GST FAQs

Here you will find some of the more frequently asked questions about GST. If you cannot find the information you are looking for, please contact us at GST.unit@gst.gov.bz.

What is the threshold for registering for GST?

You must register for GST if your annual turnover is $75,000 or more per annum. Turnover is the total value of taxable supplies/sales/receipts/takings made  for all your taxable activities, but does not include the GST charged. Any person that has been carrying on a business for less than 12 months and the average monthly value of taxable supplies was $6,250 monthly or more, is also required to register for GST.

How could we verify that a person is registered for GST?

Look for the green GST certificate at the place of business or request that it be presented to you.

What is a TIN?

TIN or” Taxpayer Identification Number”, in relation to a registered person, means the unique identifying number shown on the certificate of registration issued to that person under section 27 of the GST ACT;

What is the GST standard rate?

The standard rate of GST is 12.5%. Most goods and services provided by businesses will be taxed at the standard rate.

What are zero-rated supplies and how much GST must I charge and account for on them?

The GST law schedules 1,2,and 3 provides for taxable supplies at the rate of 0%.

How is GST charged on goods and services sold over the Internet?

Where a registered, Belize-owned entity provides goods and services to people in Belize over the Internet, they will charge GST at the standard rate (12.5%).Where a Belize entity sells goods and services over the Internet to overseas customers, GST will generally be charged at a rate of 0%. However, reasonable steps should be taken to verify the location of the customer and destination of the goods and services.

What if a registered person has several taxable activities?

A registered person with several taxable activities is required to combine the turnover from all taxable activities and include them in one return.

What if I am operating from more than one branch?

If you operate from several branches, the turnover for all branches must be added together to determine whether the business needs to be registered for GST. Additionally, you must request registration certificate for each branch offices.

What happens if I don’t fulfill my tax obligations?

The tax system relies on voluntary compliance. If you don’t fulfill your tax obligations you may be charged penalties and interest. Failure to comply might be quite unintentional, but if you find that you’ve made a mistake, please contact the Department of GST as soon as possible.

Does issuing an assessment for a particular period finalize the liability on it?

No. If it is discovered that fraudulent information has been supplied, or details have been left out, reassessments can be made at any time within six years from the end of the taxable period.

What type of records should I keep?

a) registration certificate;

b) tax invoices, till rolls and Z-tapes;

c) invoice books and any documents used to record sales or services;

d) tax invoices for tax paid on the purchase of goods and services;

e) custom documents for tax paid on goods imported;

f) debit and credit notes;

g) working papers used to record summaries of sales and services;

h) working papers used to make adjustment to your GST account;

i) GST account; and

j) GST returns and refund claims.

If my operation does not require the use of all records mentioned above, what are the basic ones I should keep?

If your operation does not facilitate the use of all the records listed in some of our guides or GST Regulations, you should ensure that the basic records are kept. The basic records include source documents and any other documents you are legally required to keep. Source documents are the original records used to indicate that, a sale/supply has been made; you have purchased goods and services and include any other documents that cause a transaction to happen including making an adjustment to your accounts.

In what format should I retain my records?

Persons who are required to keep records are responsible for retaining them in a manner that will ensure the reliability and readability of the information. It is always advisable that the records are kept in their original format.

There are various forms to retain records, including;

a) Traditional books and records, including supporting source documents produced and retained in paper format;

b) Records retained in electronic readable format that can related back to the supporting source documents and that are supported by a system capable of producing accessible and usable copy;

c) Supporting documents, e.g. Working papers, financial statements

If my accounting information is produce by computer what other factors should I consider?

If your output records are generated by means of a computer and information from your input records (relating to purchase of goods and services) is also transferred to a computer, you are required to retain all these computerized records in a readable format. Also, you must keep the original input source documents. This means that a person who utilizes computerized systems to generate invoices and other records must retain the electronic records and the hard copy. Electronically readable format means information supported by a system capable of producing accessible and useable copy.

My operation involves supplying goods and service via the internet. I also purchase items and make payments using this medium, what should I do?

Persons engaged in electronic commerce, which can be broadly defined as the delivery of information, goods, services or payments by telephone, computer, over the internet or by any other automated means, must retain the electronic records which identify or record those transactions. These records must be kept in an electronically readable format.

Electronic record-keeping refers to those electronic business systems that create, process, store, maintain and provide access to a person’s financial records. It includes, but not limited to custom and commercial accounting packages, point of sale systems and internet based electronic commerce.

You are responsible to keep and safeguard all electronic data files. You should also ensure that adequate systems are put in place to protect the accuracy and integrity of the electronic records.