BISL wins 1st round in court vs GOB

By Alexis R. Milan Staff Reporter

The Belize International Services Limited (BISL) received a ruling in its favour Wednesday against the Government of Belize in a case regarding the payment of taxes by the International Business Company (IBC).

Justice Shona Griffith ruled in the Supreme Court that, BISL because of its IBC status, was exempt from paying the taxes that the government has been demanding.

Government lawyers allege that BISL owed $30 million in taxes for a period from 1993 to 2013.

According to BISL’s attorney, Eamon Courtenay, the judge found the assessment to be an unlawful assessment so she dismissed the claim by Income Tax Commissioner Kent Clare.

Courtenay said the government argued that BISL was not an IBC because it conducted business with Belizean residents, but Justice Griffith ruled that that argument was wrong.

Courtenay also explained that there is another case still pending before Justice Arana regarding the government takeover of the two registries that were managed by BISL, namely, the International Business Companies Registry and the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize (IMMARBE).
Courtenay said they are seeking compensation for damages from the takeover and added that the ruling by Justice Griffith will be helpful in that case as well.

The Government of Belize took over the IBC Registry and IMMARBE in June 2013 and then levied the $30 million tax against BISL under provisions of the Income and Business Tax Act.

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