Those who purchase property abroad are often very successful financially. It stands to reason they they closely watch their dollars and sense and take reasonable steps to make sure that when it comes to paying taxes they pay the least amount required by law.
We all know that a good portion of our income goes to paying taxes of some sort or another. Many are unavoidable. But others aren’t, especially in Belize.
As an example, there are NO capital gains taxes in Belize. So if you buy a property for $100,000 and you sell it for $200,000 and make $100,000 on the deal you don’t owe the government of Belize one dime.
Property Taxes are also very low in Belize. For instance, a 2 bedroom oceanfront condo in Miami Beach that costs around $400,000 would be taxed around $5,000 U.S. per year. In comparison a 2 bedroom ocean front condo on Ambergris Caye that costs $400,000 will only run you $275 U.S. per year! You can see immediately how the cost of ownership would be much much less on a property here then in the U.S.
Rental Income is also taxed at a very low rate. Let’s say you rent out your home or condo when you are not here to make some extra income. In the U.S. or Canada the tax on such income can be viewed as personal income and taxed accordingly from 25-35%. Here in Belize the tax rate is only 1.75%. So if you rent out your home or condo for $200 a night then your tax on that income is only $3.00
There are other tax advantages to consider. Buying and selling property using IBC’s (International Business Companies) is a way to legally eliminate or postpone the paying of taxes that may be required by your home country. For more information on how to set this up please email me or register to view one of our Investing in Belize Webinars which breaks down the details of this type of ownership structure.
Ambergris Caye is one of the best Caribbean Islands to live on when it comes to concerns from hurricanes. In my last blog post I spoke about why I feel safer here then any other Caribbean Island. In this blog post I’ll give you some more stats and details.
First, look at this: Since 1951 there have only been 7 hurricanes that have hit Belize directly. Other have come close but as we all know its the direct hits with the high winds surrounding the eye of the storm that causes most of the problems.
In any given year Belize has only a 17% chance of getting hit by a hurricane. By comparison the State of Florida has 65% chance of getting hit.
Why doesn’t Belize get too many hurricanes?
1. We are located very far to the west. The normal weather patterns usually turn hurricanes northward by the time they work their way across the Atlantic.
2. Also, we have a fairly short hurricane window. While the “official” window is from June through November history shows that almost all of the hurricanes to hit Belize have done so in the months of September and October. Hence we have a smaller window of opportunity then do other Caribbean Islands.
Finally, the main things that cause damage in a hurricane are high winds and storm surge. Most everything that is built here is built to withstand such high winds. We use solid concrete construction with hurricane resistant windows and doors. We also pour solid concrete roofs. When looking at the damage caused by a hurricane you’ll find that most of it is due to the high winds ripping of the roofs. We prevent that from happening by building the way we do.
Also, the reef acts as a huge protection for us. In some places like Cancun and in Florida the water depth can be several hundred feet just a little ways offshore. This allows for the formation of damaging waves and storm surge. Ambergris Caye has a reef running its length just a few hundred yards of shore. This reef acts like a protective wall. It takes the brunt of the wave action so those that do reach the shore are limited in the damage they can cause.
So, in looking at all of the variables involved I would say that hurricanes should not even be a concern. We rarely get them but if we do you’ll be able to get off the island to safety quickly, and most likely come back within a day or two. You property will most likely be as you left it accept for some debris in the yard. Within a few days all will be cleaned up and the skies will be blue!