Published On: Wed, Sep 20th, 2023

MP Heyliger-Marten questions Minister Irion about tax holidays

PHILIPSBURG — “It is important to get an idea of what the government’s actions and policies have been and currently are with regard to tax holidays and other fiscal incentives,” independent MP Grisha Heyliger-Marten wrote in a press release about her letter dated September 15 to Minister of Finance Ardwell Irion.

She wrote that correctly applied fiscal incentives can benefit the country and that incorrectly applied incentives do more harm than good.

Heyliger-Marten asked the minister five questions about this issue. She wants to know how many requests the government received since February 2020 for tax holidays or other fiscal concessions and how many were granted. She also wants to know whom tax holidays were granted to and why. Lastly, the MP asks whether the government has a policy in place for tax holidays. “If such a policy exists, is it applicable only to foreign investors and companies or also to locals?”

Accountant and consulting firm Grant Thornton published a comprehensive overview of tax legislation in St. Maarten, Curacao the BES-islands and Aruba in 2021. One chapter deals with tax facilities in St. Maarten for the establishment of companies and the construction of hotels.

To qualify for a tax holiday, a company must invest at least 250,000 guilders and provide permanent work for at least five Dutch nationals that were born in St. Maarten.

The regulation only applies to companies that are established in St. Maarten. The tax holiday offers qualifying companies exemption from land tax and a lower tariff for profit tax. Tax holidays can remain in place for a maximum of eleven years.