Welcome to Guido Perdomo Law Firm
Requirements to buy Real Estate in the Dominican Republic
There are no restrictions for foreigners to purchase real estate in the Dominican Republic.
Before purchasing property it is recommended to have an attorney investigate its legal status, for which the seller should provide the buyer with copies of Title Certificate, property survey or plan, his or her identity card or passport, documents showing that the property is either exempted or up to date with the tax payment, corporate documentation and authorization to sell (if applicable), condominium regulations and declaration (if applicable).
In order to transfer ownership of real estate the following steps are required:
Signature of the Sales Contract before a Notary who will authenticate it. If the seller is married, the spouse must also sign the Contract of Sale. Contract of Sale will contain the legal description of the property, price and other conditions.
Appraisal of the property at the nearest Internal Revenue Office and then proceed with the payment of transfer taxes.
The Contract of Sale and the Certificate of Title of the seller are deposited, along with the documentation provided by Internal Revenue and copies of the Identity Cards or Passports of the parties involved, at the Title Registry Office for the jurisdiction where the property is located where the sale is recorded.
The Title Registry Office issues a new Certificate of Title in the name of the buyer and cancels the old Certificate issued previously to the seller. The time from the filing of the Contract of Sale to the issuance of the new Certificate of Title may vary from a few days to a few months depending on the Title Registry Office where the sale was recorded.
The tax on property transfer is three percent (3%) of the sales value, which is calculated from the value resulting highest between the Internal Revenue Office's appraisal and the value expressed in the contract (market value).
Inheritance of Real Estate by Foreigners
There are no restrictions on foreigners inheriting title to real property in the Dominican Republic. Inheritance taxes are a 3% of the appraised value of the estate. If the beneficiary resides outside the Dominican Republic, inheritance taxes are subject to a 4.5% of the appraised value of the estate.
The law 288-04 raised the annual tax fee to 1%, and increased the base value for the application of the tax as follows:
Houses whose price, including the lot in which they are built, is RD$ 5,000,000.00 or higher, adjusted every year for inflation.
Non developed lots and property not used for living purposes, including those destined for commercial, industrial or professional activities, priced at RD$ 5,000,000.00 or higher.
The tax fee to be paid is 1% of the value of the property, applied only to the ones whose value is over RD$ 5,000,000.00
Law No. 557-05 establishes an exemption on property tax when owned by companies or one-owner enterprises. The reason is that they are already subject to an asset-based tax set forth by the Dominican Tax Code, which consists on 1% of the value of the assets.
The asset's worth, as far as this duty is concerned, is the value of the property established in the business' balance sheet after depreciation; amortization and allowance for uncollectible accounts are deducted (not adjusted for inflation).
Under the provisions of Art. 407 or the Tax Code as amended, such amount as were liquidated on account of this tax shall be considered as a credit against income tax payable on the fiscal year included in the statement. If the amount liquidated as income tax were equal to or higher than the assets tax payable, this payment obligation shall be considered extinguished. If after any such payment there remained any difference payable as assets tax, any such difference shall be paid in two installments as provided in Article 405 of the Code.
In order to get the Dominican residency the following documents are necessary:
- Birth Certificate
- Marriage certificate (if applicable)
- Police report
(These documents must be Apostilled) Information on where you can get it is on the internet
- 8 photos front and 4 photos side (without earrings, glasses and white background)
- Photocopy of the passport (First to last page)
- Proof of any investment made in Dominican Republic or bank references specifying that the person has enough sources to live in the country without being a charge for the state.
The process takes from 5 to 6 months in order to obtain the provisional residency (valid for 1 year) and the cost is US$1,200. After that year, we apply for the definitive (valid for 2 years) that costs US$1,000. After those 2 years the cost of renewing it for another 2 years is around US$200.
Once provisional residency is obtained, it is possible to bring a container with the essential furniture for a house, free of taxes. Also it is possible to bring a car paying reduced taxes; this car has to be owned by the person in his country at least 1 year and can not be older than 5 years.
Incorporation a Company under Dominican Law
The following information should be provided to the incorporating attorney in order to proceed with the incorporation process:
Particulars of the shareholders (full name, nationality, occupation, marital status, address, and passport numbers or Dominican Identity Cards (cédulas). The Dominican Law requires a minimum of seven shareholders to incorporate. Most Dominican corporations meet this requirement by including nominee shareholders holding a symbolic share each in the company. Nominees are generally provided by the law firm doing the incorporation.
Possible names and domicile of the corporation.
Authorized capital of the corporation. The authorized capital is the amount considered necessary and sufficient to fulfill the corporate object. It is based on this amount that the incorporation taxes are calculated. A corporation must have at least 10% of the authorized capital paid-up before starting operations.
Types of shares to be issued. Shares may be "nominative" – transfers are registered in the corporate books which must be signed by the parties; "to the order," which may be transferred by simply endorsing the stock certificate; or "bearer" shares which are transferred by the physical delivery of the stock certificate.
Dominican corporations are subject to the following taxes:
Income Tax. The income tax rate for Dominican corporations is a flat 25% on net income. Interest on debt is tax deductible. Law #557-95 temporarily raised the tax rate to 30% for the year 2006, 29% for 2007 and 27% for 2008. In 2009, the tax rate will revert to 25%.
Tax on Assets. Corporations must pay an annual 1% tax on their assets ("Impuesto sobre Activos"). This tax functions as a kind of minimum tax since amounts paid are deducted from the amount due for corporate income tax.
Value-Added Tax ("Impuesto a la Transferencia de Bienes Industrializados y Servicios - ITBIS") most corporate transactions are subject to a 16% valued-added tax ("ITBIS"). Corporations must also act as withholding agents for dividends, payroll and other taxes.