Belize Tax Service Department launched
Wednesday, August 7th, 2019
On Thursday, August 1st marked the historic joining of the Income Tax Department and Department of General Sales Tax into the newly formed Belize Tax Service Department – a department under the Ministry of Finance. The merger will be in phases through 2022. Taxpayers will experience better service with a newly trained cadre of tax professionals, providing efficiency and productivity for better tax compliance to further develop the country.
To celebrate this accomplishment, tax departments across the country held an open house activity on Friday, August 2nd. Here in San Pedro Town, attendees learned of the purpose and importance of the tax department in the country and viewed a live-streamed press conference held at the Belize Tax Service Department headquarters in Belize City. They further participated in fun games to test their knowledge and had the opportunity to win great prizes. Officer in charge of the Belize Tax Service Department San Pedro Branch Geneva James told The San Pedro Sun that this activity served to celebrate the amalgamation of both departments while informing about the new changes.
In October 2014, the Fiscal Affairs Department approved a technical assistance mission to support the Government of Belize’s (GOB) medium-term action plan to Modernize Tax Administration. The objective of that program was to strengthen institutional reforms in tax administration. In January 2018, on the request of the GOB, a Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Center mission was deployed to assess the current operations and technology systems that support tax administration in Belize and provide guidance and advice to support the decision process to evaluate alternative technology solutions for the Tax Administration’s operations.
The GOB established a Program Office for the Modernization of the Tax Administration of Belize and appointed a Program Manager in October 2018. The main objective of the program was to establish a modern service-oriented Tax Administration, integrated with other government agencies and financial institutions, all businesses and the citizens of Belize. It is meant to achieve a redesigned business operation according to the current good practices and standards for tax administrations, deliver services to taxpayers and optimally use its own human resources and knowledgeable staff to manage compliance according to risks utilizing a wide range of internal and third-party data.
The Program introduced significant changes in legal, organizational, operational and technology frameworks for administering taxes in Belize. The Belize Tax Service Department aims to serve as Tax Professionals of the future, with a new mission, vision and values.
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