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Audit of a Belizean company, financial statements, accounting, consulting in Belize

There is no requirement for an IBC to be audited if the annual income threshold is not exceeded. In accordance with the provisions of Section 32A of the Income and Business Tax (Amendment) Act (2018), an audit of financial statements and filing of an audit report is required for an international business entity if the annual income of such entity exceeds $6,000,000 and at least two conditions from the list below are met:

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Service packages Legislation Tax System Audit Services
Preparation and submission of accounts
from USD 600
Apostille of financial statements (if necessary)
from USD 550
Preparation and submission of an application for a tax number
410 USD
Preparation and submission of a tax return
from 450 USD
Consulting services and support during tax audits
200 - 300 USD per hour USD

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General requirements

On 1 January 2019, Belize, like a number of other offshore jurisdictions, substantially changed legislation in respect of International Business Companies (IBCs). In particular, the Economic Substance Act was adopted and substantial changes were made to the Income and Business Tax Act setting out obligations to pay a tax.

In accordance with the Belize Accounting Records (Maintenance) Act, the main regulatory legal act in the field of accounting and financial reporting, all source documents and accounting records must be kept in the place of the company’s registration, in the agent’s office in Belize or outside Belize by resolution of the company’s director or another competent party (Section 3 of the Belize Accounting Records (Maintenance) Act).

Companies must keep all source documents and accounting records during at least 5 years after the date of making the transaction, closing the account or ending business relations (Section 6 of the Belize Accounting Records (Maintenance) Act).

Belize does not have national accounting standards, so companies can make financial statements in accordance with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) or US GAAP.

Changes in tax legislation set the obligation to obtain a tax identification number (TIN) and to annually file a tax return for all IBCs, which also resulted in the obligation to file financial statements.

Audit of accounts

IBCs are not required to audit financial statements if they do not exceed the set threshold of annual income. In accordance with Section 32A of the Income and Business Tax (Amendment) Act (2018), audit of financial statements and filing of an auditor’s opinion are required from international business companies if their annual income exceeds 6,000,000 USD and at least two of the below conditions are met:

  • the company’s shares are traded on an exchange;
  • the company is in the process of reorganization or liquidation or is selling all its property at a public auction;
  • the company’s activity is regulated by the International Financial Services Commission;
  • the company prepares consolidated financial statements.

Time frame for preparation and submission of financial statements

The deadline for filing an annual tax return along with financial statements and an auditor’s opinion (if necessary) is 31 March of the year following the reporting period.

Besides financial statements, companies must file economic substance reports. According to the Economic Substance Act, annual filing of the reports must be done within 9 months following the reporting period. Reports shall be filed through the registered agent; their form depends on the result of activity qualification:

  • From B - for included entities and holding companies (engaged fully or partially in “relevant activities”);
  • Form C - for purely holding companies;
  • Form D - for non-included entities.

Liability for failure to keep accounts and late filing of a tax return along with financial statements

Failure to comply with provisions of the Belize Accounting Records (Maintenance) Act, including non-fulfilment of the obligation to keep source documents and accounting records, results in a penalty not exceeding 10,000 USD and revocation of the license to conduct activity and the certificate of incorporation of the company.

Liability for late filing or evasion of filing of a tax return along with financial statements is a fine of 10% of the amount of the tax payable according to this return, but not less than 10 USD. A fine can be charged for a 24-month delay.

Consolidated financial statements

In the case of a group of companies where the parent company is resident in Belize, consolidated financial statements shall be made.

Consolidated financial statements can be made in accordance with the International Financial Reporting Standards.

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