The Prime Minister of Belize, Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow and Country Representative of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Dr. Cassandra T. Rogers signed a loan agreement today in the amount of US$14 million to strengthen tax administration in Belize. The project will strengthen tax administration governance, improve operational processes through the modernization of technological infrastructure with the aim of maximizing government revenue-generating potential.

The financing will support the Government of Belize in its ongoing efforts to modernize, restructure and integrate its Tax Administration. The project will implement a new business model through a series of integrated processes and services for the taxpayers. It will provide for a complete modernization of its technological infrastructure that will support newer technologies and methods to improve tax collection and provide assistance to taxpayers.

When implemented, it will increase tax revenue and reduce evasion not only by improving the efficiency of the technical assistance but also making it easier for the taxpayers to comply. It will also have a positive impact on economic growth and development and provide the authorities with better and more complete tax data for decision-making. The first steps have already been taken, with the amalgamation of the Income Tax Department and Department of General Sales Tax into the newly formed Belize Tax Service Department — a department under the Ministry of Finance.

The project is aligned with and helps to achieve the goals of the fiscal consolidation program that the Government initiated in fiscal year 2017/2018 and is also closely aligned with technical assistance that Belize has been receiving from the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Center (CARTAC).

Strengthening Tax Administration is a project financed by the Inter-American Development Bank and executed by the Ministry of Finance over a five-year period.

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.