Curaçao – Retrospective amendment of the Guidelines on the recovery of tax debts

Curaçao – Retrospective amendment of the Guidelines on the recovery of tax debts

November 8, 2021

The Ministry of Finance published amended Guidelines on the recovery of tax debts, now officially called “Richtlijnen ter invordering van openstaande schulden Ontvanger”, (hereafter: the “Guidelines”).
Please find below the background of and most relevant changes to the Guidelines.


The Guidelines provide government employees concerned with the collection of tax debts with internal rules when concluding payment arrangements (betalingsregeling) and offers to discharge tax debts (saneringsregeling) with tax debtors. The offer to discharge tax debts allows a tax debtor to settle its tax debt for less than the full amount owed. This is only possible in case the tax debt was issued on 30 December 2020 or prior to that date.

Relevant amendments

  • Scope – The Guidelines now also apply to social security and employee contributions, ground tax and motor vehicle tax. Furthermore, the Guidelines also apply to fines and other taxes, but do however not include recovery costs (invorderingskosten).
  • Residual tax debt – When certain conditions are met, the tax authorities may refrain from the collection of a residual tax debt. For this, the approval of the Minister of Finance is required instead of the Director Fiscal Affairs previously.
  • Tax payment arrangement – When a tax debtor does not meet its tax payment arrangement, a first reminder will be sent as of now. Previously, the tax debtor was directly confronted with a judicial writ (dwangbevel). If the tax debtor continues to fail its obligations, the tax payment arrangement will be revoked and the tax authorities will start enforced recovery procedures.
  • Proof of payment behavior – It is now also possible to receive a proof of payment behavior in case a tax payer has tax debts. Previously, this was only possible in case a payment arrangement was concluded. The proof of payment behavior will show any outstanding tax debt.
  • Pending objections and appeals – When a request to discharge a tax debt is submitted, not all pending objections and appeals will automatically be considered withdrawn. The request will be considered to only cover the undisputed part of the tax debt.
  • Statute of limitations request – Statute of limitations requests (verjarinsgverzoeken) will be finalized before a discharge of tax debts is agreed, instead of being considered withdrawn.
  • Financial information – A financial paragraph is added to the explanatory section of the Guidelines. This paragraph states that the additional tax revenue as a result of the continuation of the measures is expected to amount to NAf 11,6 million.

Final remarks

As mentioned, the Guidelines have retrospective effect from 12 July 2021. It is unclear how will be dealt with previous requests that were denied under the old Guidelines but should have been approved. The same question goes for requests that were not filed by tax debtors based on the old Guidelines and objections and appeals that were considered withdrawn but could have been pursued under the new Guidelines. It is also unclear whether tax debtors who already concluded an agreement to discharge tax debts are eligible to apply for an offer again under the new broader scope of the Guidelines. We hope that the tax authorities will provide individual solutions in such cases.

As a final remark, please note that a request for an offer to discharge tax debts should be submitted ultimately 31 December 2021. The Minister of Finance can extend this deadline.