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Property Tax

Property Valuation is the valuation of real holdings, that is, land, permanent and temporary structures. Property Tax is a percentage of the value assigned to the property and is calculated by the formula:

VALUATION x TAX RATE = PROPERTY TAX

The Property Valuation section consists of a team of officers headed by the Chief Valuation Officer, who is assisted by field and mapping officers and an administrative support team.

The Chief Valuation Officer is the primary person responsible for the supervision of all valuations, ensuring all properties are appropriately classified and that the Saint Christopher and Nevis Property Tax Act 2006 (No. 13 of 2006) is administered in a fair and equitable manner. Our Field Valuation Officers conduct on-site visits to construction sites and completed properties and meet with property owners. During their field evaluation visits, the officers often take measurements and other property characteristics and details, to arrive at an appraisal of your property valuation. Pictures of your property are required to be taken for easy identification and to update our GIS information system. Our Property Tax system is based upon the most current market value and therefore, the field valuation teams may re-visit your property to obtain updated information, to promote a fair and equitable regime.

The Mapping Officers’ work may also entail some field work, however, their tasks are often limited to updating the graphical representation of the properties in St Kitts and Nevis. In over 90% of cases, the homeowner can identify their property on our Graphical Information System (GIS) map. The map also shows roads, vacant lots and other general information useful to the Department in creating accurate property values.

The administrative support team is usually the first point of contact should you phone or visit the department for property related business. These officers will answer your questions, print your Certificate of Value (COV), property Demand Notices and update your personal and property related information.

During periods of valuation, a Field officer will contact you to schedule an appointment to visit your property. During this visit, they will record all aspects of the property necessary for the Department to accurately value your property. The officers may, in some cases, need to see the inside of the structure in addition to the outside. Pictures will be taken of the outside of the structure. These will be used for valuing the property and easy identification. This information will also be used for our GIS system which will increase the accuracy and transparency of valuations.

Some of the measurements and aspects recorded will be the size and location of the property, the general condition, age and construction materials of any structures on the property, surrounding developments and available public and private services. The homeowner may provide any additional information, which in their opinion may influence the valuation of their property. Personal removable items will not form any part of the valuation process.

Based on the information collected, the Inland Revenue officers will determine the value of your property. This is done using a formula, which is influenced by property sales in the same area. There may be other unique factors that influence the value. The value determined is the Market Value.

If the property is unique, that means there are no other similar properties that exist on the area or island, hence no sales data, then the department will use the Replacement Cost Approach. This is the cost to replace the property minus any depreciation. When the valuation is complete, the Department will issue a Certificate of Value (COV which will contain the specifics of the property, and the value on which the tax will be determined.

Periodically, property values will change as the market changes. The Inland Revenue Department will notify the owner of the revaluation. Officers from the Department may visit the property, to update the property information so the new value is based on the most accurate data. The owner will be sent a new COV stating the new value. The last revaluation was done in 2007.

The tax rates in Saint Christopher (St. Kitts) and Nevis are based on the use of the property as stated below:

 

      ST.KITTS NEVIS
Accommodation                           building: 0.002 0.003
    land: 0.002 0.002
         
Agricultural   building: 0.000 0.000
    land: 0.000 0.001
         
Commercial   building: 0.003 0.003
    land: 0.003 0.002
         
Institutional   building: 0.000 0.002
    land: 0.000 0.0015
         
Residential   building: 0.002 0.00156
    land: 0.002 0.0075
         

 

Agricultural, Educational and Institutional property must be certified by the Director of Agriculture or qualify under the Education Act before they are exempted. An individual cannot unilaterally declare that their property is exempt.

EXEMPTION ON CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW RESIDENCE FOR ONE YEAR

If you are constructing a new residence, you are allowed a one (1) year exemption from the payment of Property Tax from the date of completion. This relief is a concession that the Inland Revenue Department allows on newly constructed residential properties only.

On 31st August 2006, The Property Tax Act was passed. This replaced The Land and House Tax Act (CAP 251) which was passed in 1906. This 1906 Act stated that property was to be valued using the Annual Rental Value method and allowed for two payments, in April and October at a rate of five percent (5%). This method was difficult to understand and somewhat confusing to taxpayers.

The new act changes the valuation method to the Market Value Method. This method values property by what it would fetch in the current market if the transaction was conducted between a willing buyer and seller. This method values property without bias or favor. The tax is now payable in a single payment due on or before the 30th June in each year. Each year a demand notice (bill) is sent to property owners and must be paid before the due date to avoid interest charges.

This Act came into force on the 1st day of January 2007. All properties in Saint Christopher and Nevis are now valued using this method. Saint Christopher and Nevis Property Tax Act 2006 (No. 13 of 2006) is a link to the Property Tax Act 2006.

All real property (land and buildings) must be registered with the Inland Revenue Department. As the new owner of real property, you must notify the Inland Revenue Department and state the date on which you took possession of the property. This will usually be the date on which the agreement was signed or the final payment was made. This is important to determine who is responsible for the tax, and at which point the tax responsibility was passed from one individual to another. Failure to voluntarily notify the department that you are the new owner of a property that is subject to tax, may render you liable to a twenty-five (25%) under-reporting penalty and other interest charges.

The Inland Revenue Department receives information on new property ownership from several sources. When received, our administrative support team will contact the owner to verify this information, and the owner will be asked to identify the property on our map. The taxpayer will be asked to produce a Certificate of Title (COT), identifying the property, the owner(s) and the floor plans with measurements if a structure exists on the land and the plans if they are available. As a property owner you should always have a copy of your COT. The original should be kept in a safe place. If a bank or other financial institution is in possession of your COT, they are required by law to provide you with a copy for tax purposes.

You will be asked to complete a Property Tax registration form indicating your full legal name and address, and other contact information including phone numbers and email addresses. This is important as Property Tax Bills and other important correspondence, will be mailed to the address provided. We require valid identification such as a driver licence, national ID or passport, for registration.

Inland Revenue officers are obligated to explain the entire registration process to you. Please ask questions relating to the valuation process, and how the value for taxation purposes is assessed.

You can calculate your tax using the appropriate formula below. All of this information will be contained in your Certificate of Value (COV) issued by the Inland Revenue Department.

RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY:

(Property Value – 80,000) x .002 = Tax Payable

COMMERCIAL PROPERTY:

Property Value x .003 = Tax Payable

ACCOMMODATION PROPERTY:

Property Value x .003 = Tax Payable

EXAMPLE: CALCULATION OF PROPERTY TAX

Example of the calculation of tax on residential property in St. Kitts, with a market value of $140,000.00
(Building Value 120,000.00 and Land Value $20,000.00).

 

LAND VALUE      20,000.00
TAX ON LAND (20,000 x 0.002)        40.00
BUILDING VALUE       120,000.00
SUBTRACT THE EXEMPTION (80,000.00)
TAXABLE BUILDING VALUE (120,000 – 80,000) 40,000.00
TAX ON BUILDING (40,000 x 0.002)        80.00
TOTAL TAX DUE (80.00 + 40.00)            120.00

Property Tax is an annual tax that should be paid on or before the 30th of June each year. Property Tax Demand Notices (bills) are mailed out by the end of May each year. If you do not receive your Demand Notice by the first week in June, contact the Inland Revenue Department to have one sent or e-mailed to you. Not having received a Demand Notice is not an excuse for non-payment of your property tax. If you have not paid your tax by the due date, interest of one percent (1%) per month will be added to the total amount due. You can request a Demand Notice at any time from the Department.

Your Property Tax Demand Notice will contain your address and the address of the property. It will also contain the current market value and the tax payable. Where a taxpayer has not paid his Property Tax for a previous year, the Demand Notice will contain arrears. Click Demand Notice to see a sample of a Property Tax Demand Notice (Bill).

Remember you can pay your Demand Notice at any time before the 30th of June, to avoid interest charges. The department will accept weekly or monthly payments if you wish to make payments in this manner, but they must be completed before the 30th of June deadline each year, to avoid interest. (Part VI, Division 4, Section 59 of Saint Christopher and Nevis Property Tax Act 2006 (No. 13 of 2006))

Every individual who owns property, unless exempted, must pay Property Tax. Some persons believe that the taxes they owe are eventually written off or somehow disappear. This is not true. Property Tax remains on the account of the owner, and if the owner wishes to sell, all outstanding taxes must be settled before the transfer is completed. This is also true if a transfer is to be completed if the owner is deceased. Please make all efforts to pay your Property Tax in a timely manner.

Unpaid Property Tax Demand Notices are sent to the Collections Section of the Inland Revenue Department for settlement.

An objection is the process by which a taxpayer can voice their disapproval and challenge a tax assessment. There are guidelines to this process, and an individual cannot object because they “believe” an assessment is incorrect. A taxpayer can object only if the bill or assessment is incorrect, and can provide information to the Inland Revenue Department that it is incorrect. Objections take time and resources in gathering, processing and verifying additional data, and the Department would like to be as efficient as possible in utilizing scarce resources.

A taxpayer can only object to the value that was placed on the property, by the Inland Revenue Department. They cannot object to the tax. If the value is correct, then the tax is correct.

As stated in the Property Section of the website, you have thirty 30 days to object to the valuation of your property, if you believe it has been over or undervalued. After that period, the valuation is permanent until the next valuation period. Once the objection has been received the Department has 45 days to reply to the objection. For more information on how property is valued, look in the Valuation of Property section of the Property Tax tab.

To start the objection process you must complete the Objections Form (OBJ-002 – Objection Form For Property Tax Assessments). In it, you must record your name, address, contact information, the property information and define the reasons under which you are objecting. You may also include any other information that you think is relevant to your case. You should complete the form in its entirety to ensure faster service. The objections letter is sent to the Secretary of the Property Tax Review Board in care of the Inland Revenue Department.

Additional information on objections contained in OBJECTIONS AND APPEALS section of this website.

Alterations and acts of nature, directly affect the value of property. It is the duty of the owner to inform the Department, when any of the above takes place. Renovations may or may not change the value of your property, while additions usually increase the value and demolitions usually decrease the value.

If your structure has been damaged whether by fire, hurricanes or other natural disasters or Acts of God, and rendered uninhabitable, the department will adjust the assessment to reflect to new value.

What is Property Tax ?
A tax levied by the government on real property. Real property refers to all land, structures, firmly attached and integrated equipment (such as light fixtures or a well pump) and anything growing on the land
How is Property Tax used ?

Property Tax is collected by the Inland Revenue Department on behalf of the Government of Saint Christopher and Nevis. This money is used to service the social needs of the citizens and inhabitants of the community in the form of road building and repair, schools, hospitals and clinics, fire and police services, garbage collection and dozens of other programs. Property Tax should therefore be looked at as a contribution to the social & economic development of the country for future generations.

When is property tax due?
Property Tax is an annual tax and payment is due on or before 30th year. If payment is not made on time then interest at the rate of 12 percent per annum is added to the tax.
Is payment due if I did not receive a tax notice?

Yes, payment is due before the due date or interest will be charged, even if you did not receive a notice. It is the responsibility of the taxpayer to ensure that their obligations to our society are being met. It is also the responsibility of the taxpayer to update their contact information, including e-mail addresses, with the department when there is a change. If you do not receive a notice before the due date, contact the Inland Revenue Department to have another sent to you or you may come into our office. Not having received a notice is not a valid reason for late payment of taxes.

How is my property valued ?

Property is valued using the market value of recently sold similar properties in the same area multiplied by the size of the building. This value is discounted using theage and condition of the building. For full details see THE VALUATION OF PROPERTY section.

What is market value?

Market Value is the amount that a property might be expected to realize if it is sold on the open market by a willing seller and a willing buyer, both dealing at arm’s-length. The arm’s-length principle refers to both parties being independent, unrelated and acting without bias or favour.

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