Residents are taxable on their worldwide income. Nonresidents are taxable only on income derived from certain Suriname sources. Nonresidents are generally subject to personal income tax from their first day in Suriname. A resident individual who receives income, wherever earned, from former or current employment is, in principle, subject to income tax in Suriname.
Residence is determined based on the applicable facts and circumstances, such as an individual’s domicile (the availability of a permanent home), physical presence and location of an individual’s vital personal and economic interests.
Income subject to tax. The following are the principal types of income taxed in Suriname:
- Employment income
- Self-employment and business income
- Income from immovable property (rental income)
- Income from movable assets (interest and dividend income)
- Income from periodic allowances, provided that the allowances are dependent on life
Employment income. Taxable employment income consists of employment income, including directors’ fees and supervisory directors’ fees, less itemized and standard deductions and allowances (see Deductions), pension premiums and social security contributions (old-age insurance contributions), whether paid or withheld.
Directors’ fees and supervisory directors’ fees are treated in the same manner as ordinary employment income and are taxed with the income listed above at the rates set forth in Rates. Directors’ fees and supervisory directors’ fees and paid by Suriname resident companies are, in principle, subject to withholding for wage tax and for social security insurance contributions with respect to Suriname resident individuals.
Nonresident individuals receiving income from current or former employment carried on in Suriname are subject to income tax in Suriname.
Nonresident individuals employed by Suriname public entities or funds established by such entities are subject to tax on income in Suriname even if the employment is carried on outside Suriname. In principle, wage tax is withheld from individuals’ earnings.
Nonresident individuals receiving income as managing directors or supervisory directors of companies established in Suriname are subject to income tax in Suriname.
Self-employment and business income. Residents are subject to tax on their worldwide self-employment and business income.
Nonresidents are taxed on income derived from a business, provided that the income can be allocated to a permanent establishment in Suriname. A permanent representative is regarded as a permanent establishment for Suriname income tax purposes.
Annual profits derived from a business must be calculated in accordance with sound business practices that are applied consistently. Taxable income is determined by subtracting the deductions and personal allowances specified in Deductions from annual profits.
Profits attributable to a permanent establishment in Suriname are calculated in the same manner as profits of resident taxpayers.
Income from periodic allowances. In principle, resident individuals are subject to tax on their worldwide periodic allowances received, including old-age pensions, alimony payments and disability allowances, provided that the allowances are payable for the individual’s lifetime. Under certain conditions an exemption may apply.
In principle, nonresident individuals are subject to income tax on income derived from periodic allowances received from Suriname public entities or funds established by such entities.
Income from immovable property. Income derived from immovable property is subject to Suriname income tax. Income derived from a person’s residence is not taxed as income from immovable property. Various costs related to immovable property can be deducted from taxable income, such as interest paid on mortgage loans for the acquisition or the restoration of immovable property.
Nonresident individuals are taxed on rental income derived from immovable property located in Suriname or from the rights to such property.
Income from movable assets. Dividend and interest income derived from domestic and foreign sources, less deductions, are generally subject to income tax.
Nonresident individuals are taxed on interest income derived from debt obligations if the principal amount of the obligation is secured by mortgaged immovable property located in Suriname. Nonresident individuals are also taxed on income derived from participations in general or limited partnerships with their place of management in Suriname.
In principle, a 25% dividend withholding tax is imposed on dividends distributed by resident companies.
Capital gains and losses. Capital gains are generally exempt from tax, and capital losses are nondeductible. However, in the following circumstances, residents may be subject to income tax on capital gains.
|Type of income||Rate (%)|
|Capital gains realized on the disposal of business assets and on the disposal of other assets if qualified as income from independently performed activities||Up to 38|
|Capital gains on the repurchase of shares by the company in excess of the average paid-up capital||Up to 38|
|Capital gains on the liquidation of a business||Up to 38 *|
* In principle, the tax rate is up to 38%, but on request, a tax rate of 25% is applied.
Deductible expenses. Residents and nonresidents may claim the following personal deductions:
- Mortgage interest paid that is related to the taxpayer’s dwelling (limited to interest payments on a maximum debt of SRD125,000)
- Certain maintenance expenses related to the taxpayer’s dwelling (limited to once in three years)
- Under certain conditions, pension, annuity and other periodic allowance payments
- Life-insurance premiums that entitle taxpayers to annuity, pension or other periodic allowance payments (up to a maximum of 10% of income)
- Old-age insurance premiums paid
- Alimony payments if they meet the threshold amount
- Medical expenses, educational expenses and support for up to second-degree relatives if they meet certain threshold amounts
- Under certain conditions, an amount up to SRD8,000 for expenses paid for a child over 18 years old
- For taxpayers deriving employment income, a deduction of up to SRD1,200 if specified expenses are paid under certain conditions
Business deductions. In general, business expenses are fully deductible if the expenses are incurred in accordance with sound business practices. However, the deduction of certain expenses is limited.
Personal tax credits. A personal tax credit of SRD600 may be subtracted by a taxpayer from income tax due for the 2016 fiscal year.
Rates. Resident and nonresident individuals are subject to income tax at the same progressive rates. The following are the individual income tax rates and tax brackets for the 2016 fiscal year.
|Exceeding||Not exceeding||Tax rate|
Relief for losses. Losses in a financial year may be carried forward for seven years. No carryback is available. Losses incurred by businesses during their first three years of business may be carried forward indefinitely.
In principle, resident individuals in Suriname are subject to a wealth tax on the net value of their assets. Nonresident individuals are subject to wealth tax only on the following:
- Immovable property owned in Suriname or the rights to such property
- Debt obligations owned if the principal amount of the obligation is secured by mortgaged immovable property located in Suriname
- Entitlement, other than as a shareholder, to the assets of a Suriname permanent establishment, provided that the individual is subject to Suriname income tax
Specific exemptions apply for certain assets. In addition, special rules may apply to married resident individuals.
The wealth tax rate is 3% on the net value in excess of SRD100,000, or SRD120,000 for married resident individuals.
Residence is determined based on the applicable facts and circumstances, such as an individual’s domicile (the availability of a permanent home), physical presence and the location of an individual’s vital personal and economic interests.
Social security, basic illness insurance law and pension law
Social security. In principle, resident individuals must pay social security contributions, which are contributions for the old-age insurance. Some residents are exempt from paying social security contributions.
The annual old-age insurance contribution is 4% of employment income.
Basic illness insurance law and pension law. The basic illness insurance law and the pension law apply to resident individuals. The basic illness insurance law, which took effect on 9 October 2014, aims to sufficiently insure every Suriname resident against costs of illness. The pension law, which took effect on 9 December 2014, aims to provide every Suriname resident with a pension.
The principal obligations of employers under these laws consist of providing sufficient insurance coverage against the costs of illness, arranging for participation in a pension scheme and paying at least 50% of the insurance premiums and the pension premiums.
Tax filing and payment procedures
The standard tax year is the calendar year. However, on request and under certain conditions, a business may use a different financial accounting year as its tax year.
Because the wage tax is a pre-levy to the income tax, employers must file wage withholding tax returns on a monthly basis. In principle, Suriname wage tax returns must be submitted for monthly periods. Because the Suriname wage tax is a pre-levy on the Suriname income tax, residents and nonresidents remain liable for Suriname income tax if the wage tax is not withheld correctly. The wage tax returns must be filed and the wage tax due must be paid by the seventh business day of the month following the end of the reporting period. For most nonresident employees, wage withholding tax is a final tax.
If the fiscal year is the calendar year, resident taxpayers must file a provisional tax return by 15 April of the current fiscal year. Otherwise, they must file this return within two and one-half months after the beginning of the current fiscal year. The return must show taxable income that is at least equal to the taxable income shown on the most recently filed final tax return. In principle, the tax due on this provisional income tax return must be paid in four equal installments, which are due on 15 April, 15 July, 15 October and 31 December. An extension of time to file the return and pay the tax is not granted. On request of the taxpayer, the Tax Inspector may consent to the reporting of a lower taxable income than the taxable income shown on the most recently filed final tax return.
Nonresident taxpayers must only file a final income tax return.
The final income tax return must be filed within four months after the end of the fiscal year. Any difference between the tax due based on the provisional return and the tax due based on the final return must be settled at the time of the filing of the final return.
Social security payments. Social security contributions (old-age insurance contributions) are withheld by the employer and are declared in the wage tax returns. Otherwise, they are due when the final individual income tax return is filed.
Basic illness insurance law and pension law. Employers must withhold the employees’ shares of the premiums required under the basic illness insurance and pension laws from wages and remit these withholdings.
Wealth tax returns. For married individuals, in principle, one wealth tax return is required to be filed. Under certain circumstances, two returns may be filed. The Suriname Tax Inspector provides the form for a wealth tax return. The form must be filed within 20 days after receipt of the form. If, based on the applicable law, a taxpayer is required to file a wealth tax return, but does not receive a form, the taxpayer must file a wealth tax return by 15 February or within two months after establishment in Suriname.
Double tax relief and tax treaties
Suriname has entered into tax treaties with Indonesia and the Netherlands. These treaties contain provisions to avoid double taxation between Suriname and the other countries regarding taxes on income.
If no treaty applies, the Suriname Tax Inspector may be contacted for possible application of an exemption to avoid double taxation.
Residency and working permits
In general, foreign individuals who wish to reside and work in Suriname need residency and working permits. The conditions for obtaining such permits depend on the nationality of the individual.