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US wages while residing in BZ #556416
03/30/22 08:02 AM
03/30/22 08:02 AM
Joined: Nov 2021
Posts: 12
BelizeFromMaine Offline OP
BelizeFromMaine  Offline OP
I am hoping to permanently relocate from the US to BZ within the next year. I have a fully remote job in the US. I am trying to find concrete information about how my US income will be taxed (if it is) in BZ.

I have read several blogs and other websites that indicate that BZ only taxes income derived from BZ, but the Tax Act (2011) and most others I talk to disagree with those statements.

  • If I move to Belize and rent an apartment or house while I wait to apply for permanent residency, are my US wages taxed in BZ?
  • Are they taxed only when I am a resident, or never?

Hoping some expats or locals that would know can chime in here. I have lots of questions, but this is the most important that I cannot seem to find a clear answer on.

42 year-old in stage 1 expatriation to BZ from USA
Re: US wages while residing in BZ [Re: BelizeFromMaine] #556417
03/30/22 09:52 AM
03/30/22 09:52 AM
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 7,037
San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye...
Amanda Syme Offline

Amanda Syme  Offline
It would be prudent to confer with a USA tax attorney. And you can also ask the advise of Mr Stewart Patton - a US/Belize tax attorney.

Re: US wages while residing in BZ [Re: Amanda Syme] #556443
03/31/22 07:55 AM
03/31/22 07:55 AM
Joined: Nov 2021
Posts: 12
BelizeFromMaine Offline OP
BelizeFromMaine  Offline OP
Thank you very much for your reply. heart

I completely agree with prudence, but for convenience, I've been trying and utterly failing to find this info online. Before I make the move, I plan to consult an attorney, and have already scoured the site you listed, but to no avail. He wants you to pay for his courses, and his podcasts just go over the US aspects of taxation, like the foreign tax credit, foreign earned income exemption, etc. Otherwise, he wants you to go the normal consult route, but this question can't be unique, or unheard-of.

My employer assures me that they will do their due diligence and research the tax situation to remain in compliance as they always do when staff move abroad, but I thought I'd be able to find this answer and am only getting more confused. It's so strange that the answer to this one question is seemingly behind a pay-wall. When I look at countless websites, I read over and over again that foreign income isn't taxed in Belize, but my plain reading of the Tax Act (2011 revision) section 5-1 & 5-3 looks like income is taxed regardless of source. So why do so many blogs and other websites report the opposite?

For example:
Belize applies a territorial tax system: being a permanent resident, this means youíll only have to pay personal income tax on income derived from within Belize (when you work as an employee in Belize, for example). This also means that foreign income is not taxed at all and is tax-exempt.

Residents are generally liable to pay tax on their worldwide income but individuals who reside in Belize but are domiciled elsewhere are only subject to tax on their Belize-sourced income.

I hoped someone living there could help answer this question. I realize that visitors can work remotely without taxation during their vacation, but likely only legally for 182 consecutive days, and my salary is below the cut-off for entry in that program. So maybe the real answer is that you are a non-resident and not taxed on foreign income for the first 182 days of your stay with a visitor's permit or tourist visa, after which you are taxed. That begs the questions, "Does my US-based employer then need to become incorporated in Belize, or do I report my earnings in some way? Do I need a work visa then, or is that just for working as an employee in a Belizean company?" I've contacted the BTS, the Immigration Department, and the Labour department, but so far, nobody has responded in over a month.

Ultimately, I'll pay for a full consult and true guidance, but shouldn't this question be answered somewhere?

Thank you again for your reply. I'll hold on to hope that I can answer this question before my official consult, but if not, I know what my first-ever website will have listed!

42 year-old in stage 1 expatriation to BZ from USA
Re: US wages while residing in BZ [Re: BelizeFromMaine] #556496
04/02/22 09:17 AM
04/02/22 09:17 AM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,732
Illinois, Arkansas,South Dakot...
bywarren Offline
bywarren  Offline
As long as you are a US citizen any income derived from the US is taxable by the US no matter where you are living. If you have residency in a foreign country or spend the required amount of time per year in that country, any income derived from businesses within that country has an exemption up to a certain amount as pertains to your US tax liability.
If you obtain Belize residency Belize will tax you on income derived from work in Belize.
Now since you are not paying me for this advice, or any advice from any message board take it for what itís worth. And my further advice is to hire a qualified tax attorney to answer your questions.

Last edited by bywarren; 04/02/22 09:41 AM.
Re: US wages while residing in BZ [Re: bywarren] #556538
04/05/22 09:24 AM
04/05/22 09:24 AM
Joined: Nov 2021
Posts: 12
BelizeFromMaine Offline OP
BelizeFromMaine  Offline OP
If you obtain Belize residency Belize will tax you on income derived from work in Belize.

Does income earned while working remotely for a US employer count as "income derived from work in Belize?" It reads like it means working for a Belize employer. The "work in Belize" line is really the crux of my query. What is the definition of "work in Belize?" Work performed for any company in the world while I am physically in Belize, or work for a company that does business in Belize?

For the purposes of this question, I am only asking about Belize imposing an income tax on my US-sourced/based income. My job will be to use a computer to remotely access US-based/owned systems, incidentally while breathing Belize air.

Re: US wages while residing in BZ [Re: BelizeFromMaine] #558388
07/16/22 06:52 AM
07/16/22 06:52 AM
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 16
Oro Valley
leon2 Offline
leon2  Offline
You have probably resolved your tax question by now since your post is 3 months old. If you have not determined what to do .... i can tell you that you are reading way to much into the issue. You will not pay Belize income tax on work done in the states. Period! If you were using your skills to work remote (at home) for a company based in Belize, yes you would because that company would be reporting your income to the Belize gov't. An employer in the states will not be reporting your income to the Belize gov't. Good luck


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