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Online businesses: Do they need to pay taxes?

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Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2021. 1:16 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: It is an ongoing discussion and with Belize’s critical economic situation, many entrepreneurial Belizeans are engaged in some form of online sales.

Whether it is clothes sales, food sales, pastry sales or any other form of small business operations happening from one’s home, are these people required to pay any form of taxes?

Established businesses are required by law to pay for a Trade License in addition to paying General Sales Tax and Business Tax.

An officer from the Belize Tax Service told BBN that in line with the business tax laws of Belize, anyone who begins to operate a business must register with The Belize Tax Service to pay business tax.

With relation to General Sales Tax, the officer told us that only those businesses that meet the $6,200 threshold monthly or make $75,000 per year are required to register to pay General Sales Tax. General Sales Tax is collected at 12.5%.

We reached out to the Belize Business Registry but an official was unable to comment.

However, the Belize Companies and Corporate Affairs Registry’s website says that in accordance with the laws of Belize, all firms or individuals conducting business in Belize should register their business.

The business registry provides services for local company incorporation (with or without limited liability), overseas company registration, business name registration and limited Liability Partnerships.

With relation to Trade Licenses, the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council recently issued a flyer reminding that anyone who operates any online or established business in the Town must receive an approved Trade License to operate.

In addition, several online vendors told us that in 2020, Town Council employees visited them and shared requirements to open a business including the need to apply and pay for a trade license.

 

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