Did you know there are tax perks to making the move to Belize? Aside from it’s stunning beauty, Belize is a safe tax haven for expats and retirees. Not only are there US tax benefits for living abroad, but you could have zero tax liability as a retiree in Belize depending on where and how you earn your income.
US Tax Benefits
Avoid dual-taxation of living abroad with deductions and credits that help expats offset US tax liability:
Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE)
Foreign Tax Credit (FTC)
Foreign Housing Exclusion
With the FEIE, you can exclude $100,800 of your income (2015) if you meet the residency requirements of either the Physical Presence test or Bona Fide Residence test. Living abroad sometimes results in higher-than-average living costs, so the Foreign Housing Exclusion allows you to deduct a certain amount of your qualified housing expenses such as rent, utilities, parking and storage expenses.
Income Tax in Belize
Income tax is charged at a rate of 25% for both individuals and companies. For residents of Belize, the first $10,000 of their annual income is exempt. Pension income is exempt.
Qualified Retired Persons Program
Through the Qualified Retired Persons (QRP) Program, the government gives qualified retirees an exemption from taxes on all income derived from sources outside Belize. In addition, qualified retirees can import their personal and household goods as well as a car, boat, and plane, without having to pay import duties or taxes.
International Business Corporation
Belize allows you to avoid income taxes altogether by transferring income and assets (excluding real estate) into a Belizean International Business Corporation (IBC). Dividends to you from the IBC are not taxable.
Belize property taxes depend on the type of property and is usually between 1-1.5% of the assessed value. There is currently no capital gains tax in Belize.
As if living in a Caribbean paradise isn’t enough, tax breaks make it all the more enjoyable.