax, stamp duty, and other taxes, IBC may elect to be exempt from corporate tax or pay the tax at a rate of 1%. IBCs are also exempt from withholding tax, capital gains tax, and stamp duty.

Personal Income Tax

Personal income tax is levied on income received by resident individuals from sources in and out of St. Lucia and income received by non-residents from sources in St. Lucia.
Personal tax is levied at the following rates:
Income, EC$ Rate
17,000 0
First 10,000 thereafter 10%
Next 10,000 15%
Next 10,000 20%
Balance 30%

To register for personal income tax it is required to complete and submit a registration to the IRD with a suitable form of ID e.g. passport, driver's license, national ID or National Insurance Corporation (NIC) card.
Individual income tax returns are due on March 31st each year. There is a penalty charged for late submission 5% on chargeable income.

Corporate tax

Corporate tax is levied on all income received by a corporation from sources in and out of St. Lucia.
Corporation Tax rate is 30%.
Taxes must be paid on or before March 25, June 25 and September 25 each income year. The amount to be paid at these times should be one third (1/3) of the estimated tax for the year.
Every corporation (non-profit or for profit), partnership or individual that has been granted tax exemptions under the fiscal incentives regime must file a tax return with the IRD.
Notably, St Lucia IBCs may elect to be exempted from income tax or to be liable to income tax on profits and gains at 1%. An IBC that elects to be exempt from tax shall not be required to file any tax returns, but an international business company that elects to pay tax shall file an annual tax return based on annual audited financial statements.

Capital gains tax

Capital gains are not taxed in Saint Lucia.

Dividends

Any dividend paid by an international business company, which does no business in Saint Lucia, to another international business company, or to persons, trusts or other entities which are not residents, shall be exempt from any tax.

Withholding tax

Withholding tax is levied on certain payments of an income nature to non-residents e.g. royalties, management charges, commissions, fees. The rate is 25%.
IBCs are exempt from withholding tax.

VAT

The Value Added Tax (VAT) is charged when a taxable good or service is sold or provided regularly whether or not for profit. Prices of all goods and services should be listed inclusive of VAT.
Standard VAT rate is 15%. Reduced rate is 8% on goods and services provided by hotels until April 2013. Zero-rated are some goods and services.

VAT Registration

Persons and businesses that perform taxable activities are required to register and charge the VAT if they meet the required threshold. Only those businesses that are registered for VAT with the IRD can charge VAT. Businesses trading in taxable supplies must register within ten (10) working days with the IRD if their taxable supplies or sales (goods and services):
  • meet or exceed EC$180,000 in the previous twelve months or less; or
  • are reasonably expected to meet or exceed $180,000 at the beginning of any period of three hundred and sixty five days, and
  • in the first three months of trading their taxable supplies exceed $45,000.

To register for VAT, you need to complete and submit the registration forms to the VAT Unit of the IRD in Castries. Forms are available from the VAT Unit or the IRD. For a company, copies of the complete incorporation documents stating when the company was incorporated need to be submitted.

VAT tax period and returns

VAT Returns must be filed by the 21st day of every month, following the tax period to which they relate, whether or not tax is payable for that period. If the 21st falls on a weekend or public holiday, then the deadline is extended to the following working day. Any return received thereafter will be considered LATE and penalties will apply.
A person who fails to file a return is liable to a penalty of $250 per month or part of the month, for the period during which the return remains unfiled. Additionally, any person who fails to pay the tax by the due date is liable to a penalty equal to 10% of the amount of tax due and 1.25% interest charges per month or part thereof for the period during which the tax remains unpaid.
A person who, for two or more consecutive or non-consecutive tax periods, fails to file returns within the prescribed time and manner commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding fifty thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to both.
If an extension is required, you must write to IRD before the deadline for filing and request permission to file your return late, stating the reason for your request. Where good cause is shown by the person, the Comptroller may extend the period within which a return is required to be filed.
If you do not submit a VAT Return at all, IRD will conduct an audit to determine your tax liability and furnish you with an assessment. If after an assessment is presented to you, you still do not file the correct return and pay the tax, IRD will commence its collection and enforcement actions, which include further financial penalties, publication of your name in the local newspapers for non-compliance, garnishment of your income, closure of your business and legal actions.

Stamp duty

IBCs in Saint Lucia are exempt from IBC.

Government fee

An international business company in Saint Lucia is required to pay the prescribed annual fee which amounts $300.

Other taxes and duties

Property Tax collected annually by the Inland Revenue Department on all lands and houses in St. Lucia.
Vehicle Tax depends on size and capacity of vehicle.
Fuel Tax included in fuel price.
Mobile cellular telephone tax levied on the use of Mobile Cellular telephones and remitted by the telecommunications providers.
Travel tax levied on the cost of each ticket purchased or issued for traveling purposes.

Special tax concessions

Where an international business company requires the services of specially qualified persons in order to carry out its business effectively from within Saint Lucia and it is unable to acquire those services in Saint Lucia; and it is unable to retain those services from outside Saint Lucia without special tax concessions, Cabinet may by order published in the Gazette grant a special tax concession in respect of those specially qualified persons.
The special tax concession is one that allows a prescribed percentage of an employee’s or contractor’s salary or fees:
  • to be exempt from income tax in Saint Lucia;
  • to be paid in a foreign currency in a trust account without being liable to income tax in Saint Lucia as to the amount paid or any interest earned thereon; or
  • to be paid in some other prescribed manner in another currency or otherwise without being liable to income tax in Saint Lucia.

Double Tax Agreements

Saint Lucia signed a whole bunch of double tax agreements and tax information exchange agreements:
  • 11 DTCs: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago;
  • 21 TIEAs: Aruba, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Curaçao, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Saint Maarten, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States.

Foreign exchange control

There is no exchange controls for IBCs in Saint Lucia.

ACCOUNTS

Accounting records

According to IBC Act, an international business company may keep such books, records, and financial statements as directors think fit. Besides, accounting records should reflect the financial position of a company.

Financial statements

There is no requirement for preparing and filing of the financial statements for IBC.

Audit

An IBC is only required to have an annual audit if it elects to pay tax or if it is an International Bank, International Insurance Company or Mutual Fund.

Annual Return

Generally speaking, Annual Return is a short review on the current state of the company, which is prepared by the company secretary annually. As a rule it includes the following information:
  • Incorporation information (registration date, registered address);
  • Information about directors and their resignation;
  • Information about secretaries and their resignation;
  • Information about registered capital, nominal value of shares and amount of issued shares;
  • Information about shareholders and share transfer.

IBC is not required to file Annual return.

Tax returns

IBC are required to file annual tax return only if they chose to pay an income tax at 1% rate.

    Taxes of Saint Lucia

    Min. rate for corporate tax 30%
    Capital gains tax No
    VAT 12,5%
    Withholding tax 0%/15%/25%
    Exchange control No
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