REQUIREMENTS TO BUY REAL ESTATE IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
There are no restrictions for foreigners to purchase real estate in the Dominican Republic. Before purchasing property it is recommended to have an attorney investigate its legal status, for which the seller should provide the buyer with copies of Title Certificate, property survey or plan, his or her identity card or passport, documents showing that the property is either exempted or up to date with the tax payment, corporate documentation and authorization to sell (if applicable), condominium regulations and declaration (if applicable). In order to transfer ownership of real estate the following steps are required :
- Signature of the Sales Contract before a Notary who will authenticate it.
- If the seller is married, the spouse must also sign the Contract of Sale.
- Contract of Sale will contain the legal description of the property, price and other conditions.
Appraisal of the property at the nearest Internal Revenue Office and then proceed with the payment of transfer taxes.
The Contract of Sale and the Certificate of Title of the seller are deposited, along with the documentation provided by Internal Revenue and copies of the Identity Cards or Passports of the parties involved, at the Title Registry Office for the jurisdiction where the property is located where the sale is recorded.
The Title Registry Office issues a new Certificate of Title in the name of the buyer and cancels the old Certificate issued previously to the seller. The time from the filing of the Contract of Sale to the issuance of the new Certificate of Title may vary from a few days to a few months depending on the Title Registry Office where the sale was recorded.
The tax on property transfer is three percent (3%) of the sales value, which is calculated from the value resulting highest between the Internal Revenue Office's appraisal and the value expressed in the contract (market value).
Inheritance of Real Estate by foreigners
There are no restrictions on foreigners inheriting title to real property in the Dominican Republic. Inheritance taxes are a 3% of the appraised value of the estate. If the beneficiary resides outside the Dominican Republic, inheritance taxes are subject to a 4.5% of the appraised value of the estate.
The law 288-04 raised the annual tax fee to 1%, and increased the base value for the application of the tax as follows: Houses whose price, including the lot in which they are built, is RD$ 5,000,000.00 or higher, adjusted every year for inflation. Non developed lots and property not used for living purposes, including those destined for commercial, industrial or professional activities, priced at RD$ 5,000,000.00 or higher.
The tax fee to be paid is 1% of the value of the property, applied only to the ones whose value is over RD$ 5,000,000.00
Law No. 557-05 establishes an exemption on property tax when owned by companies or one-owner enterprises. The reason is that they are already subject to an asset-based tax set forth by the Dominican Tax Code, which consists on 1% of the value of the assets.
The asset's worth, as far as this duty is concerned, is the value of the property established in the business' balance sheet after depreciation; amortization and allowance for uncollectible accounts are deducted (not adjusted for inflation).
Under the provisions of Art. 407 or the Tax Code as amended, such amount as were liquidated on account of this tax shall be considered as a credit against income tax payable on the fiscal year included in the statement. If the amount liquidated as income tax were equal to or higher than the assets tax payable, this payment obligation shall be considered extinguished. If after any such payment there remained any difference payable as assets tax, any such difference shall be paid in two installments as provided in Article 405 of the Code.