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Today’s Top Headlines




No Tax Changes For Belize In 2013-14 Budget

by Mike Godfrey, Tax-News.com, Washington

05 March 2013

The Belize Government has announced no new tax measures in its 2013-14 Budget, but instead anticipates that improvements to tax administration will boost tax compliance rates.

The Government has newly implemented the ASYCUDA tax administration system, a computerized customs management system, developed by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNTCAD), which covers most foreign trade procedures. In particular, the system handles manifests and customs declarations, accounting procedures, transit and suspense procedures. The Belize Governments hopes the system will boost customs duty collections and improve authorities' ability to tackle non-compliance with respect to the nation's General Sales Tax (GST) and Business and Income Tax regimes.

As part of a wider review of the tax regime - with technical support from the International Monetary Fund - the Government is to consider bringing the hotel accommodation services sector fully under the General Sales Tax net while at the same time repealing the Hotel Accommodation Tax. The Government is evaluating ways to allow GST credits for the hotel sector in cases where services are in fact business inputs, while mitigating the potential for tax avoidance.

The Government is also examining ways to address the structural problems of, and improve the competitiveness in, the cruise service industry, through possible reductions in customs duties on inputs for such services and possible reform of the cascading business tax regime.

Comprehensive tax reform has been deferred until the Belize Government receives feedback on the local tax regime from the International Monetary Fund.

TAGS: compliance | tax | business | tax avoidance | mining | accounting | audit | Belize | trade | services

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