Ministry of Finance: Widespread tax evasion by car rental companies in Curaçao

December 18, 2023   –WILLEMSTAD – Recent investigations by the tax authorities and SBAB have revealed that a significant number of car rental companies in Curaçao are flouting fiscal rules. These businesses either do not pay or inadequately pay turnover tax, with some even being completely unknown to the tax authorities. 

According to the tax authorities and SBAB, many car rental companies are involved in large-scale tax evasion. The rental companies, especially those with ten or more vehicles, have been identified as the main offenders. 

Many of these businesses do not remit turnover tax, while others have not even registered themselves as car rental companies with the tax authorities. A significant number of companies consistently submit nil returns, falsely claiming not to generate any turnover and, therefore, not owing turnover tax. 

These practices not only violate fiscal obligations but are also considered criminal offenses under the General National Tax Ordinance. Offenders risk imprisonment for up to six months and substantial fines. If deliberately incorrect returns are filed, fines can amount to one hundred percent of the tax amount owed. 

SBAB and the tax authorities have decided to jointly address this form of fiscal non-compliance. Letters are being sent to the implicated car rental companies requesting explanations for the observed irregularities. Furthermore, audits are being conducted on rental companies suspected of not fully reporting their turnover. 

The tax authorities caution car rental companies recognizing themselves in this description. They are encouraged to file correct returns for the years 2019 to the present. This can prevent a criminal record and high fines. Car rental companies that fail to take action and wait until the additional assessment is imposed will face stringent penalties. 

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