Belize: Domestic Corporate Taxation
Goods and Services Tax
On July 1, 2006, a new 10% Goods and Services Tax (GST) went into effect in Belize. The GST replaced the 9% sales tax which had been in effect since April, 1999. The GST was increased to 12.5% in April 2010.
The GST applies to most goods and services, including some real estate transactions and all hotel and tourism charges. Exceptions are certain food items, including rice, flour, bread, fresh fruits and vegetables, chicken, and fish. Also, electricity useage of less than BZD200 a month won't incur the GST.
The GST is similar to a value added tax in that the tax is included in the price of goods and service before purchases, rather than added on at the sales point at time of purchase.
The following goods and services are exempt from the GST regime:
- Supply of electricity;
- Supply of water and sewerage services (but not bottled water);
- Provision of financial services by institutions not licensed under the Banks and Financial Institutions Act which are closely related to financial intermediation, market intermediation, risk pooling, and credit purchase services, including services performed by credit unions, cooperative societies, building societies, mortgage finance institutions and moneylenders;
- Goods in transit through the national customs territory bound for a Belize Export Processing Zone, a Belize Commercial Free Zone, or a destination outside the country;
- Goods exported from Belize as verified by the Comptroller of Customs;
- Accommodation charges that are subject to the accommodation tax levied under the Hotels and Tourist Accommodation Act;
- Goods or services which are made available from funds provided under grant agreements with external donor agencies, or funds borrowed from external financial institutions by the Government of Belize, or under a Government Guarantee, to assist the economic development of Belize;
- Basic foodstuffs;
- Some medicines and medical supplies;
- Some agricultural chemicals;
- Fees and charges collected from students for services provided by a private school registered under the Education Act, or an educational institution that is approved for this purpose by the Minister of Education;
- Text books, school work books and other educational texts;
- Equipment and furniture for the use of recognized educational institutions as certified by the Ministry of Education;
- Labour services in connection with the construction of buildings for educational use provided to private schools registered under the Education Act, or educational bodies approved for this purpose by the Minister of Education;
- Transport of passengers in any vehicle, ship or aircraft designed or adapted to carry not less than 12 passengers or on any scheduled flight, vehicle or vessel;
- Freight services, provided that the provision of this service does not form a part of the provision of any other service;
- Services rendered to persons not resident in Belize; provided that the services do not relate in any manner to any land or building situate in Belize, that the services are not utilized in Belize and the benefit of the supply is not derived by any person or entity within Belize, and that the services are paid for in a currency other than the currency of Belize.