View Full Version : Ground Tax Ruling

08-08-2021, 08:21 AM
Rona wrote this article yesterday. Not sure if the ruling applies to Tourists that own property?


Back in 2019 the Government of Aruba implemented a few changes in the State Ordinance Ground Tax, SOGT.
The most significant of which was a change of the applicable ground tax rates for both individuals and legal entities.
Furthermore, the tax-free amount of Afl. 60,000 that could be deducted from the taxable base of the property was also abolished for all taxpayers.
Before 2019 the applicable rate was 0.4% for both individuals and legal entities. As of 2019 the rate was changed as follows for individuals:

Property value Afl. 120,000 or less: l0%
Property value as of Afl. 120,000 but less than Afl. 250,000: 0.2%
Property value as of Afl. 250,000 but less than Afl. 500,000: 0.3%
Property value as of Afl. 500,000 but less than Afl. 750,000: 0.4%
Property value of Afl. 750,000 or more: 0.6%

For other taxpayers (not individuals) the rate was always 0.6% as of the tax year 2019.
According to the SOGT, the ground tax assessments are determined for a period of 5 years. Grant Thornton explains, in their tax newsletter that a recent decision of the Joint Court of Justice of Aruba, Curacao, Sint Martin and the BES islands in regards to an Aruban ground tax case, has significant implications.
While our tax rate was supposed to be fixed for a 5-year period, 2017 through 2021, GOA raised it in 2019.
As a result, someone asked the question, in court, whether the Tax Authorities could implement the rate increase and the abolition of the tax-free amount in 2019, within the 5-year period of no changes for the ground tax assessments.
This particular case involved a taxpayer who filed an appeal against his/her 2019 ground tax assessment. The Joint Court decided that: NO. The law does not allow for a change of the tax assessment within the 5-year period. The new assessment imposed, with the higher rate for 2019 should be completely annulled.
The taxpayers should have received the original ground tax assessment in 2019, as determined in the first year (2017) of the 5-year period with a rate of 0.4%.
But, the new rate must be annulled for all taxpayers that objected to the assessment.
I did not object.
Then what, I pay and the objectors are exempt??
The court still has to deal with other issues, but me question remains ARE WE GETTING A REFUND??
www.grantthornton.aw (http://www.grantthornton.aw)

08-08-2021, 08:53 AM
Schexc - do you have a link to the column? I can't seem to find it. Thanks!

08-08-2021, 09:04 AM
Schexc - do you have a link to the column? I can't seem to find it. Thanks!

I also added it to the first post.


08-08-2021, 09:22 AM
It'll take years for Aruba, who needs $$$$ to do anything and then still get a refund or credit wrong.

08-08-2021, 12:40 PM
It'll take years for Aruba, who needs $$$$ to do anything and then still get a refund or credit wrong.

Agree...we have submitted a Letter of Objection for the tax years of 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021, stating that our property assessment is wrong. For some reason, it was changed in 2018. So far, nothing has been corrected, even though the tax office verbally agreed that the amount was incorrect. They sent us notifications that the Objections have been received, but no credits. We just keep paying the calculated amount, based on the correct assessment and they keep tacking on the fees. To top it off, we have to resend the Letter of Objection for every incorrect tax year, every year, as they expire in a year, according to our management company. We'll most likely make another appointment at the tax office, next time we're on the island...whenever that is.