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12.5% GST on data services comes into effect

As one of the Government’s tax measures for the new fiscal year, a 12.5% general sales tax is in effect for the purchasing of data service. Despite the objection of the Belize Cable Television Operators, there is no indication that the Government will reverse its decision. The effects of this new GST are already being felt countrywide but not for customers of Belize Telemedia Limited. The telecom giant has decided to delay its effect through a limited promotion. BTL customers are stilling paying regular price for the same amount of data, but this won’t last long. So when that promotion is finished, how will you be charged? Will you pay the extra 12.5% or receive less data? Mobile Product Manager at BTL, Britney Young explained.

Britney Young, Mobile Product Manager, BTL: “If you purchase our standard prepaid data plans thats for instance your ‘data s, data m, data l’ and so on those are affected but you also need to look at Digicell Postpaid Customers. So if you are a lite, plus, elite or max customer those are taxable. Then we go into our fixed products so our broadband products like Diginet or High Speed Internet so for residential customers and business customers they will be taxed on those products as well. What BTL is doing is offering lower data rates for our Diginet residential customers, our mobile prepaid customers and our mobile postpaid customers. So you as a Diginet residential customer if you have the $179 plan the 20MB download speed your bill will actually be $179 because of that lower data rate that we are offering. Let’s say you are a mobile prepaid customer and you purchase your data M plan for $4 you’ll pay $4. This is a limited time offer. So lets say once this lower data rate promotion ends you will actually pay 12.5% GST on that monthly bill. So that would be for a full month you are going to get that 12.5% GST on that. Because that $2 recieves a 12.5% GST your price will go up to match that $2 plus the 12.5% GST. So your plan allowance remains the same just that you have to pay GST on that purchase amount.”


Several other data services providers have already implemented the 12.5 % GST.