Archive for the ‘Offshore jurisdiction’ Category

Belize Budget to indirect Taxes to Boost Revenues

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

Belize has rejected International Monetary Fund (IMF) recommendations to raise taxes across the board in favor of more selective reforms that are proposed as less punitive to the jurisdiction’s businesses and poorest citizens.

In his budget speech the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Natural Resources, Dean Barrow, rejected the IMF’s “publicly rehearsed” advice to raise general sales tax (GST), ditch zero-rated treatment for certain products, cancel exemptions, and increase personal and business income taxes as these measures are “regressive and punitive to both citizens and enterprise.”

Instead of the above-mentioned, he announced a series of “pro-poor and pro-people” reforms, which he expected to increase revenues by 2.2% of GDP. These include a 10% income tax on statutory boards of “quasi government entities;” increasing the excise levy on aerated water, beer and stout, cement, and fuel; increasing the environmental charge on imported goods by 1%t; and raising stamp duty on foreign exchange permits by 0.5%.

Belize to hike Taxes in Upcoming Budget

Friday, March 10th, 2017

According to Belizean officials, the jurisdiction is to announce wide-ranging tax hikes in its upcoming Budget in order to solve its fiscal woes.

In a recent interview, Belize’s Financial Secretary Joseph Waight said that the Government of Belize cannot rule out tax increases. In February, the Government said it was considering potential options for hikes. “We don’t know just yet, that’s still in the process we are going through but I think that at this point in time it is inevitable that there will be an increase in some taxes,” Waight said.

Waight also said that business leaders and unions have told the Government of Belize that it should first of all improve the efficiency of the tax administration and only after that look at tax hike options.

Messi accused of using Belize Company for tax evasion

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

Lionel Andrés Messi, an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club Barcelona and the Argentina national team, and his father Jorge Horacio Messi are accused of using fake companies in Belize and Uruguay to avoid paying taxes on EUR 4.16 million of his income earned through the sale of his image rights from 2007-2009.

Lionel Messi’s former tax advisors came out in support of the 5-time World Player of the Year as his trial for alleged fraud continued in Barcelona, saying he never handled his wealth management.

Juarez, one of the partners at law firm Juarez Veciana which managed Messi’s tax affairs at the time was responsible for creating several companies in Uruguay, then considered a tax haven.

Messi’s father had hired the law firm as he had ongoing disputes with his then advisor who was managing the footballer’s image rights through a company based in Belize.

So, two offshore companies – Jenbril owned by Messi, and Frosyl where his father deposited his commissions as the player’s agent – are the main focus of the investigation.

Belize to fight against Money Laundering

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Belize’s Financial Intelligence Unit and Belize Police have signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at strengthening the jurisdiction’s safeguards against financial crime.

According to the Financial Intelligence Unit, the memorandum will strengthen the existing cooperation and facilitate the analysis and investigation of suspected money laundering, associated offenses, and the financing of terrorism.

Implementation of the document is expected to increase the potential sources of information available to both the Financial Intelligence Unit and the Police in their fight against crime. Also, joint operations between the authorities will be possible.

The Financial Intelligence Unit is the Belizean authority dealing with the enforcement and implementation of all anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regulations and the prevention of domestic tax evasion.