BTL holds off on GST implementation Print E-mail
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Thursday, 05 April 2018 00:00

BTL, which is Government owned and controlled on behalf of the people of Belize, will be absorbing the new GST cost for all their internet related services. They are doing so by offering BTL customers special promotional rates to keep your telecommunication bill at the same amount.

During the March 9, Budget speech, for the 2018-2019 Budget, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced, “GST is to apply to the purchase of data services by telecom clients.”

This change took effect on April 1, which means that all BTL customers who buy 4GLTE data for their cellular phones, or those who have high speed internet at their homes or business places, are now taxable. When the BTL promotion on these services end, customers will be required to pay the 12.5 General Sales Tax to the Government of Belize.

So, let’s disregard the huge relief that BTL is offering its customers at this time. When that promotion ends, prepaid customers who buy data for their cellular phones will be required to pay GST on that service. The packages offered will remain the same. All prices will go up by as much as 12.5%, which is the GST that the Government will now collect. So, for example a prepaid data package which used to cost $2, will now cost $2.25.

Digicell Post-paid customers, in all categories such as Lite, Plus, Elite, or Max, will also have to pay 12.5% GST on the data service.

Broadband services such as high speed internet, such as BTL’s new high-speed connection, DigiNet, as well as DSL, will also be taxable. Both residential customers and business customers will have to pay the 12.5% tax on their bill. So, customers should start calculating how much more you’ll be required to pay on your internet bills, once this promotion ends.

Brittany Young, BTL’s Mobile Product Manager, told the press that this promotion was put in place to assist their customers to prepare for the transition. Its intent is to prepare customers for the increase in their internet bills that is on the way down the road.

It is a temporary measure, and it will come to an end, but for now, customers of these services can rest easy knowing that their bill will remain the same.

Customers of other internet services providers will most likely not be getting this relief, and in their next bill, they should expect that their internet costs to go up by 12.5% for the GST.