Originally, the Kingdom of the Netherlands consisted of two autonomous countries: the Netherlands (i.e., the territory in Europe) and the Netherlands Antilles. The Netherlands Antilles consisted of a group of six islands: Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, Sint Maarten, Saba, and Sint Eustatius. In 1986 Aruba became an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and from that time forward, the Kingdom of the Netherlands consisted of three autonomous countries: the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles (i.e., Curacao, Bonaire, Sint Maarten, Saba, and St. Eustatius), and Aruba. On October 10, 2010, the Netherlands Antilles was dismantled. Curacao and Sint Maarten became autonomous countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, similar to Aruba, and the islands of Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius (the ‘BES islands’) became special municipalities of the Netherlands.
Although the Kingdom of the Netherlands is responsible for defense and foreign policy matters, Aruba, Curacao, and Sint Maarten have their own responsibility for other matters including taxation. This means that Aruba, Curacao, and Sint Maarten each have their own tax laws. In addition, with the dismantling of the Netherlands Antilles, a new tax system was introduced for the BES islands. All this means that we now have to deal with four different tax systems across the six islands of the Dutch Caribbean. In this section we will soon offer information on those tax systems.
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