The government of the Dominican Republic is welcoming of foreign retirees. If you can show proof of a monthly pension of $1,500 (plus $250 for each person you’ll be bringing with you), you can qualify for provisional residency in just 45 days. And, as with other retiree residency programs in other countries, qualifying comes with perks, benefits, and tax breaks.
NOT READY TO RETIRE? WHY IS THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC A GREAT PLACE TO INVEST RIGHT NOW?
With its central location in the Americas, a fast-developing infrastructure, and a generous package of tax incentives, the Dominican Republic is one of the best places in the Caribbean and Central America region to do business. If you have a business to transplant or are looking to set up your own business in a tax-friendly, benefit-laden location, you owe it to yourself to investigate the opportunities here, especially if your work falls under any of the following categories: telecommunications, infrastructure, renewable energy, agribusiness, call centers, software development, manufacturing, or tourism.
Start up a business in a free trade zone and, thanks to Law 8-90, you’ll qualify for a 15-year exemption on all income taxes, corporate taxes, VAT, municipal taxes, export tax and duties, and incorporation and capitalization taxes.
You don’t have to be in big business to take advantage of the Dominican Republic’s tax incentives. The government is committed to tourism growth It recognizes the potential in its coastlines, its jungles, and its historic capital city Its big agenda is “sustainable tourism,” and it’s rolling out the red carpet to those willing to help boost its tourism efforts and accommodate visitors in town. Start a tourism business here — a boutique hotel, a tour business, or dive shop may qualify — and, under Law 158-01, you’ll receive tax breaks for the next 10 years on income taxes, VAT, real estate transfers, property tax, import duties, and more.
All while living in one of the world’s warmest, and friendliest havens.
On the investment side, certainly rental returns. Most developments usually average a 70 per cent occupancy rate over the course of a year. So for our clients, who are still working, they’re living in these properties for two weeks to a couple of months a year, and the rest of the time, they’re watching it earn some money.
WHAT ARE THE AVERAGE PROPERTY PRICES AND RENTS IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC?
You can spend anywhere from $70,000 up to $10 million. Our buyers tend to be on the $200,000 to $400,000 range, and that will get you a very nice house in a gated subdivision. For rentals, most people rent on a short-term or nightly basis to vacationers. The rates range from $100 to $400 per night, depending on the location, type and size of property.
WHAT TYPES OF PROPERTIES ARE THE BEST BUYS?
Most of our buyers have been choosing single-family homes lately because they can get a great deal and they have great rental returns. In terms of condos, anything on the oceanfront attracts attention. If you can get it for a good price and it’s well-managed, that’s a great return and capital appreciation.
The Dominican Republic is economically sound. According to the IMF, its GDP is expected to jump sharply, from 2.2 per cent in 2013 to another 3.4 per cent in 2014.
This article was first published in the October 2013 issue of CREW magazine.