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Sep 3, 2021

Tax Dodgers Target of New Unit

John Briceño

The Government of Belize will establish the Tax Debt Operation Unit with a focus on collecting outstanding taxes, but first strengthening prosecution against tax offenses.  An amendment was passed in the House today to give the Director of Public Prosecution authority to prosecute tax offenses.  It also allows the unit to publish the names of tax defaulters in the gazette and newspapers.

 

Prime Minister John Briceño

“We are making it in compliance with the Constitution whereas in the first, in its current form, the way it is right now, before these amendments, the act restricts the authority of the Director of Public Prosecutions to prosecute tax offenses without the approval of the Director-General of the Belize Tax Service. Such restriction of authority is inconsistent with the constitution. Because of the unconstitutionality, no criminal prosecutions have been brought under the APA, since it enactment in 2019. Tax defaulters and tax offenders have therefore been free from criminal jeopardy. But, with this Bill, those who have committed tax offenses will be subject to criminal prosecution. We expect this will incentivize tax compliance.”


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