October 02, 2019

Buyer beware; or rather: miracles take time

Just a word of advice for those who want to take up residence in Curacao, or may want buy a second home here or otherwise want to invest. This is not your country of origin so things may be different here.
Let me give you some examples. A few years ago a german speaking client stated that his tax lawyer also did his bookkeeping and made his yearly financials. He was quite upset when I explained to him that I can assist his accountant by looking at the figures from a tax perspective or may be confront the accountant with obvious mistakes (everybody makes mistakes). Recently a client put forward that his issues should be addressed more swiftly. He had not taken his tax position into account for years and now we were hired to clean up the mess. We consider it our job and we are happy to do so of course.

But cleaning up needs the cooperation of the tax authorities and they on average need three quarters of a year to react to correspondence. So logically it will take over a year to settle problems.

I realize that we need to communicate this more to our non-Caribbean clients therefore I thought it wise to put this to writing.

Curacao is not the Netherlands with a nicer climate.
It is more South-America where Dutch happens to be one of the official languages and the legal language for that.

With reference to the cartoon: we are totally happy to extinguish your fiscal fires but allow for some time. We are dependent on the tax authorities. That goes for us and even so for our trusted colleagues in the field. And even better. As a fireman would probably say: prevention is better than extinguishing. So, if are are investing in Curacao please contact a competent tax lawyer before you are buried in a pile of tax assessments. Cleaning up afterwards is always more costly and is time consuming.

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