The Real Estate Agency of Curacao tells: The Real Estate Tax (onroerende zaak belasting OZB) on Curaçao

30 januari 2014
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The Real Estate Tax (onroerende zaak belasting OZB) on Curaçao

 The Real Estate Agency of Curacao tells: ( blog update 2019) As of January 1, 2014, the land tax (grondbelasting)  in Curaçao has been replaced by the real estate tax (OZB). The legislation for this was approved by the Staten in May 2013. In this blog, the most important matters from this national ordinance are explained.

What has changed with regard to the land tax (grondbelasting)?

Actually not that much. The language and concepts in the national ordinance have been modernized, the value based on appraisal is now the clear concept of ‘value in economic traffic’, a new rate has been introduced and the tax has been increased. Furthermore, it is new that in the case of a building on leased land which is owned by the Country of Curaçao, the tenant of the land is liable for tax on the value of the building. The number of exemptions from the property tax has mainly been supplemented with nature areas that are open to the public after approval by the Minister and sports fields and sports facilities of the government or foundations that do not aim to make a profit. A final OZB assessment must be paid within 2 months of the date. Exemption from tax (for example due to long-term vacancy) is no longer possible.

Taxpayer for the OZB Curaçao (Do I have to pay OZB?)

The OZB is levied on the person who, at the beginning of the calendar year, has the enjoyment of immovable property through ownership, possession or limited right.

You will have this ‘enjoyment’ if you are listed as such in the cadastral registration at the start of the calendar year. The tax on the value of a building on rental land owned by Curaçao is levied on the tenant of the land. If at the beginning of the calendar year more than one taxpayer enjoys immovable property, the tax is levied on all taxpayers jointly.

Immovable property: what exactly is it?

  1. A built property (house, shop, office, etc.).
  2. An unbuilt property (land). There are also rules for combinations of these that are considered together as one immovable property. Notwithstanding the foregoing, leased land owned by Curaçao and a building present on it by the tenant are regarded as two immovable property so that the tenant of the land can be taxed for the value of the building.

What is exempt from property tax:

a) immovable property owned by Curaçao;

b) immovable property owned by the State of the Netherlands and used exclusively for the public service;

c) buildings mainly intended for public worship with ancillary facilities;

d) cemeteries and crematoria with associated buildings;

e)  buildings exclusively used for the provision of non-commercial education;

f)  buildings exclusively used for the healing or nursing of the sick or infirm;

g)  cultivated agricultural land for agricultural or forestry purposes, in so far as it does not form the subsoil of buildings;

(h)  certain commercial premises and immovable property owned by enterprises covered by specific schemes that promote economic development through investment.

(i)  nature reserves that are open to the public after approval by the Minister

(j)   sports grounds and sports facilities.

We refer to the legal text for the exact wording;

At c to f and j, the exemption applies if Curaçao or a non-profit foundation or foundation is made.

What value applies to the property tax?

The tax base for the property tax is the economic value: the value that any third party is willing to pay to buy your immovable property from you and can immediately and fully use it (ie not the value in a rented state). The value of a building on rental land owned by Curaçao is determined without taking into account the value of the substrate. In the case of leasehold, the value of land and building(s) together applies. In some exceptional cases, a different basis applies for the valuation. For this we refer to the text of the national ordinance ( The reference date for determining the value is the beginning of the five-year period for which the value is determined. The first period for the OZB is from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2018. This concerns the value as at January 1, 2014, 2019, 2024, etc.

The value can change within the five-year period due to renovations, demolition, etc. See the legal text about when and how this can affect the property tax.

How is the value determined? Taxation.

The Inspectorate determines the value of an immovable property by means of an appraisal.

This will be done with the help of appraisers for the first five-year period of the new property tax. From the end of May 2014 appraisers went into the neighborhoods and areas in teams to carry out valuations. The appraisers do their work from the public road etc. and will not approach residents for information. The appraisers can, however, identify themselves. After checking the available data and a random check of the valuation received, the Inspector sends a letter to the taxpayer for the property tax with the determined value. The taxpayer is also given the opportunity to submit arguments against the determined value. The taxpayer is free in the way in which he contests the value. He can submit documents that he considers relevant. For example, a recent valuation report in connection with the desire to sell or the application for financing, which shows a lower market value than the value determined by the Inspectorate. The total appraisal process is expected to take several years in view of the amount of real estate to be appraised in the registry’s file (more than 50,000).

Tax Assesment

The property tax is levied on you by a Tax Assesement . There are provisional assessments and final assessments.

A provisional OZB assessment may be paid in as many installments as there are still months in a year after the date of the assessment. The Inspector determines the value of the immovable property at the first final assessment of the five-year period. If this happens in another year after the end of 2014, final assessments will be imposed simultaneously for all years that have already passed in the five-year period and the current year. A final OZB assessment must be paid within 2 months of the date. If there is more than one taxpayer with regard to an immovable property (undivided estate, timeshare, etc.), the Inspector can impose the assessment on one of them. Assessments with an amount of tax owed of less than NAf. 100 are not imposed. Assessments must be paid to the Recipient within 2 months of the date.

Objection to the determined value

The taxpayer can only file a notice of objection against the determined value of the immovable property with the Inspector during the first year of the five-year period. This is therefore only possible after receipt of the final assessment for 2014 after the value determination of the immovable property. The notice of objection must be submitted within 2 months of the date of the assessment. A notice of objection against assessments other than the final assessment for the first year cannot therefore be directed against the determined value.

Have you bought an existing house and you do not received an OZB assessment?

If you become the owner of a property or if something changes, for example by building a house or by another increase in value (value increase of 5% with a minimum of ANG. 25,000), you must file a declaration within two months of acquisition or change at the Inspector.

Have you not received an assessment for the OZB within 12 months after the end of a calendar year? In that case, too, you must file a tax return within two months of the end of these 12 months. Example: did you not receive an assessment for the 2020 tax year in 2021? Then you have to file a tax return yourself in the first 2 months of 2022!

Do you receive an annual tax assessment for the OZB? Then you don’t have to do anything. Have you not yet received the 2019 (or 2018) assessment in 2020? Then you have to file a tax return yourself before 1 March 2021.

Did you buy real estate in 2019? Then your civil-law notary has probably already paid the OZB for the rest of that year (purchase date up to and including 31 December 2018). You can check this on your bill. Will you not receive an assessment for 2019 in 2020? In that case, you must file a tax return for the year 2019 in the first two months of 2021.

How do I file a tax return for the OZB?

The declaration is free of form, the following information must in any case be on your declaration:

Name, address and crib number of you as a taxpayer;

Since which date you have the right of ownership, possession or limited right;

What right you have to the property. So right of ownership, possession, usufruct, building or leasehold;

The address of the immovable property;

Indicative value of the property.

The purchase price or appraisal report can give a good indication of the value, provided this information is recent.

You can send the declaration by e-mail to:

Address your letter to the Inspector of Taxes ( Inspecteur der Belastingen), Property Tax Department (afdeling onroerendezaakbelasting). Has the assessment been set to an amount that is too low because you have not complied with your declaration obligation? In that case, when determining the assessment, the inspector can impose a fine of up to 100% of the amount of the assessment. You must pay the fine within two months of receiving the assessment, unless you have submitted a reasoned objection in time.

Did you not file a declaration, is it incorrect, or was the information incomplete? Then the Inspector can impose an additional assessment and a fine up to 10 years later! So make sure that you file a declaration on time, and that the information contained therein is correct.

Contact & information


You will find a button on the ‘home page’ of the site at the top right. On this site you will also find a multitude of more detailed information about the property tax. Oral questions can be directed to the information desk of the Tax Inspectorate, Regentesselaan z/n., here during opening hours. Expect some waiting time.

This article was published in the series : The Real Estate Agency of Curacao tells.




International Fine Living does its best to inform people who buy a house on Curaçao or sell a house as well as possible. Unfortunately, our time is also limited and we will not always be able to publish the latest updates. We therefore always recommend that you verify the information provided. A special warning for all English text; the official language spoken on Curaçao is Dutch and Papiamento, please take into account that translation errors to English might occur.

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