VAT, GST and Sales Tax in Aruba

Summary

Name of the tax Revenue tax (RT)
Local name Belasting op bedrijfsomzetten
Date introduced 1-Jan-07
Name of the tax Health tax (HT)
Local name Bestemmingsheffing AZV
Date introduced 1-Jan-14
Trading bloc membership None
Administered by Departamento di Impuesto
RT rates
Standard 1.50%
Other Exempt
HT rates
Standard 1% through 7 July 2015
2% as of 8 July 2015
Other Exempt
RT and HT number format XXXXXXX (7 digits)
RT and HT return periods Monthly
Thresholds for RT and HT None
Recovery of RT and HT by non-established businesses  No

Scope of the tax

Persons subject to RT and HT are entrepreneurs that in the course of their business supply goods or render services in Aruba. The tax base equals the gross revenue (in cash or in kind) realized from the supply of goods or the rendering of services in Aruba by entrepreneurs in the course of their business.

Who is liable

In principle, for RT and HT purposes, an entrepreneur is an indi­vidual or business entity that delivers goods or performs services (engages in taxable activities) in Aruba. The entrepreneur that realizes the revenue is subject to RT and HT.

A legal entity is not regarded as an entrepreneur for RT and HT purposes if it does not participate in economic activities in Aruba and is in possession of a foreign-exchange license or is exempt from the requirement to hold one.

Non-established business. A “non-established business” is a busi­ness that does not have a fixed place of business in Aruba. The Aruba RT law and HT law do not provide an explicit exception for non-established businesses. Consequently, foreign entrepre­neurs are considered to be entrepreneurs for RT and HT purposes and are subject to RT and HT when performing taxable activities in Aruba.

Free zones. Free-zone companies are exempt from RT and HT with respect to the rendering of services or the supply of goods to nonresidents.

Oil and gas exploration and exploitation companies. The revenue of oil and gas exploration and exploitation companies is exempt from RT and HT to the extent that the revenue is made with the exploration and exploitation of oil and gas.

Group registration. If a parent company owns 100% of the shares in a subsidiary established in Aruba, on request a fiscal unity for RT and HT purposes is recognized and RT and HT are levied on the parent company as if one entrepreneur exists. Revenue gener­ated by intercompany transactions is exempt from RT and HT.

Registration procedures. To register for the RT and HT, an entre­preneur or an authorized representative has to submit a hard copy registration form to the tax authorities (Departamento di Impuesto). This registration form can be downloaded from the website of the Aruban tax authorities: http://www.impuesto.aw.

It takes an average of 10 working days for the tax authorities to complete the registration process.

Tax representatives. An entrepreneur can give someone else a written power of attorney to conduct the taxpayer’s business before the tax authorities with regard to the RT and HT. If the taxpayer is unable to look after his or her own interests, the Tax Inspector may appoint someone to act on behalf of the taxpayer.

Late-registration penalties. In general, an Aruba entrepreneur who begins taxable activities must register with the tax authori­ties. Since there is no specific deadline for registration, a penalty is not imposed for late registration. However, if the late registra­tion results in the late payment of RT or HT or the late submis­sion of RT or HT returns, penalties may be imposed.

Reverse charge. Not applicable.

Digital economy. Rules for digital supplies are the same as for other supplies.

Deregistration. To deregister for the RT or HT, a written applica­tion for deregistration has to be submitted to the tax authorities.

RT and HT rates

The term “taxable supply” refers to a supply of goods or render­ing of services that is subject to RT and HT. The term “revenue” refers to all remunerations (in cash or in kind) received by an entrepreneur for the supply of goods or the rendering of services in the course of its business.

The standard RT rate of 1.5% applies to revenue realized from performing taxable activities in Aruba, unless a specific measure provides for an exemption.

The HT rate of 1% (as of 1 December 2014 through 7 July 2015) or 2% (as of 8 July 2015) applies to revenue realized from per­forming taxable activities in Aruba, unless a specific measure provides for an exemption.

Examples of exempt supplies of goods and services

  • Sale of real estate (to the extent that transfer tax is due)
  • Prescription medicines, including certain medical aids
  • Renting out of apartments or hotel rooms (to the extent that room tax is due)
  • Providing opportunities to gamble (to the extent that gaming tax is due)
  • International transportation of goods and persons by ships or airplanes
  • Renting out of real estate that is used as the renter’s own dwell­ing
  • Investment income, such as interest, dividends and capital gains realized from the sale of shares and other stocks
  • Insurance and the services performed by intermediaries of insurance companies
  • Services rendered by companies established in the free zone to customers outside Aruba

Exports. Revenue realized from the supply of exported goods is exempt from RT and HT. However, to qualify for this exemption, the exports must be supported by evidence that confirms that the goods have left Aruba. The Minister of Finance may issue addi­tional regulations for the implementation of the export exemption mentioned above. However, currently no additional regulations have been adopted.

Option to tax for exempt supplies. Not applicable.

Time of supply

RT and HT are levied on a cash basis. However, on request, an entrepreneur may opt for an invoice (accrual) basis for RT and HT. The tax authorities need to approve this request.

Recovery of tax by taxable persons

Neither established nor non-established businesses may recover RT or HT in Aruba.

Recovery of tax by non-established businesses

Neither established nor non-established businesses may recover RT or HT in Aruba.

Invoicing

Invoices and credit notes. An entrepreneur must provide an invoice for all taxable supplies made, including exports.

Entrepreneurs subject to RT and HT must retain copies of invoic­es for 10 years.

An RT and HT credit note must be issued when the quantity or consideration shown on an invoice is altered. In general, credit notes must contain the same information as the original RT and HT invoice.

Foreign-currency invoices. Not applicable. Electronic invoices. Not applicable.

Proof of export. Goods destined for export are exempt from RT and HT. The entrepreneur must provide documents to prove the goods are destined for export.

RT and HT return and payment

RT and HT returns. RT and HT combined returns are generally submitted on a monthly basis. The RT and HT return must be filed within 15 days after the end of the month, and the RT and HT due must be paid within the same time period. The filing of the return and payment of the RT and HT amount can be done separately.

Special schemes. Not applicable.

Electronic filing and archiving. Not applicable. Annual returns. Not applicable.

Penalties

Aruba’s strict penalty system punishes the following two catego­ries of infraction:

  • Omissions
  • Gross negligence or intent

The tax authorities can impose penalties for not filing the RT and HT return on time, for not paying the amount due on time, or for not paying or partially paying the amount due. These penalties can accumulate. The following are the maximum penalties, which vary depending on the number of omissions:

  • Not filing return on time: AWG250
  • Not paying on time: AWG10,000
  • Not paying or partially paying: AWG10,000

If the late payment is caused by gross negligence or intent, fines ranging from 25% to 100% of the RT and HT payable may be imposed.

Criminal penalties may also apply in certain circumstances, such as in cases of fraudulent conduct.