Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here you will find some of the more frequently asked questions about the GST, Income & Business Tax. If you cannot find the information you are looking for, please contact us at email@example.com.
You must register for GST if your annual turnover is $75,000 or more per annum. Turnover is the total value of taxable supplies/sales/receipts/takings made for all your taxable activities but does not include the GST charged. Any person that has been carrying on a business for less than 12 months and the average monthly value of taxable supplies was $6,250 monthly or more, is also required to register for GST.
Any person who on or after the appointed day:
1) meets or exceeds the registration limit where on the last day of any month during the period of twelve months ending on that day, the value of supplies made by the person was $75,000 dollars or more
2) there are reasonable grounds for believing that the value of the person’s supplies during the period of twelve months starting with the first day of that month will be $75,000 dollars or more
3) on the last day of any month, there are reasonable grounds for believing that the value of the person’s supplies during the period of twelve months starting on the first day of the following month will be $75,000 dollars.
4) where a person has been carrying on a business during the period of twelve months and during the lesser period, the average monthly value of the person’s taxable supplies was six thousand two hundred dollars or more.
It should be noted that every promoter of public entertainment and every licensee or proprietor of places of public entertainment must be registered even if their annual gross sales/receipts are less than $75,000.00 or monthly sales/receipts average $6,200.00.
A promoter of public entertainment is a person who arranges the staging of entertainment to which the public is invited but does not include entertainment organized by:
- an approved educational institution; or
- (ii) the board of management or a parent – teacher association of an approved education institution;
- a person who provides entertainment on a daily or weekly basis;
- or a church registered under the Charities Act.
A person who is not liable to be registered under Section 25 of the General Sales Tax Act, due to the taxable turnover being below the threshold may apply for voluntary registration. However, before applying the person must determine whether he is carrying on or intends to carry on a business and makes or intends to make supplies that would be taxable if he were registered and the Director is satisfied that 80% or more of the supplies will be made to taxable persons. Once registered output tax (tax on sales) will have to be accounted for on all taxable supplies. Also, input tax credit (tax on purchases) can only be claimed on those purchases that are directly attributable to taxable supplies.
If taxable supplies are not yet being made, but a business activity has been commenced which intends to make taxable supplies, application for registration may be made from a specific date before starting to make supplies. However, the Director must be satisfied that there is a firm intention to make taxable supplies by way of business. Thus, on completing and submitting the Application for Registration Form, written evidence must be sent to the Department showing that arrangements have been made to make supplies. This evidence can include details of proposed contracts, of stock on hand and purchase of capital assets etc. Make sure to enclose a letter with the application form giving the date from which registration is required. If unable to give a specific date as to when taxable supplies will commence, a written explanation should be given.
Taxable supply means a supply of goods or services made in the course or furtherance of a taxable activity and includes zero-rated supplies but not exempt supplies.
The GST law schedules 1,2, and 3 provides for taxable supplies at the rate of 0%.
Exempt supplies are business transaction on which GST is not chargeable at either the standard or zero-rate.
Exempt supplies are not taxable supplies and do not form part of the taxable turnover. If the business makes only exempt supplies, it is not required to register for GST.
A person registered for GST and making some exempt supplies is considered partially exempt and will not be able to get back all the input tax because the GST paid for producing exempt supplies cannot be claimed back.
Exempt supplies are listed in the Fourth and Fifth Schedule of the GST Act.
To register an Application for Registration Form (GST 100 and GST 101) needs to be filled out. This form can be obtained from any local BTS Office. If applying on behalf of a partnership or limited company the form GST101 needs to be filled out. The completed form(s), with any extra information asked should be sent to the nearest BTS Office.
Other Documentation Required for GST Registration
When you apply for GST registration, to prevent delay, it is necessary to submit copies of the relevant documents mentioned below with the Application for Registration form to the Belize Tax Service.
Company- For a company, copies of the complete incorporation documents of when the company was incorporated need to be submitted.
Sole Trader- Where a sole trader has a registered business name, a copy of the Business Names Certificate should be submitted.
Partnerships- For a partnership, a copy of the Business Names Certificate should be forwarded to the Department.
Joint Venture- Where there is a joint venture agreement, a copy of the joint venture agreement must be supplied.
The Application form for Registration should be sent in promptly as failure to notify the Department of eligibility for registration may result in accounting for tax which was not collected, payment of a fine of not less than $10,000 or 2 years imprisonment or both.
Having completed and submitted the Application form for registration, the Belize Tax Service will verify and approve all the details on the form. After which, a registration confirmation package will follow. This will include a notice of registration stating the Tax Identification Number, the effective date of Registration, the Registration Certificate (s) etc.
Look for the green GST certificate at the place of business or request that it be presented to you.
All registered persons must submit a GST return each month. The GST return must be submitted no later than 15 days after the end of the tax period. For example, all purchases and sales for the month of July (July 1 to July 31) must be declared on a GST return that must be submitted by 15 August. In this example, August 15, is the "due date" of the GST return. Any tax payable for the tax period must also be paid at the same time the GST return is submitted.
Tin or "Taxpayer Identification Number", in relation to a registered person, means the unique identifying number shown on the certificate of registration issued to that person under section 27 of the GST Act.
No. Each GST return should cover only one calendar month. If for some reason, you have not filed a return for several months, then you will be required to submit one return for each month that you have missed.
You can request for a copy of your return, for a small fee of $25.
You can arrange for someone else to complete your GST Returns and make payments on your behalf.
If such an amount is less than $50.00 then you can report the error on your next return using either lines 150 or 240. If the amount is greater than $50.00 then please inform the Department, who will take the necessary action to correct the error.
No, this is not permitted. You must submit only one GST return for the entire company.
No, the sole proprietor will be required to submit only one GST return for all businesses.
Where a registered, Belize-owned entity provides goods and services to people in Belize over the Internet, they will charge GST at the standard rate (12.5%). Where a Belize entity sells goods and services over the Internet to overseas customers, GST will generally be charged at a rate of 0%. However, reasonable steps should be taken to verify the location of the customer and destination of the goods and services.
No. if it is discovered that fraudulent information has been supplied, or detalis have been left out, reassessments can be made at any time within six years from the end of the taxable period.
a) registration certificate;
b) tax invoices, till rolls and Z-tapes;
c) invoice books and any documents used to record sales or services;
d) tax invoices for tax paid on the purchase of goods and services;
e) custom documents for tax paid on goods imported;
f) debit and credit notes;
g) working papers used to record summaries of sales and services;
h) working papers used to make adjustment to your GST account;
i) GST account; and
j) GST returns and refund claims.
If your operation does not facilitate the use of all the records listed in some of our guides or GST Regulations, you should ensure that the basic records are kept. The basic records include source documents and any other documents you are legally required to keep. Source documents are the original records used to indicate that, a sale/supply has been made; you have purchased goods and services and include any other documents that cause a transaction to happen including making an adjustment to your accounts.
Persons who are required to keep records are responsible for retaining them in a manner that will ensure the reliability and readability of the information. It is always advisable that the records are kept in their original format.
There are various forms to retain records, including:
a) Traditional books and records, including supporting source documents produced and retained in paper format
b) Records retained in electronic readable format that can related back to the supporting source documents and that are supported by a system capable of producing accessible and usable copy
c) Supporting documents, e.g. Working papers, financial statements
If your output records are generated by means of a computer and information from your input records (relating to purchase of goods and services) is also transferred to a computer, you are required to retain all these computerized records in a readable format. Also, you must keep the original input source documents. This means that a person who utilizes computerized systems to generate invoices and other records must retain the electronic records and the hard copy. Electronically readable format means information supported by a system capable of producing accessible and useable copy.
Persons engaged in electronic commerce, which can be broadly defined as the delivery of information, goods, services or payments by telephone, computer, over the internet or by any other automated means, must retain the electronic records which identify or record those transactions. These records must be kept in an electronically readable format.
Electronic record-keeping refers to those electronic business systems that create, process, store, maintain and provide access to a person’s financial records. It includes, but not limited to custom and commercial accounting packages, point of sale systems and internet based electronic commerce.
You are responsible to keep and safeguard all electronic data files. You should also ensure that adequate systems are put in place to protect the accuracy and integrity of the electronic records.
Most taxpayers will file the GST return and make the payment by the due date; however, the Department will accept advance payments. All you need to do is to visit the Department and inform them that you would like to make a payment in advance. You will still be required to file the monthly GST return and make any final payment by the due date.
If you make payment after the due date, you are liable for the following:
- Late payment penalty of 10% of the tax due where the payment is not made by the due date;
- Interest at the rate of 1.5% per month or part thereof for the period during which it remains unpaid.
If you fail to pay the tax and/or penalty you owe the government, the GST Act empowers officers of the Belize Tax Service to commence collection action.
Payments made online must be done before 07:00 PM, any payment made after 07:00PM would be accounted for the next working day. Payments not made by 7:00pm on tax due date will attract Penalty and Interest.