Belize has one of the world’s best retiree programs. Through the Qualified Retired Persons (QRP) Program, the government gives qualified retirees an exemption from taxes on all income derived from sources outside Belize, whether such income is earned or passive, and whether or not it is remitted to Belize.
The QRP Program for Those Who Want to Retire in Belize
You don’t have to be retired—or even of retirement age—to take advantage of this program. However, you must be at least 45 years old, and be able to show that you have adequate resources to deposit a monthly income of $2,000 or more per month, and comply with several other minor requirements. To keep your QRP status you must spend just one month of the year in Belize.
The regulations state that you must show a pension or other regular income. In reality, if you can demonstrate that you have adequate savings to transfers $24,000 per year, the Belize Tourist Board has accepted that approach, since many expats do not have pensions but do have IRAs/401Ks. You can also make a single $24,000 deposit a year or make it in monthly installments.
In addition to tax benefits, qualified retirees can import their personal and household goods as well as a car, boat, and plane, without having to pay import duties or taxes on those goods that they import in to Belize during their first year as a QRP resident.
QRPs are considered non-residents for purposes of banking, meaning they can set up a U.S. dollar bank account with a local or offshore bank in Belize. QRPs are also allowed to engage in gainful employment as long as most of their business activity takes place outside Belize and is conducted exclusively with non-residents of Belize. This is especially important for expats who wish to maintain a consulting business from their second home in Belize. QRPs are also allowed to own a business in Belize. It is best to talk to a qualified attorney if you are thinking of doing this.