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BVI Company Stamp duty

Update Date:2018-2-13 11:47:29     Views:2560

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Certain limited transactions in the British Virgin Islands are still subject to stamp duty.The main application of the stamp duty legislation relates to transfers of real estate, or transfers of shares in companies which own real estate. The rate of stamp duty on such transactions varies according to the status of the transferee; if the transferee is a Belonger, then stamp duty on land transfers is assessed at 4%; if the transferee is a Non-Belonger, it is assessed at 12%.

The legislation also includes a number of "rump" taxes that were imposed many years ago and subsist only due to a lack of attention in relation to updating legislation; the amounts involved are tiny, and are never enforced in practice. For example, charterparties are technically subject to stamp duty at a rate of 50¢ in the British Virgin Islands, but despite the flourishing bareboat charter industry stamp duty is rarely if ever paid by charterers.

Separately, the British Virgin Islands also imposes various documentary duties which are described as being distinct from stamp duty on various classes of instrument:Cheque duty is assessed at 10¢ on each negotiable instrument (including traveller's cheques) presented for payment within the Territory.Trust instruments are assessed with trust duty of US$100 (unless they are charitable trusts or bare trusts).

The reason for not referring to these documentary taxes as stamp duty was that under the old International Business Companies Act (Cap 291), companies incorporated under that Act were exempt from stamp duty, and so to retain the payment obligations for those companies, they were referred to as 'cheque duty' and 'trust duty' respectively.


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