The San Pedro Sun

BCCI and GST host informational session with San Pedro businesses sector

On Thursday, August 30th, businesses on Ambergris Caye learned more about General Sales Tax (GST) via a compliance training held at the Sunbreeze Hotel in San Pedro Town. The training was an initiative of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), in an attempt to create a closer relationship with their members and to find out more about the GST department.
Christopher Pech, membership program administrator at the BCCI, says they have been hosting a series of sessions across the country along with the GST Department. “We understand that the business community provides a lot to the development of the country. Thus, we offer this capacitation so they can know about what the GST department does,” said Pech. He also added that with these sessions, BCCI also tries to increase its membership. According to him, being part of the chamber means benefiting from various promotions, such as marketing through the chamber at trade shows.


Many business owners and representatives attended, and they were lectured on the importance of properly filing GST tax to avoid trouble with the Department. GST’s Tax Service Supervisor, Shirleen Coote stated that the session serves as a platform to inform businesses of their rights and obligations as taxpayers registered for GST. They also can reach out to the taxpayers and address any concern they might have about the tax.
One issue emphasized during the session was notifying the GST Department of changes in an establishment. Sometimes businesses fail to notify the Department that they are relocating, or they open branches of the business without informing GST. According to GST personnel, this can lead to penalties and even court actions.

Many attendees were satisfied with the presentation, stating that they left feeling better informed about GST procedures. Others were glad to meet members of the Department and get their advice on procedures relating to GST tax.
Everyone was encouraged to keep in touch with the Department and its personnel so that when they need further clarification or to discuss concerns, they can contact the office on the island or their headquarters in the mainland.
For more information or inquiries, the GST island branch is located on Coconut Drive across from the airport or call 206-2454. The office in Belize City can be reached at 222-5574.