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Sep 22, 2015

Bankers Association of Belize Speaks on IRS Investigation

Articles, both local and international, on the banking and financial sectors have prompted a reaction from the Bankers Association of Belize. Just last week, a US federal judge granted permission to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to seek information on US residents, who may have had bank accounts in Belize and have not complied with US tax regulations and are not reporting on their income. The release clarifies that the IRS is not suggesting that the Belize Bank has done anything improper. The association makes three points; first, there is no law in Belize which prohibits U.S. citizens or those from other countries from establishing banking accounts at international banks operating in Belize.  Second, there is no law in Belize which prohibits U.S. citizens (or citizens from any other country for that matter) from establishing International Business Companies (IBC’s) in Belize and third: clients who maintain accounts in Belizean banks, whether in the domestic sector or the international sector, have the responsibility for ensuring that their respective tax filings are in order and in compliance with the relevant tax authorities in their respective jurisdictions. The association also states that there are mechanisms in place which the IRS can access information from banks in any jurisdiction. And finally, the association notes that the banks are fully compliant with standards and obligations that apply to the sector.

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