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Apr 16, 2021

Chairman Says B.T.L. Does Not Owe Any Taxes in Arrears!

Mark Lizarraga

But according to Lizarraga, after making inquiries with the Belize Tax Service, they received a letter on April fifteenth that there were outstanding arrears for the period 2002 to March 2010. Those arrears amounted to some eighteen point two million dollars, but due to section thirty-nine of the Income Tax and Business Act, a four-year period was shaved off. The new tax assessment of sixteen point six million dollars was, according to Chairman Lizarraga, settled in the compensation package for the nationalisation of Telemedia.

 

Mark Lizarraga, Chairman, B.T.L. Board

“The last mention of tax arrears on this matter is reflected in our financial statements for the year ending thirty-first March 2011, which stated that there was a tax assessment reversal for previous years and I quote, “During 2011, the group was advised by the Government of Belize that these taxes would be collected from the consideration payable for the shares acquired by the Government of Belize. The assessment for the period January 2005 to August 2009, prior to government’s ownership, amounted to about sixteen point six million out of the eighteen point two million; the difference that B.T.L. paid. The then Minister of Finance Dean Barrow indicated to B.T.L. that these tax liabilities will be recovered in the settlement of the acquisition of B.T.L.  On November thirtieth 2010, the company received a letter from the Office of the then Prime Minister Dean Barrow as Minister of Finance advising that these taxes that were attributable to the previous owners will be recovered by the government of Belize and I quote, “factored into the value of the shares acquired for which compensation is payable by the Government of Belize. In this manner, the government will recover the value of the taxes assessed.” It is on this basis that B.T.L. strongly maintains that it does not owe any taxes in arrears and that this matter was settled in 2010.”


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