Belize

  • Posted By : Admin
  • February 03, 2018
  • Tax havens
  • 0 Comments

Belize is a Central American Caribbean country that belongs to the Commonwealth, located between Mexico and Guatemala and obtained its independency from the United Kingdom in 1981. The government of Belize makes large investments in the development of international business and guarantees political stability and constant growth of the financial sector. In recent years, confidence in offshore sector of Belize has grown significantly among foreign investors.

General information

Capital
Belmopan
Official language
English / Spanish
Area
22,966 km2
Form of government
Parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Currency
Baltic Dollar (BZD)
UTC time zone
UTC - 6
Legal system
Legislation based on English Common law


Taxes for non-residents in Belize

Belize maintains favorable tax laws for foreign investment in the country. It is considered a tax haven and natural and legal persons that do not reside in the country and whose incomes don´t not come from its territory are not obliged to pay tax. Investors who decide to open a bank account or register a company in Belize will not pay taxes such as rent, corporation taxes, VAT, inheritance, donations and will not suffer the dreaded tax deductions for subsequent years. Investors who decide to invest in Belize and repatriate the money to their country of residence can save on taxes through double taxation agreements.

Characteristics of Belizean Companies

Types of companies
International Business Company - IBC (equivalent to non-resident offshore companies) Limited, Ltd format (ie, limited liability companies)
Share capital
No requirements for minimum paidup share capital
Constitution time
10 days
Taxes
IBC are exempt from all types of taxes if their income does not come from the territory of Belize.
Directors
1 director minimum. The director can be an individual resident of any country.
Shareholders
1 shareholder minimum. The shareholders can be individuals or companies with residence in any country.
Shares
Registered, without par value and Bearer.
Legal address
IBC must have its legal address on the territory of the country. When the director of the company is a foreigner, a registered resident agent must be appointed, whose function will be to receive communications from governmental authorities.
Privacy
High level. The law recognizes as the offense the disclosure of any type of official information related to the company and its beneficiary except for the information requested by judicial order on the criminal activities of the company. Belizean commercial registry is not public.
Board meetings
Meetings of directors or shareholders are not mandatory and can be held anywhere in the world.
Accounting / annual audit
It is required to keep accounting records for IBC, however, the submission of annual accounts or auditing of accounts is not mandatory.

Financial system in Belize

Financial services
Banks in Belize are specialized in e-commerce, stock exchange investments, currency exchange; also the customer may request any type of financial services: checking accounts, savings accounts, virtual pos, credit cards, foreign currency accounts, investment accounts in Stock market, credits and Mortgages.
Limitations of cash payment
There are no limitations on cash payments nor there is exchange control. Banks in Belize can open accounts in numerous currencies Euros, US $, GBP, AUD, CAD, CNY, JPY.
Deposit guarantee
Belizean banks cover up to $ 50,000 of customer deposits.

Automatic information exchange in Belize

Belize has signed the automatic exchange of information treaty that has entered into force on January 1 of 2018 but has not signed a bilateral agreement with any country.

The signatory countries of the agreement

Year 2017
Anguilla, Argentina, Barbados, Belgium, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Bulgaria, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Groelandia, Guernsey, Hungary , Iceland, India, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Korea, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Montserrat, Holland, Niue, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Turks and Caicos Islands, United Kingdom.
Year 2018
Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barein, Belize, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Curaçao, Dominica, Ghana, Grenada, Hong Kong (China), Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Marshal Islands, Macao (China), Malaysia, Mauritius, Monaco, Nauru, New Zealand, Panama, Qatar, Russia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, San Maarten, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay and Vanuatu.


The treaty of automatic exchange of information does not affect the fiscal status of the country, that is, if the tax laws in Belize establish that people and non-resident companies pay 0% of taxes, the signing of the treaty will not make it pay taxes in Belize. The treaty of automatic exchange of information is presenting many problems between countries since it is NOT a treaty in which automatic information will be reported to each other or all to all, that is, each country will have to sign a bilateral information agreement automatically with another country. What does this mean? If, for example, Australia is interested in exchanging information with Belize but Belize is not interested in reporting information to Australia, there will be NO information exchange and clients privacy will be protected. Currently, 03-02-2018 Belize has not signed any bilateral agreement to automatically exchange information. You can see the updated list of countries that have signed bilateral agreements to exchange information automatically with each other.

The bilateral agreements with Belize

Year 2017
No bilateral agreement has been signed for this year.
Year 2018
No bilateral agreement has been signed for this year.


The countries most affected by the signature of the automatic exchange of information treaties are going to be the countries of high taxation and not the offshore jurisdictions. It is expected that high tax countries sign bilateral agreements with each other with the corresponding problem that these have: competition in investments, tax competition and abandonment of investments in other jurisdictions by countries with lower or no taxation allowing legal repatriation of them to the country of fiscal residence.

Using offshore jurisdictions what can be achieved is a reduction and postponement of tax payments. As a general rule high-tax countries force natural and legal persons to declare all the world's income. But what happens when you have an offshore company and you do not divide dividends or have gone bankrupt? For example, a person has a company and account in Belize, the company has generated annual benefits and the final beneficiary doesn’t want to repatriate them to his country of residence. So what happens? The answer is very simple: there will not be any kind of tax payment until the benefits obtained from Belize reach the territory of a tax residence of the final beneficiary. Therefore, if you are required to report benefits obtained from abroad, it is advisable to inform your tax agency so when you will be offered a tax advantage in your country of residence to repatriate them.

Advantages of Belize

Belize is one of the best offshore jurisdictions to invest for the following reasons: 

  • No fiscal obligations for benefits obtained from outside of the country.
  • Legal security guaranteed by law. 
  • Privacy. 
  • Jurisdiction specialized in asset protection and tax planning.
  • Good telecommunications infrastructure. 
  • Little bureaucracy when it comes to obtaining financial licenses, companies formation and bank accounts opening
  • There is no restriction by nationality. 
  • Excellent geographical location. 
  • Economically stable financial center.