QROPS Belize. UK Pension Transfers for British Expats in Belize
British expats living in Belize or wishing to retire in Belize can now transfer their UK pension into a QROPS Belize to maximize pension tax relief. British expatriates living or working in Belize can take advantage of their offshore status and transfer their UK pension offshore to somewhere secure like the Malta, an EU state and will no longer have to pay UK taxes on their pension as long as they stay offshore.
With 8,867 square miles of land and a population of only 333,200 people, Belize possesses the lowest population density in Central America. The country’s population growth rate of 2.21% (2008 est.), however, is the highest in the region and one of the highest in the western hemisphere.
Belize’s abundance of terrestrial and marine species, and its diversity of ecosystems give it a key place within the globally significant Mesoamerican Biological Corridor.
Belize is culturally unique among its Central American neighbours; it is the only nation in the region with a British colonial heritage. As a part of the Western Caribbean Zone, however, it also shares a common heritage with the Caribbean portions of other Central American countries. In general, Belize is considered to be a Central American nation with strong ties to both the Caribbean and Latin America. Belize is a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Sistema de la Integración Centroamericana (SICA).
Why live or retire in Belize as a British expat?
For a start, English is the official language of Belize, a former British colony. Nearly 80% of locals are Christians. About 2,000 Brits live in Belize. Belize (formerly British Honduras) is a constitutional monarchy and the northernmost Central American nation. Belize has a diverse society, comprising many cultures and languages. Belize is the only country in Central America where English is the official language. Belize is bordered to the north by Mexico, south and west by Guatemala, and to the east by the Caribbean Sea.
Belize has a tropical climate with pronounced wet and dry seasons, although there are significant variations in weather patterns by region. Hurricanes have played key—and devastating—roles in Belizean history. The Caribbean coast is lined with a coral reef and some 450 islets and islands known locally as cayes (pronounced “keys”).
A combination of natural factors—climate, the Belize Barrier Reef, over 1,000 offshore Cayes (islands), excellent fishing, safe waters for boating, scuba diving, and snorkeling, numerous rivers for rafting, and kayaking, various jungle and wildlife reserves of fauna and flora, for hiking, bird watching, and helicopter touring, as well as many Maya ruins—support the thriving tourism and ecotourism industry. Belizean cuisine is inspired by
British, Mexican and Western Caribbean cooking. The basic ingredients are rice and beans, which are often eaten with chicken, pork, veal, fish or vegetables.
If you are living in Belize at the moment, you can take advantage of your offshore address in order to move your UK pension into a QROPS to avoid further UK taxes down the line. A QROPS is a great vehicle to avoid UK taxes if you are considering living or retiring in Belize and have a decent sized pension pot sitting in the UK.
QROPS Belize. Pension Tax Relief for British Expats
What are the benefits of a QROPS Pension Transfer for British expats?
• Avoid UK income tax
• Avoid UK dividends tax
• Avoid UK capital gains tax (CGT)
• Avoid 55% tax upon death after drawing benefits
• Currency choice. You can choose to have your pension transferred to a QROPS denominated in USD, EUR or keep it in GBP
• Have the ability to make higher returns with freedom of investment
• Family Protection: Upon death, the entire pension pot gets passed on to your nearest and dearest
• Security: The pension is held in a secure jurisdiction such as Malta which is under the protection of the British Crown, but has its own strong financial regulations which are tax efficient
What is a QROPS Belize?
A Qualifying Recognized Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS Belize) allows your UK pension to be transferred offshore to reduce your tax burden. Effectively, you will no longer pay UK tax on your pension whilst you are offshore and after 5 years of living offshore, the reporting requirements to HMRC cease.
What is the economy like in Belize?
Although a number of economically important minerals exist in Belize, none has been found in quantities large enough to warrant their mining. These minerals include dolomite, barite (source of barium), bauxite (source of aluminium), cassiterite (source of tin), and gold. In 1990 limestone, used in road-building, was the only mineral resource being exploited for either domestic or export use. Petroleum exploration had dwindled and Belize imports most of its oil.
Belize has a small, essentially private enterprise economy that is based primarily on agriculture, agro-based industry, and merchandising, with tourism and construction recently assuming greater importance. In 2006, the exploitation of a newly discovered crude oil field near the town of Spanish Lookout, has presented new prospects and problems for this developing nation. It has yet to be seen if significant economic expansion will be made by this. To date, oil production equal 3,000 bbl/d (480 m3/d) (2007 est.) and oil exports equal 1,960 bbl/d (312 m3/d) (2006 est.). The country is a producer of industrial minerals. Sugar, the chief crop, accounts for nearly half of exports, while the banana industry is the country’s largest employer. Belize has five commercial banks, of which the largest and oldest is Belize Bank. The other four banks are Heritage Bank, Atlantic Bank, FirstCaribbean International Bank, and Scotiabank (Belize). iGolder, a private online gold exchange, is Belize’s newest Bank
QROPS in Belize for British Expatriates. Tax tips in Belize
Do I need to move my pension to Belize?
No. Your pension can be transferred to a secure jurisdiction such as Malta where it will be out of the UK tax system.
Do I need to live and retire in Belize?
No, you can live anywhere offshore. As long as you are outside the UK, your QROPS will grow free of UK tax. If you ever return to live permanently in the UK, your pension will simply return to UK Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) rules and you would often pay lower taxes due to time apportionment relief and the larger lump sum you can take.
For enquiries, please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Tax tips for British expats in Belize; QROPS Belize article written by QROPS Specialists.