Land Tax is a property tax charged on all properties throughout Bermuda with few exceptions. The tax is charged under the authority of the Land Tax Act 1967 and the Land Valuation and Tax Act 1967.
Land Tax is assessed annually but billed semi-annually on January 1 and July 1 of each year and is payable in March and September.
If not paid by the specified due date, interest charges are assessed on a monthly basis at 7% on any outstanding balance.
The "owner" of a property is liable for all land tax charges. This "owner" is usually the freeholder but may be a life-tenant, a tenant with a lease term of three years or more, or a leaseholder or licensee for with a lease period of less than three years where the property is owned by the Bermuda Government, WEDCO, BHC or BLDC.
Where a residential or commercial property is let on a lease of three years or more, the Act deems the tenants to be the "owner" of the property for land tax purposes regardless of any provision in the lease itself concerning taxes.
Exemptions from Land Tax
Bermudians aged sixty-five or older (Seniors) used to be entitled to full relief from land tax. However, as a result of a 2009 change, Seniors are only exempt from land tax based on an Annual Rental Value (ARV) of up to $42,000. Where the property has an ARV over $42,000, seniors now have to pay tax on the portion above the threshold.
Exemption from land tax may also be granted in cases of financial hardship, where the owner is unable to meet their tax liability. Application for relief must be made to the Tax Commissioner, who may defer or provide exemption from all or part of the tax.
Similarly, if a property is uninhabitable for a period of time, in whole or part, following a catastrophe such as a fire, or as a result of substantial renovations or serious disrepair, the Director of Land Valuation will defer land tax for the relevant period.
Finally, properties owned or occupied by the Bermuda Government, the Corporations of Hamilton and St. George, recognized schools, churches and properties owned and occupied by certain charities are exempt from land tax.
Land Tax Calculation
The amount of Land tax payable on a property is based on the ARV, as set out in the table below:
|Annual Rental Value||Tax Rate|
|Up - $11,000||0.8%|
|$11,001 to $22,000||1.8%|
|$22,001 to $33,000||3.5%|
|$33,001 to $44,000||6.5%|
|$44,001 to $90,000||12.0%|
|$90,001 to $120,000||12.0%|
Specifically, the amount of land tax is based on the ARV bands with each tier calculated at the corresponding rate. You can look up the amount of land tax based on a known ARV here.