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Keeping A Close Eye On Zero-Rated Products

General Sales Tax Dept. Looks Over Grocery Shops to Protect the Consumers

As of April 1, 2010 the Government of Belize raised the General Sales Tax (GST) from 10% to 12.5% and being mindful of the changes in GST Rates and a new list of zero rated items, the General Sales Tax Department is keeping a close eye on grocery shops taking into consideration the consumers so that they are being protected.

Mr. Elmer Reyes, officer of the General Sales Tax Department of San Pedro, stated to Ambergris Today that he has been working together with personnel of the Belize Bureau of Standards to check on grocery stores and make sure that they are complying to these rules and that they are properly labeling all products.

He also stated that all businesses should comply with these rules and regulations that are given to them when they register to avoid penalties and legal proceedings. Businesses should display their GST registration certificate, utilize a programmable cash register and most importantly issue proper tax invoices & receipts to customers.

Ambergris Today did a bit of investigation on its own and went to several grocery stores and asked for receipts for our goods and took it to Mr. Reyes for him to review. Although we were not being charged GST on zero rated items, he did notice a flaw on a business that was charging a different price on the counter and displaying another on the item itself.

“Random checks on businesses will be carried out and we are asking customers to ask for a receipt for every purchase made at a store,” commented Mr. Reyes. “By doing so, you have proof if a business is charging you GST. You can bring the receipt to our office and we carry out an investigation and if the business is not complying with their obligations they will be penalized”.

So there you have it, The General Sales Tax Department is working diligently to protect you the consumer and making sure that businesses are complying with the rules. So the next time you go shopping ask for your receipt and if there is any problem visit Mr. Elmer Reyes at the office of the Treasury Department on Coconut Drive above Remax, or call him at 226-4705.

Zero Rated Goods
(Taxed at Zero Percent – No GST on these goods as of April 1, 2010)

Unprocessed Foods:
Rice, Four, Corn, Fresh Meat (Mammal, Bird or Fish), Edible Offal of Bovine Animals – Swine and sheep, Eggs, Beans, Fresh Fruits & Vegetables (locally produced), Salt, Fresh Milk (Locally Produced) and Tea.

Processed Foods:
Bread, Corn & Flour Tortilla, Sweet Bread & Bun (Locally Produced), Cooking Lard, Margarine, Baby Formula, Sugar, Condensed Milk, Powdered Milk, Cooking Oil, Instant Coffee, Chicken Sausages (canned), Corned Beef (in cans), Yeast, Oats, Luncheon Meat, Potted Meat, Chocolate Powdered Meat, Macaroni & Cheese, Cereals, Percolated Coffee, Edible Meats of Swine Salted or in Brine (e.g. Pigtail), Edible Meats of Bovine Animals salted or in Brine (e.g. salt beef), Soup & Broth in solid or powdered form (including Ramen), Preparations of Malt Extract and Any live Bird, Fish Crustacean, Mollusk or other Animal of a kind Generally used as, or producing, food for human consumption.

Educational Items:
Notebooks/Exercise Books, School Bags, Pencils, Crayons, Lead Pencils, Erasers, Pencil Holders for use in school.

Analgesics (Pain Killers) – liquids, tablets, capsules or solid dosage forms for oral or rectal use, Cough & Cold preparations (Liquid, tablets, capsules, other solid dosage forms for oral or nasal use, Diagnostic Testing Kits and Devices to test glucose in Blood and Urine, Insulin, Insulin Syringes with needles and Devices 100 units (1.0Ml) Capacity for the administration of U-100 Insulin, Oral Rehydration Salts & Solutions of W.H.O/Paramacopoeia Standards, Oxygen, Dialysis Fluids, Anit-Retroviral Medicines and Vitamins & Supplements.

House Hold Items/Supplies:
Stoves/Rangers/Cookers, Refrigerators (Domestic Use), Washing Machine (Domestic Use) and Laundry Washing Soap Powder.

Barbed Wire, Spare parts for Tractors, Irrigation pipes & hoses, Cable for Banana Industry, Hatching Eggs, Concentrated Animal Feeds (bovine & Swine), Animal Feeds for Bird, Fish, Crustaceans, Mollusks & other animals, Seed & means of propagation of plants used to produce foods that are zero-rated, Sugar Cane Loading Machines, Land Preparation for Agriculture – Harvesting & Crop Dusting services, Fertilizers, Pesticides, Fungicides and Herbicides.

A supply of water (other than bottled water or similar containers) or Domestic Sewerage Services, Butane Gas for Domestic Use.

Frames for Eye Glasses

Keeping A Close Eye On Zero-Rated Products

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