The crowd in the room for last week’s Live and Invest in the Dominican Republic Conference (our biggest to date) was the savviest and best prepared I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know.
Some had taken steps to push their personal DR agendas forward even before arriving on the scene in Santo Domingo.
What, specifically, were our conference-goers looking to accomplish with our help?
They knew they wanted to live and invest in the Dominican Republic… but they also understood that they needed guidance for how to do that efficiently, safely, and for maximum payoff.
These folks weren’t looking to be sold on the dream. They’d paid the price of admission to be shown how to make the dream a reality.
We got straight down to business. Our preferred DR attorney and favorite local spitfire Maria Abreu took to the stage to detail the straightforward process of buying real estate in this country as a foreigner.
The crowd was delighted to learn that the Ministry of Tourism has launched a program that makes certain properties tax exempt for up to 15 years (some of these were presented during the conference).
Retired attendees were even happier to hear that they are eligible for reduced transaction fees when closing on a property purchase, thanks to their age.
Maria followed her step-by-step how-to-purchase-real-estate presentation with a comprehensive overview of this country’s visa and naturalization programs.
The Dominican Republic is one of the easiest and quickest jurisdictions in the world for obtaining residency and a second passport. If you qualify under the Fast Track residency program, you are also fast-tracked to become a DR citizen, with the passport to prove it. You can apply for naturalization six months after obtaining your permanent residency card.
That extraordinary opportunity was one of the primary appeals for our conference-goers. Many had begun the application process for Fast Track residency before arriving at the event. They kept Maria busy from early until late each day, as she worked to help them advance their status in real time.
This makes an important point. You can begin the residency process in your current country. In fact, you need to obtain a residency visa before going to the DR as part of the overall process. Enter on a tourist visa, and you won’t be able to complete the residency process.
Residency process begun (and initial residency visa in hand), the next step is a quick visit to the DR to set up a bank account, provide fingerprints and photos, and submit to a medical exam. You should then receive your permanent residency card within 45 to 60 days.
From that point (after having received your permanent residency), you need wait only six months before you can put in your application for citizenship.
Top real estate investment haven… top choice for foreign residency and a second passport… and, as well, a classic tax haven.
The Dominican Republic taxes only income earned in the Dominican Republic. Living here, you’d be liable for tax only on income you earned here. Earn no DR income, and you owe no DR tax. Money brought into the country from any outside source (including retirement, pension, or investment income, as well as income earned in any other country) is 100% tax-free.
Dominican income, including investment and rental income generated in the DR, is taxed from 10% to 25% depending on total annual net earnings. If net rental income, for example, is less than US$9,000 per year, no tax is owed.
What if the property you buy doesn’t qualify for the 15-year tax exemption?
If it’s valued at US$150,000 or more, the annual property tax is 1% of the assessed value above the initial US$150,000. Unless you’re 65 years old or older. Again, Third Agers enjoy a special discount. If you’re 65 or older, the 1% property tax is reduced to 0.5%.
What if the property value is less than US$150,000? Then the annual rate of property tax is 0.
LIOS Conference Insider in the Dominican Republic