General Knowledge About Offshore Companies

Are offshore companies required to keep books, financial records, prepare audit?

If You would not be required to keep and officially file all those numerous financial reports and tax forms, how much financial recording would You do at Your own will? Some, but probably much less, right? Therefore, most offshore tax havens, while not requiring any financial records to be officially filed, still have some basic requirements as to book and record keeping for the international business companies. Such requirements are usually fairly simple and easy to comply with. They rather reflect what a reasonable offshore company owner would keep for his company even if not requested by law.

Belize Accounting Records (Maintenance) Act 2013 defines what records must be kept: “accounting records” include financial statements, general and subsidiary ledgers, sales slips, contracts, invoices, records and documentation relating to the entity’s assets and liabilities, all sums of money received and expended, all sales, purchases and financial transactions. The records must be kept in the office of the Registered Agent, however, upon decision of the director or other competent persons of the entity, they can be kept in another location within or outside Belize. If the records are kept outside the office of the Registered Agent, they must be provided upon request should the Authority make such request. The records must be kept for not less than five years after the closure of the account, end of the transaction or termination of the business relationship.

As it usually is, proper records provide the company owners with extra peace of mind. This aspect becomes specifically important when an offshore corporation is owned by several individuals.

As per recent legislation changes for companies with physical presence law requires to file annual tax return and pay monthly business tax. For companies with no physical presence law requires to file annual tax return only if income/receipts are sourced from Belize. Otherwise it is optional to file annual tax return. Company may be required to prepare audit in case if annual "receipts" are 6.000.000 USD or more.