Make sure to be prepared when Belize starts off the CRS reporting season in March.
Law, tax, and compliance professionals can stay up to date with all of the CRS (Common Reporting Standard) and FATCA(Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) reporting requirements worldwide thanks to KENDRIS. In this article, we will explain the most important requirements for Belize.
So far, Belize and the United States of America have not signed a FATCA Intergovernmental Agreement. Consequently, Belize financial institutions are subject to the U.S. FATCA Treasury Regulations. To avoid being withheld upon, Belize financial institutions should register directly with the IRS and agree to comply with the terms of an FFI agreement. Such financial institutions are treated as Participating FFIs.
Financial institutions in non-IGA jurisdictions such as Belize are required to submit FATCA returns by 31th of March directly to the IRS via the IDES portal.
Belize has implemented the CRS into domestic law in 2017 by adopting the “The Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (Amendment) Act” and the “Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information) Regulations”. Furthermore, an overview of all bilateral exchange relationships of Belize is provided by the OECD.
The applicable CRS regulations set out the due diligence and reporting requirements for Belize financial institutions but also the penalties for non-compliance and certain exemptions for the exchange of information.
CRS Nil Returns
Special attention should be paid to the fact that CRS nil returns are mandatory for all Belize financial institutions. Hence, all financial institutions are required to submit a report even if they do not have any reportable accounts.
All Belize financial institutions that have reporting obligations are required to notify the competent authority of that fact. For this purpose, a Belize financial institution must enroll to the reporting portal no later than 30th April in the first year in which the financial institution is required to comply with the defined reporting obligations. The portal can be accessed here.
Further, a reporting financial institution shall provide the following information when enrolling on the portal:
- Name of the financial institution
- Applicable CRS Classification
- Name and contact details of the authorized individual to be the principal point of contact
- Copy of primary contact’s social security card or passport and of the authorization letter signed by a director or manager of the financial institution
Reporting Period and Deadline
Please also note that reporting on a calendar year basis is required. The deadline for submitting CRS returns is 31th of March in the year following the calendar year to which the return relates.
Policies and procedures
Every reporting financial institution in Belize is required to keep records of documentary evidence which are obtained or created for complying with the CRS regulations. The competent authority is allowed to ask for copies of such documentation in English. Therefore, it is generally recommended to document reporting steps carefully and implement policies which are in line with the legal due diligence and reporting requirements.
Useful KENDRIS links
Other CRS & FATCA Reporting Guides
- Jersey CRS & FATCA Reporting Guide
- BVI CRS & FATCA Reporting Guide
- Liechtenstein CRS & FATCA Reporting Guide