In order to share its magnificent beauty and culture with the rest of the world, Belize, an emerging competitor in international financial services and tourism has taken a bold and pioneering step in seeking to combine and enhance the attraction of both sectors through legislature. Legislature’s most recent innovation, the Retired Persons (Incentives) Program, which spawned from the Retired Persons (Incentives) Act, Chapter 62 of the Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 1990-2000, has an objective of being “…an act to encourage and promote the inflow of foreign capital into Belize by offering certain tax exemptions and incentives to Qualified Retired Persons.” This retired persons program is ideal for retired persons seeking to stretch their dollars in a relaxed atmosphere set in a country of tropical beauty and diverse culture. CILTrust can assist you in qualifying and benefiting from this revolutionary program.
The time period is estimated at 3 months and certain documents must be notarized if not original which we can also provide at a fee of $25.00 per notarization. In short, Belize has much financial benefits and personal enrichment to offer the prospective and current retiree. The Retired Persons (Incentives) Act provides retirees with generous tax exemptions and incentives as well as other benefits such as retaining non-resident status for international financial purposes. The tropical setting and cultural variety only enhance the charm of this Caribbean country that just may prove to be the ideal retirees’ paradise.
The following are the fees associated with the program.
- A non-refundable fee of $100.00 is payable to the BTB on application;
- A program fee of $500.00 on acceptance into the program;
- A fee of $100.00 payable to the Immigration Department (through the BTB) for issuance of QRP Status;
- A stamp of $5.00 is to be attached to the BTB application;
- Legal fees of $1,000.00.
Note that all prices are in US dollars and all fees except legal fees are payable in US dollars to the BTB for which they will issue a receipt.
Benefits of the Program are vast. Major financial benefits include the following:
- QRP may enter and remain in Belize with dependents for as long as the status of QRP is retained. Dependents include spouses and children under 18 years old; however, a dependent can include persons up to 23 years, provided the dependent is a student who can prove enrollment in a university.
- QRP may import personal and household effects both new and used up to a maximum value of US$15 000, and approved means of transportation. Approved means of transportation means a motor vehicle, boat, and light aircraft (17 000kg) for personal use free of all import duties and other taxes (which usually average about 78%). However, a list of all items and their respective prices and condition (new or old) should be submitted with the application. New vehicles or those up to three years old are eligible for tax and import duty exemption. Applicants wishing to import a light aircraft are required to have a valid Private Pilot license to fly in Belize or prove that they are willing and able to employ a private pilot. However if the QRP already possesses a license, the license must be validated by the Civil Aviation Department of Belize and the aircraft must be registered in Belize.
- QRP may import new approved means of transportation after every five years after providing proper proof of proper disposal of those vehicles that were previously imported into the country. Proper disposal of transportation includes exportation; sale, lease, or gift; otherwise disposal to another person within Belize; or, proof that such transportation has been lost otherwise rendered unserviceable through theft, fire, or accident.
- QRP are exempt from the payments of all taxes and levies on all income accruing to him from a source outside Belize, whether such income is earned or passive, and whether or not it is remitted to Belize.
- QRP are deemed non-resident for purposes such as the International Financial Banking Act; the Exchange Control Regulation Act; the International Business Companies Act; the Trusts Act; the Immigration and Belize Nationality Acts; and, any other act which directly or indirectly relates or may hereafter relate to international financial services. Such services include establishing a US dollar bank account with a local or international financial bank in Belize. This service is exclusively available to non-residents by law.
- Although QRP other than citizens or permanent legal residents are prohibited from engaging in gainful employment and may not seek paid or unpaid employment in Belize, they may, however, carry on business from Belize. Such business, however, must relate to activities carried on mostly outside of Belize, and must be conducted exclusively with non-residents of Belize.
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) administers the program. Its primary objective is to encourage and promote the inflow of foreign capital into Belize by offering certain tax exemptions, privileges, benefits, and incentives to Qualified Retired Persons (QRP). Such persons receive both financial and personal benefits. Applicants must be at least 45 years old, citizens or legal permanent residents of any country, and be beneficial owners of a pension or annuity. They must also give a written undertaking to deposit for personal use in a bank, credit union, building society, or other financial institution either US$2000 by the 15th day of each month, or an annual sum of US$24 000 by the first day of April of each year.