In 2017, the Automatic Exchange of Information Law was passed making it mandatory for financial institutions to submit information to the Income Tax Department on accounts owned by residents of countries with which Belize signed a declaration. The first submission was made last year and will continue annually. Love News spoke with Kareem Patnett, Tax Officer 3, at the Income Tax Department who said that the law allows Belize to continue to have an amicable relationship with countries with which it has an inter-governmental agreement.
Kareem Patnett AOE Coordinator Income Tax Department: ““Automatic exchange of information is basically a mechanism where our local financial institutions collect certain account informations from your account holders and they apply certain due diligence to determine who would fall within scope of automatic exchange of information. These individuals would by any tax resident of our 59 partners that we signed onto bilateral agreements with. This information is then transmitted to the Income Tax Department as the designated competent authority and then subsequently it is transferred to the home jurisdictions of these account holders by the 30th September annually.”
Johnelle Mckenzie: “So do these individuals physically live in Belize?”
Kareem Patnett AOE Coordinator Income Tax Department: “Not necessarily so long as they hold a financial account within Belize they are within scope of automatic exchange of information.”
Belize signed the declaration with fifty-nine countries.