Cambios en la legislación de Belice

Belize Legislative Update – How Does it Affect Belizean IBCs?

In December 2018, the National Assembly of Belize passed The International Business Companies (Amendment) Act, The Income and Business Tax (Amendment) Act and the Stamp Duties (Amendment) Act. 

In order to remove itself from the ‘investment blacklist’, and once again become a reliable ‘financial haven’, the government of Belize has made concessions for international regulatory organizations; some of these include the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Making concessions in this context means modifying legislation and adapting practices in order to be recognized as a transparent business destination. 

This legislative change will create a new business environment for international business companies (IBCs). To offer a clear picture, we have summed up the amendment changes. 

Amendment Changes 

Belize Legislative Update - How Does it Affect Belizean IBCs?
This change in legislation means the ‘IBC’ companies are no longer exempt from paying taxes. 

Firstly, these new amendments affect mostly International Business Companies (IBCs), which are offshore business structures. The legislative adjustments mean that IBCs are no longer exempt from paying taxes within Belize. Moreover, the changes mean that IBCs are subject to both local Belizean business tax and stamp duty. 

As stated in Amendment 130, an IBC must meet the following requirements:

  • Pay Income and Business Tax Act, Cap. 55. 
  • File an annual tax return based on the Income and Business Tax Act, Cap. 55.
  • Act in accordance with the Stamp Duties Act.

Currently, IBCs are left with three options:

  • Option 1: Register with the national tax authority and obtain a company tax identification number.
  • Option 2: Opt for a tax ID in a foreign country.
  • Option 3: Choose to discontinue the company. 

Option 1: Registering in Belize

When IBCs choose to register with the national tax authority and obtain a company tax identification number, the following must be taken into consideration: 

  • Companies must pay a business tax in Belize regardless of where the income comes from. 
  • Companies will need to prepare and present annual filings with the Belize Tax authorities based on income made outside of Belize.
  • As stated in Amendment 82B, companies must have a registered office in Belize. 

Business tax rates applicable in Belize vary based on reported net income. The two taxes rates are as follows: 

  • 1.75% on net income greater than $USD1.5 million.
  • 3% on net income equal to or less than $USD1.5 million.

How to Acquire a Tax ID in Belize? 

Belize Legislative Update - How Does it Affect Belizean IBCs?
Business tax rates in Belize vary based on a company’s reported net income. 

Acquiring a tax identification number in Belize can prove to be quite difficult, especially without the right local support.  

In order to obtain a Tax ID in Belize the legal entity would be required to do any of the following:
  • Have a presence in Belize and report on income (both inside and outside of Belize). 
  • Maintain company documents in Belize.
  • Have a registered office address. 

Option 2: Register in a Foreign Country

Another option is registering to pay taxes in another jurisdiction. As stated in amendment 139, this will provide the company with an option to be exempt from paying taxes in Belize. 

Option 3: Terminate the Company

The last option for any company is to choose to terminate operations in Belize. This choice will be made based on a trade-off between relocating costs and location benefits.  

Local Partner

Due to transparency restrictions encouraged by renowned international authorities, the landscape of tax havens is fast changing. In saying that, IBCs still offer companies a great platform to manage wealth and assets. A local partner can support you to register a company in Belize and comply with tax requirements. 

At Biz Latin Hub, we have a team of local experts who can assist you in Belize. Contact us today to find out more about how we can support you. 

Many Latin American nations have well-educated and cost-effective labour pools that may not be available in other markets. Check out the video below and see how a PEO solution can support your global expansion. 

YouTube video

The information provided here within should not be construed as formal guidance or advice. Please consult a professional for your specific situation. Information provided is for informative purposes only and may not capture all pertinent laws, standards, and best practices. The regulatory landscape is continually evolving; information mentioned may be outdated and/or could undergo changes. The interpretations presented are not official. Some sections are based on the interpretations or views of relevant authorities, but we cannot ensure that these perspectives will be supported in all professional settings.
Legal Team Belize

Legal Team Belize

Legal Team Belize is the Biz Latin Hub leading experts on doing business in Belize The Team writes on the news, doing business, law, and changing regulations. The team are experts in corporate law, Administrative law, Employment law, Immigration law and legal advisory services. Read more about them here. You can contact Legal Team Belize via our "contact us page".

Receive the latest news and advice about expanding your business globally
Subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest business news and advice about entity formation, legal entity compliance, accounting, back office and fiscal requirements. Receive the latest news and advice about expanding your business globally.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.