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Is Belize the Best Tax Haven in the World?

Belize is an independent country near Mexico that offers excellent tax benefits. Like Barbados, it doesn’t have taxes on profits from selling assets or receiving inheritances, but there is an income tax of up to 25%. People who officially work in Belize are entitled to social security benefits.

Tax haven Belize

These things make Belize even more attractive for non-resident international companies that want to make money from foreign sources and enjoy tax benefits. Since the laws for businesses and taxes have changed recently, you should carefully choose the right legal structure for your company. Be sure to check the tax rates when you start a business in Belize and contact industry professionals for advice.

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If you want to find the best place to start an international business and pay less tax, it’s a good idea to ask International Wealth seasoned experts for help. They will guide you and offer practical assistance so that your company is set up in another country according to what you want to achieve.

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Is Belize a tax haven? Belize tax system in 2023

Belize has changed its tax policies. It has affected the country’s reputation as a tax haven compared to what it was 15 to 20 years ago. These changes were made because of global regulations and the worldwide move away from offshore tax advantages. It has become harder to avoid the attention of tax authorities and banks, not only in Belize but also in other offshore locations that are not sanctioned or blacklisted by FATF and/or OECD. 

In 2023, the following taxes apply to residents and non-residents of Belize:

  • If you are a resident of Belize but not yet officially domiciled there, you have to pay a special tax. You can become a permanent resident after you have spent a specific number of days in the country. Domiciliation means making the jurisdiction your permanent home, as recognized by certain states like the United Kingdom, Ireland, Barbados, and Malta.
  • Foreign residents living in Belize only have to pay taxes on the income they earn within the country. Immigrants who keep their savings in offshore banks outside Belize are exempt from income tax.
  • The personal income tax rate is 25%.
  • Corporate income tax is only applied to the oil sector. Other companies registered in the country pay business tax based on their revenue. The corporate tax rate for residents ranges from 0.75% to 19%. Non-resident companies that don’t generate income within the country or have their main operations elsewhere are exempt from corporate income tax.
  • Belize does not impose capital gains tax.
  • The General Sales Tax (GST), similar to Value Added Tax (VAT), is set at 12.5%.
  • Employed citizens have their social security contributions of up to 9% paid by employers.
  • Property tax varies. When you sell a house or apartment, a special tax is charged based on the rental value or income, with rates ranging from 1% to 1.5%. Land tax depends on various factors and is imposed at a rate between 1% and 1.5%.
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If you want to live comfortably in another country and pay lower taxes for your business, don’t miss a chance to get acquainted with the International Wealth article Which Countries Are the Best to Register Offshore Companies? For more information on the subject, please refer to What Country Can You Relocate to in 2023?

What makes Belize attractive for licensed businesses and offshore companies?

Standing out among the competition, Belize allows you to get a Forex license and create an international offshore company (IBC) without paying taxes on profits. Local businesses, on the other hand, do pay taxes. The best option for legitimacy and tax benefits is to establish an international business company in Belize that doesn’t have to pay any taxes.

To enjoy these advantages, i.e., 0% tax, you have to prove that you are a resident of another country. Companies with a Forex license have slightly different requirements, like submitting financial reports to the IFSC every quarter and year. Yet, they still get tax benefits.

At the time of writing, Belize has made more than 25 international agreements, but only 14 of them are for avoiding double taxation. The other agreements focus on sharing tax-related information.

Despite the tax advantages, some experts say that Belize may not be the best choice for creating a large offshore holding company. Contrary to that, recent changes in corporate laws and good relations with global regulators have made Belize a respected tax haven with great conditions for foreign entrepreneurs.

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If you consider starting a business in Belize as a foreigner, especially if you’re doing it remotely, we recommend looking into International Wealth services to enjoy help from professional consultants!

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Important information about Belize as a tax haven and a place to obtain permanent residency

When you contemplate relocation to another country, think about more than just taxes. You are welcome to use the following information to consider whether Belize is a good fit for you:

  1. Compared to other places with low taxes, Belize is not as developed. It can be a suitable option if you want a quiet and private lifestyle. Keep in mind though that living standards are not very high in Belize, and imported products can be expensive.
  2. The properties available in Belize are often simple and look like basic cottages. In this situation, the above real estate in Belize may not be worth its high prices. If you want an apartment with a sea view, be prepared to pay a lot. It might be better to buy land and build your own place in Belize.
  3. Belize doesn’t have a program to extend legal residency via investment. Yet, you are welcome to benefit from other options like getting a Tourist Card, marrying a resident of Belize, or looking into the Qualified Retired Persons program.
  4. Businesses based in Belize that operate internationally don’t pay any taxes. Hence, the jurisdiction is attractive for many companies. With the above in mind, you should still consider how transparent local bank accounts are. To protect your money, use a multi-level system, trust agreements, or set up a fund.
  5. In Belize, you can get a license for Forex trading, do international business under favorable conditions, open offshore accounts in local banks, and expand your operations. However, if you are looking for a suitable permanent residency jurisdiction, Belize may not be the optimal place, especially considering current trends.
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No idea how to get a residency permit in Belize or another country as fast as possible? Don’t hesitate to contact the International Wealth team of experts for personalized advice. They will help you find the best CBI program and offer free guidance for any other questions you might have.

Exploring other options: where to find alternative tax havens in 2023

Discover other attractive countries beyond Belize that serve as tax havens, where you can establish an international company, obtain citizenship by investment, and enjoy tax-free income from your business overseas while living comfortably and luxuriously. These opportunities are not limited to offshore islands and include countries in Europe and Asia as well.

Here are some examples for you:

  • Nevis is a popular choice for offshore companies and trusts, providing protection against foreign court decisions and making it challenging for creditors to access trust assets.
  • The Isle of Man is an excellent option for gambling businesses and international structures.
  • Certain states in the US offer interesting possibilities for foreign individuals to register LLCs. The United Kingdom also serves as a tax haven for offshore companies.
  • Special economic zones and free zones exist in countries like Turkey, the UAE, and others, where corporations benefit from zero or low corporate taxes.

To pick up the most suitable country for registering an international company based on your specific needs, we encourage you to contact International Wealth experts for a personalized consultation. Whether it’s Belize, Nevis, the Cook Islands, BVI, the UK, the EU, or the USA, we have experience with various jurisdictions and provide comprehensive services to address tax optimization and business immigration issues that our customers may face.

For further assistance, questions, or comments, please reach out to us at [email protected].

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