Insurance payouts in St. Maarten are not taxed for income

PHILIPSBURG--As residents prepare to file their 2018 taxes, some persons are wondering whether the pay-out received from insurance companies to repair their Hurricane Irma-damaged homes can be seen as taxable income for their Income Tax.
 
The answer is a simple “no,” said Inspectorate of Taxes staffer Marco Aalbers.
 
“An insurance pay-out is non-taxable income for Income Tax. Article 4 sub 2 of the Income Tax law states that ‘net income enjoyed on account of homeownership is not included in income from immovable property.’ This is a translation from the Dutch income tax law stating: Tot het inkomen uit onroerend goed wordt niet gerekend hetgeen zuiver wordt genoten uit de eigen woning,” he explained.
 
But all is not lost as it relates to home repairs. According to Aalbers, the cost of maintenance of an owner-occupied home up to an amount of two per cent of the value of the home with a maximum of NAf. 3,000 can be deducted from one’s taxable income. This information can be filled in under question 15a of the income tax return form.
 
“Since all hurricane policies have a deductible on the insurance pay-out of usually two per cent of the value of the home, most of the time a resident can utilise the NAf. 3,000 deductible,” he explained.
 
“For example: your home is worth NAf. 200,000 and your insurance pay-out is NAf. 100,000. The insurance deductible of two per cent of the value of the home will be NAf. 4,000 and the total insurance pay-out will be NAf. 96,000. This is more than the maximum of NAf. 3,000 tax-deductible, which means that the NAf. 3,000 tax-deductible can be fully utilised.”
 
He made clear that only the cost of maintenance (hurricane repairs, etc.) can be deducted. Cost for improvement of the home cannot be deducted. Cost of maintenance of an owner-occupied home designated as a protected monument according to the National Ordinance on Monuments can also be deducted, he said, adding that the premiums for fire and natural disaster insurance are also deductible.
 
Only premiums paid for a structure are deductible, not for contents of a home. All of the above has to be backed up with receipts, etc.
 
The Daily Herald

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