The Bahamas Taxes for US Expats in 2023

The Bahamas Taxes for US Expats in 2023

Bahamas taxes at a glance

Primary Tax Forms: N/A (no income tax)

Tax Deadline: N/A

Currency: Bahamian Dollar (B$)

Population: 400,000

Number of US Expats in the Bahamas: 30,000

Capital City: Nassau

Primary Language: English

Tax Treaty: No

Totalization Agreement: No

Living as an Expat in the Bahamas

Located in the West Indies and not far from Florida, the Bahamas are located in a chain of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean. This Caribbean country boasts tropical weather and warm, sandy beaches, making it an ideal spot for US expats to live and work. But, if you’re residing in the Bahamas, you should know how to handle Bahamas taxes for US expats.

Figuring how much you need to pay in expat taxes can be complicated — but if you’re living in the Bahamas, you don’t have to worry about paying income taxes in this country. 

Important

US expats do not have to pay income tax to the Bahamas but are responsible for US income tax.

Here’s everything you should know about your expat taxes for the Bahamas.

US Expat Taxes in the Bahamas

Normally, Americans living abroad have to file their US tax returns and Bahamas tax returns once a year. However, since the Bahamas does not levy income tax on residents or non-residents, US expats only have to worry about their American taxes.

Since the Bahamas does not impose an income tax, many Americans opt to reside and work here to lower their tax bills.

Who Has to File Taxes in the Bahamas?

There is no income tax in the Bahamas, whether you’re a resident or non-resident living on one of the islands. However, if you’re an expat, you’re still responsible to pay your country’s income taxes.

Who Qualifies as a Tax Resident in the Bahamas?

In The Bahamas, residents are taxed on all the income they make — regardless of if it was made in The Bahamas or internationally. However, non-residents are only taxed on the income they made in The Bahamas.

If you’re a US expat living in The Bahamas, you might be unsure whether you’re considered a resident or non-resident of the country. Here’s how you can find out:

The Bahamas resident qualifications

While residents of the Bahamas are often born in the country or obtain residence through marriage, there are a few other ways to become a resident.

US expats with clean criminal records can become permanent residents of the Bahamas through investment. Expats have two options: they can either buy property in the Bahamas or invest in various sectors of the country’s economy, such as medicine or tourism. 

According to the official website of the government of the Bahamas, expats must make a minimum capital investment of BSD $500,000 to qualify for permanent residency. However, the Bahamas Immigration website also notes that “persons purchasing a residence for BSD $750,000.00 or more will get speedy consideration” when it comes to their application. 

(For reference, the Bahamian dollar is pegged to the US dollar). 

Other supporting documents you’ll need for your permanent residency include copies of your passport, proof of financial capability, and character reference. You’ll need to spend at least 90 days in the Bahamas per year to maintain your permanent residency. 

In addition, there are certain jobs you can work, such as a teacher, nurse, doctor, or other medical professional, for 10 years in the Bahamas to qualify as a resident.

Other Tax Situations in The Bahamas

Self-employment Tax

If you’re self-employed and working in the Bahamas, you’ll pay a rate of 8.8% into the country’s Social Security insurance.

Capital Gains Tax

There is no capital gains tax in the Bahamas.

Corporate Tax

Companies operating in the Bahamas must pay a flat corporate tax rate of 15% on all taxable profits.

Value-added Tax (VAT)

In The Bahamas, you pay value-added tax for certain goods and services. As of 2022, the VAT tax rate is 10%.

Wealth Tax

There is no wealth tax in the Bahamas.

Inheritance Tax

There is no inheritance tax in the Bahamas.

Property Tax

The property tax rate in the Bahamas ranges depending on the property’s price. The first $250,000 spent on the property is tax-exempt. The next $250,000 to $500,000 is taxed at 0.625%, and properties over this amount are taxed at 1% (but capped at $5,000).

Social Security

In the Bahamas, you contribute 3.4% of your salary to Social Security tax. Your employer contributes 5.4% of your wages to Social Security.

Does the US Have a Tax Treaty with the Bahamas?

Although the US has tax treaties with many countries to help avoid double taxation, the Bahamas and the US do not currently have a tax treaty agreement.

Does a Bahamas-US totalization agreement exist?

The Bahamas does not currently have a totalization agreement with the US. Since a totalization agreement helps protect US expats from paying duplicate Social Security taxes, this means Americans living in the Bahamas must contribute to both US and Bahamas Social Security funds.

The IRS tax code is 7,000 pages. Want the cliff notes version for expats? Let us help.

US Tax Forms for Expats in the Bahamas

IRS Form 1040: Individual Income Tax Return

The standard income tax form in the US is Form 1040. All US citizens and resident aliens must file their 1040 annually, even if you’re living in a foreign country like the Bahamas.

You must file your 1040 by April 15 (this year, it’s April 18), but US expats working in the Bahamas receive a two-month extension. Expat taxes are due June 15.

Pro Tip

Do you need more time to file your US tax return? You can request an extension of October 15

IRS Form 8938: Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets (FATCA)

You may need to file a FACTA, depending on your financial situation. In the US, you must file a FACTA if the amount of your foreign financial assets exceeds a specific threshold ($200,000 for single filers and $400,000 for those married, filing jointly).

To file your FACTA, submit Form 8938, and send it in with your 1040. Your FACTA is due by April 15 (April 18 for the 2023 filing year).

FinCEN Form 114: Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR)

US citizens living in the Bahamas who held $10,000 or more in one or across multiple foreign bank accounts over the past tax year must also submit FinCEN Form 114, the FBAR.

You can file this form online at the FinCEN BSA e-filing platform. To mail a paper copy instead, you must contact FinCEN’s resource center and request an e-filing exemption. If approved, you’ll receive a physical form to mail back. 

Your FBAR is due on April 15 (April 18 this year). If you need more time to file your FBAR, the deadline automatically extends to October 15 without penalty. 

Are there US tax deductions available to Americans in the Bahamas?

The US offers tax deductions; American expats can file to lower their tax bills. However, since expats living in the Bahamas do not pay income tax, you likely won’t be able to take advantage of some of these tax breaks, since you’re already receiving tax incentives.

Foreign Earned Income Exclusion

You can lower your taxable income in the US taxable income with the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE). This tax break lets you deduct all or some of your foreign-earned income from US taxation. 

For 2022, you can exclude up to $112,000 in foreign-earned income from your US taxable income. So, if you earned less than this number in 2022, you could cancel your US tax bill altogether. 

You can claim the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion by filing IRS Form 2555.

Foreign Tax Credit

The Foreign Tax Credit (FTC) is another tax break designed to help expats — however, Americans in the Bahamas likely won’t qualify for this credit. This tax break lets you deduct any income taxes you’ve already paid or will pay to the Bahamas, dollar for dollar, from your tax bill. 

Since expats in the Bahamas don’t pay income tax in the Bahamas, however, they won’t qualify for this benefit.

Foreign Housing Exclusion

You can also deduct eligible housing-related expenses from your US tax bill by claiming the Foreign Housing Exclusion.

You can only claim this credit if you also claim the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. Both can be claimed on Form 2555.

Get Expert Help with Your Expat Tax Return

We hope this tax guide helped you understand the Bahamas taxes for US expats. We know that figuring out your tax situation can be complicated, so if you have additional questions about your tax responsibilities or eligible tax breaks, reach out to Greenback.

Don’t just guess. Get the best advice from one of our expat expert CPAs and EAs.
Whether you need tax advice to prepare for a move abroad, to buy property or even retire, Greenback can help. Consults upfront can help avoid costly mistakes and stress later.
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