Can anyone (including foreigners) own and occupy real estate in your jurisdiction (including shares in property owning companies)? Are there any restrictions?
Anyone, including foreigners (both individuals and Dominican branches of foreign companies), can own and occupy real estate in the Dominican Republic. Likewise, ownership of real property can also be in the form of shares in property owning companies. Under current Dominican Law on Corporations, shares in a Dominican company can be owned by both local and foreign individuals/entities without restrictions in ownership percentages. There are no restrictions.
Are there restrictions on lending for the purchase of real estate by foreign companies? If so briefly give an outline?
For a foreign company to own real property in the Dominican Republic it will first need to fix domicile by registering with the Chamber of Commerce and Production having jurisdiction on its Dominican domicile, and with the National Taxpayers Registry, respectively. Upon such registrations, there are no legal restrictions to access banks in the Dominican Republic for a loan towards the purchase of real property. Such foreign entities, same as for Dominican entities/individuals, will have to comply with the KYC requirements as set forth under Law 155-17 against money-laundering and financing of terrorism.
Please provide a short summary of the fees and costs (including tax) relating to buying real estate in your jurisdiction.
- 3% Property Transfer Tax, using as a base the sale price or the value assigned to the real property by the General Agency for Internal Taxes (DGII), whichever is higher.
- Notarization fees. Notarization fees are based on the sale price, in a range from US$60 to US$4,000.00.
- USD $15.00, registration fees paid to the corresponding Registry of Titles.
Are there taxes applicable to owning real estate and can the burden of the taxes be passed to someone else (e.g. a tenant or an occupier - not being the owner)?
Yes, a 1% Property Tax. This tax is calculated annually taking into account the recorded value of the real property with the General Agency for Internal Taxes (DGII). The burden of the Property Tax falls on the owner of the real property and cannot be transferred to someone else.
Are there tax breaks or other incentives for foreigners to buy real estate in your jurisdiction? If so what are they?
Real estate properties located in tourist projects classified and registered before the Tourist Development Council (CONFOTUR) have a 100% exemption on the Property Transfer Tax and the Property Tax, respectively, for the first 10 years from the granting to the project of such classification. This tax exemption applies for the first purchase of the property (i.e., from the developer to the first buyer); and both local and foreign individuals/entities can benefit from the same.
How is the ownership of Real Estate evidenced in your jurisdiction?
On registered Real Property, ownership rights are evidenced by a Certificate of Title issued by the Registrar of Titles having jurisdiction over the Real Property.
On un-registered Real Property, ownership rights are evidenced by their recording with the Conservatorship of Mortgages having jurisdiction over the Real Property.
Is it possible to keep the identity of owners of real estate confidential in your jurisdiction?
No. All documents filed and issued by the Registry of Titles are public record.
When ownership of real estate is done through nominee shareholders in a company (either local or foreign), the name of the final beneficiary must be disclosed to the General Agency for Internal Taxes pursuant to Law 155-17 against money-laundering and financing of terrorism. In principle, in this case such information is not available to the public at large.