If you own real property in The Bahamas, you should be receiving your Real Property Tax Notice of Assessment for 2017 shortly, if you have not received it already. Please note that it is the duty of each property owner to ensure that he receives a Notice of Assessment.

Online Payment

The Government of The Bahamas has initiated an online system to pay your real property taxes. See government notice.  Please see the link to the payment portal propertytax.gov.bs .  You will need a copy of your Notice of Assessment in order to insert the appropriate Assessment No. and Grid Reference, as well as an email address for your contact.

Real Property Tax Savings and Late Payment Penalty

A ten percent (10%) reduction on your 2017 real property taxes will be granted if the full amount of real property taxes due are paid on or before March 31st. In general, failure to pay real property taxes by Dec 31st of any tax year will result in a surcharge of 5%.  However, for 2017, if you pay your outstanding real property taxes in full on or before 31st March, this surcharge will be waived (together with any surcharges for previous years) in addition to a ten percent (10%) reduction on your 2017 real property taxes discussed below.

Real Property Tax Amnesty

According to the Real Property Tax (Amnesty) Order, 2016, persons who pay all of their real property tax arrears on or before 31st March 2017 are entitled to a waiver of 100% of the surcharges assessed in respect of late payments. However, property owners who are unable to meet that deadline (i.e. 31st March 2017) but can pay their arrears in full on or before 30th June 2017 will receive a 50% waiver of those surcharges. The amnesty does not apply to any property owner whose account as of 1st July 2016 was subject to a debt collection process, and the Order provides that this amnesty will expire upon presentation of the Budget communication in 2017.

Darron S. Pickstock

January 16, 2017