Why Belize? - 12/10/13 11:02 AM
Business Friendly Tax Regime
- Payable at a rate of 25% on taxable income for all employed residents in Belize earning over BZ $26,000 (US$13,000) per annum.
- Businesses, companies and self-employed persons earning in excess of BZ $54,000 per annum must pay business tax.
- Rate varies according to business classification.
- Paid monthly to the Income Tax Department.
|Business Classification||Rate of Business Tax|
|Trade or Business||1.75%|
|Commissions and Royalties||5.0% & 15.0%|
|Radio, On-air TV, and Newspaper Revenue||0.75%|
|Domestic Airline Revenue||1.75%|
|Insurance Institutions General Revenue||1.75%|
|Casino and Gaming Revenue||4.0%|
|Real Estate Business||15.0%|
|Tour Operators & Travel Agents||6.0%|
General Sales Tax (GST)
- Consumer tax applied at a rate of 12.5% on goods and services in Belize.
- Some basic goods and services are zero rated while others are exempt. The tax is imposed on the mark-up of good and services.
- Payable monthly to the Department of GST.
- Only registered persons can charge GST on their supplies as output tax and claim credit on their purchases of supplies as input tax.
- If you are conducting a taxable activity and your annual turnover exceeds $75,000 (US$37,500), you will need to register for GST by applying to the Department of GST.
- The Department will then issue a Tax Identification Number (TIN) and a Certificate of Registration which must be displayed prominently at the place of business.
- Businesses operating in the hotel industry are also required to levy an additional hotel tax of 9%. The tax is charged daily, and paid monthly to the Belize Tourism Board (BTB).
- Environmental Tax is charged on the C.I.F. (Cost, Insurance, Freight) value of goods imported into Belize at a rate of 2%.
- Certain medicines and medicinal supplies for human use along with basic foodstuffs, such as rice, beans, potatoes, coffee, tea, butter and butter substitutes, cheese, margarine, cooking oil, shortening, lard and lard substitutes, milk (in powder form), condensed milk, baby formula, sardines, meat of swine salted or in brine, corned beef, and salt are exempt.
- Goods made available from funds provided through grant agreements with external donor agencies, or funds borrowed from external financial institutions by the Government of Belize, or through a Government guarantee are also exempt from paying this tax.
- The tax is payable at the time of importation and is the liability of the importer.
Social Security Contributions
- Social Security provides benefits for employed persons in cases of sickness, maternity, injury, or disability.
- These payments are to be filed and paid monthly to the Belize Social Security Board.
- Each employer must ensure that employees are in possession of a valid social security card prior to hiring.
- The table below illustrates weekly contributions to the fund.
Schedule of Contributions
Source: Belize Social Security Board
** Applies to all persons 60 to 64 years who have received a retirement benefit and all persons 65 years and older.
- This tax is collected by the Department of Lands, and is assessed at a rate of 1% of the unimproved value of the land.
- The table below details values for each district.
Declared Unimproved Values per Acre (by District)
|Categories||Corozal & Orange Walk||Cayo||Belize||Stann Creek||Toledo|
|30 acres or less||100.00||100.00||100.00||100.00||100.00|
|31 to 300 Acres||500.00||550.00||600.00||500.00||100.00|
|301 acres or more||600.00||650.00||700.00||600.00||300.00|
|Beaches and Cayes||10000.00||N/A||10000.00||10000.00||5000.00|
|Village lots (1 acre or less)||1000.00||1000.00||1000.00||1000.00||500.00|
Stamp Duty/Transfer Tax
- Stamp duty, also called transfer tax, is payable on any transaction involving taxable land.
- Nationals and Foreign Investors alike are required to pay 5% of the value.
- Property tax is levied and controlled by City Councils and Town Boards in each district.
- Within the City of Belmopan the rate of property tax is set at 2% of the assessed value; the Belize City Council utilizes the rate of 2.5% of the assessed value.
- The Excise Tax is collected on locally manufactured alcohol, beer, cigarettes and soft drinks
Import Duty & Revenue Replacement Duty
- The Belize Customs Tariff is modeled from the Harmonized Description and Coding System (HS). The rates are based on the Customs Value (Cost, Insurance, Freight – CIF).
- Import Duties are levied at the point of importation, and is the liability of the importer. The Belize Customs & Excise Department is responsible for the collection of import duties. Rates range from 0 to 45% with the majority of commodities attracting a rate of 20%.
- There are some items that attract a Revenue Replacement Duty (RRD) ranging from 5%- 40% based on the aggregate of the Customs Value and the Import Duties. For the complete list of commodities attracting RRD visit the Belize Customs & Excise Department’s website Visit site
- Under the CARICOM agreement, all imported products entering Belize from a CARICOM member state are exempt from import duties. In order to receive an exemption, importers must produce a CARICOM Certificate of Origin to the Comptroller of Customs.
- Customs brokerage services are necessary when importing goods.