KRALENDIJK- The pressure group Airport Tax Busters Bonaire (ATBB) had a fruitful meeting with Curaçao Airport on Thursday regarding the possibility for residents of Bonaire to claim a refund of overpaid airport tax.
Earlier, ATBB raised awareness about the fact that Curaçao Airport Partners (CAP) was, in fact, charging $63 to passengers from Bonaire who were transiting through Curaçao, while, based on the relevant ordinance, only a transfer tax of $15 per transfer should apply. Because tickets from airlines like Divi Divi and EZ Air already include $30, passengers traveling via Curaçao to foreign destinations are paying an excess of $63 per person.
In response to the criticism from ATBB and others, CAP has created a link on their website, allowing passengers from Bonaire to claim back the overpaid amount from CAP. By submitting either a boarding pass or a ticket that shows the passenger arrived from Bonaire and travelled onward to a foreign destination on the same day, the passenger can reclaim the $63 they paid to CAP. When providing a bank account number, the excess amount will be refunded after some time.
The link and its functionality were the reason for ATBB to engage in a conversation with CAP. During the discussion, they also addressed how to handle taxes that have been overpaid by passengers from Bonaire in recent years. CAP has indicated that people can, in principle, claim back overpaid taxes up to 5 years ago.
ATBB argued that many passengers may no longer have tickets or boarding passes for journeys made a considerable time ago. Claiming these amounts without providing these documents leads to insurmountable practical issues.
According to the group, the problem has not been solved because the amount of $63 is automatically included in all tickets, but at least now there is the option to claim the amount back.
Visitor Entry Tax Bonaire
While ATBB, an initiative by Harald Linkels, Angelo Engelhart and Lisandro Cicilia, feel that significant progress has been made with CAP, the pressure group has also taken up the fight against the unintended consequences of the Visitor Entry Tax on Bonaire. This tax requires tourists from outside the Antillean Islands and Aruba to pay $75 in tax each time they enter Bonaire, despite the original proposal suggesting a one-time charge of $50 per year, not per entry.
Despite Deputy Jolinda Craane’s recent response to ATBB’s criticism, stating that there was ‘vigorous work’ being done to revise the Visitor Entry Tax, the Executive Council has still not announced when the proposed changes will be presented to the Island Council.
Pssenters can find the linke for reclaiming overpaid taxes here for transits in Curaçao to: https://curacao-airport.com/passenger-facility-charge