No property taxes: complete list of countries with details
Property tax is levied by the authorities in most countries of the world every year or every six months; its rate depends on the total value of your property. But there are some countries where there is no such tax. In this text, we give a complete list of countries where there is no estate tax for residents and non-residents, or where it is quite symbolic.
It is important to point out that before you buy a house in a country where there is no estate tax, you should pay attention to stamp duty. Stamp duty is another type of tax that the government usually charges on the purchase of a property. The good news, however, is that this fee is typically one-time.
Countries that don't impose real estate taxes on residents and non-residents
Bahrain is a small island nation in the Arabian Gulf. Known as the “Pearl of the Gulf,” Bahrain has a storied past that dates back to ancient civilizations, with archaeological evidence revealing its significance as a trading hub. Today, the country stands as a beacon of progress in the region, driven by its thriving financial sector, booming tourism industry, and innovative urban development.
In the Kingdom of Bahrain, no real estate tax is levied on the alienation or lease of land and buildings—this applies to transactions for both residential and commercial properties. There is also no tax liability for newly constructed buildings.
However, when registering or transferring real estate in Bahrain, a stamp duty applies, which is 2% of the value. This fee can be reduced to 1.7% if paid within 60 days after the completion of the transaction.
There is no real estate purchase tax in Georgia; you only need to pay the fee for registering property rights at the House of Justice. The amount of this fee depends on the urgency of the service: if you are willing to wait four days, the amount is only 50 GEL ($18); if you need a document faster, it will be more expensive.
Other property taxes in Georgia are much lower than in most European countries. Moreover, in some cases, there are none, for example, if the total family income for the previous year did not exceed 40 thousand GEL ($14,000).
Often referred to as the “Nature Isle of the Caribbean,” Dominica boasts a diverse array of ecosystems, from lush rainforests and cascading waterfalls to volcanic craters and colorful coral reefs. This island nation stands out for its commitment to preserving its environment and sustainable tourism practices, offering a haven for eco-adventurers and nature enthusiasts.
In Dominica, there is no concept of property tax. However, residents of the towns of Canefield and Roseau are required to pay a municipal tax, whose rate varies and averages 1.27% of the current market value of the object.
If property owners decide to rent out their property, they will have to pay a 1% income tax. Property transfer tax applies to gifts under certain circumstances. Frequently, a contribution of 1% of the transferred property's value is needed for a financial security fund, which is also subject to VAT at a rate of 15%.
In Israel, property owners pay a municipal fee known as the arnona. The amount of the tax usually depends on the area of the property and its location in the region.
On average, the monthly municipal fee is about $60 (200 shekels). Some categories of citizens, such as new repatriates, receive a discount on the arnona.
The Cayman Islands, a trio of enchanting islands nestled in the Caribbean Sea, exude a sense of paradise and exclusivity. Beyond the stunning natural beauty, the Cayman Islands are also known for their thriving offshore financial sector and as a desirable destination for expatriates.
In the Cayman Islands, there is no property tax, personal income tax, corporate income tax, capital gains tax, VAT, or payroll tax. In addition, there is no withholding tax on dividends, interest, royalties, or fees for technical services. In the Cayman Islands, gift tax and capital gains tax also do not apply.
Technically, there is an annual property tax in Cambodia, but it is small and amounts to only 0.01% of the total assessed value. Suppose you bought a house in Cambodia for $200,000—then, the property tax for you will only be $200. In addition, the country is charged stamp duty at a rate of 4% of the value of the real estate.
Real estate in Qatar is characterized by the absence of property taxes. This means that individuals who own property, whether it's residential or commercial, do not have to pay an annual property tax based on the value of their property. This tax policy is in contrast to many other countries where property taxes are a common source of local government revenue.
Kuwait stands as a testament to both historical significance and modern ambition. With a rich cultural heritage rooted in its seafaring and trading past, Kuwait has grown into a dynamic nation known for its economic prosperity and strategic importance. The country's iconic skyline is dominated by sleek modern architecture and towering skyscrapers, reflecting its status as a thriving business hub in the region.
There are no real estate taxes in Kuwait.
There is no property tax in Liechtenstein. However, it is important to note that the sale of real estate may be subject to capital gains tax (this is true for both individuals and companies), and its rate can be up to 24%. Capital gains tax may also apply to the sale of a controlling interest in a real estate company.
Malta does not impose any estate tax; however, upon the transfer of immovable property, withholding tax is levied at a rate that varies from 5% to 12%. Malta also applies a stamp duty of 5% for both residents and non-residents on the transfer of immovable property. On the island of Gozo, on the other hand, there is a preferential rate of 2%.
It should be mentioned separately that the ownership of real estate in Malta is not taxed. However, if you rent out your object, the tax is charged at 15% of the income received.
In Malta, there are no property taxes. In the case of rental property, the tax on income is usually 1% of the amount received for the year, but the tenant usually pays this tax.
If you dispose of your property, you will also be responsible for paying income tax. Any gain from the sale of real estate is taxed at 33.3%.
In Oman, residents and businesses are exempt from paying property taxes and stamp duties. However, when transferring property, a fee of 3% of the value of the land or property being transferred is required to be paid to the Ministry of Housing. In addition, a municipal tax of 3% applies when renting out the property.
Turks and Caicos Islands
The Turks and Caicos Islands are located in Central America in the Atlantic Ocean near the Bahamas and Miami. Not only property but also individual and corporate income, capital gains, and inheritance are not taxed here.
The Cook Islands is a sovereign territory of New Zealand, consisting of 15 islands and atolls. There is no estate tax, no wealth tax, and no capital gains tax. However, it is worth noting that the process of acquiring property in the Cook Islands may require some additional effort.
In the United Arab Emirates, real estate is not taxed at the national level. However, in certain cases, tenants and property owners are responsible for paying their individual fees. For example, Dubai currently has a municipal property tax of 2.5% of the annual rental value for commercial properties and 5% for residential properties. Usually, the tax on commercial properties is paid by the owners, and the tax on residential properties is paid by the tenants.
Note that for a long time in the UAE, there has been no income tax, but from July 1, 2023, it will be introduced. In some cases, it will apply to property owners.
Saudi Arabia does not levy taxes on real estate. However, there is a white land tax. This tax requires owners of vacant, unused, or undeveloped land in urban areas intended for residential or commercial use to pay a 2.5% annual tax on the market value of the land.
There is also a real estate transaction tax, which is 5% of the total value of the property being sold. This tax applies to real estate regardless of its condition or purpose at the time of sale.
Residents of the Seychelles are not subject to real estate tax. And for non-residents, it is 0.25% of the market value of their residential apartments, condominiums, and villas.
Thailand has introduced an annual tax on residential property ownership since 2020. However, the condominium ownership tax (foreigners only have the right to own condominiums) remains very low. Annually, you will need to pay 0.03% of the contract value of the property, but only if its value exceeds 10 million baht (about $274 thousand).
You will also have to pay a commission on the first purchase of the property. The transfer tax is 2% of the appraised value. Usually, the seller pays all or at least half of this amount, depending on the arrangements.
Detailed tax rates can be found .
If you are a tax resident of the Faroe Islands, the government has the right to impose a tax on any income received from renting property located outside the country.
Although there are no property taxes on the islands, non-resident individuals must pay taxes when they receive rental income from their property. Plus, even if income from renting property overseas is not taxable, people must report this information on their tax returns in order to receive tax deductions.
This state is located on the archipelago of the same name between New Zealand and Hawaii. There are no property taxes at the national level here. However, municipalities in different areas can make their own decisions about this, so you have to consider it on a case-by-case basis.
In Croatia, only owners of resort accommodations are taxed—they pay to the municipal budget 5-15 kuna (€0.7-2.0) per square meter.
More nuances about Croatian real estate market — read in an article below.
Nestled like a teardrop in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is a captivating island nation that weaves together a rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty.
In Sri Lanka, there is no property tax. Non-residents must pay only tax on rental income at a rate of 20%.
Also, when buying property in Sri Lanka, stamp duty is charged, which ranges from 3% to 4% of the value of the object.