Taxes

The hotel tax in Belize is 9%, and a 12.5% Goods and Services Tax (GST) is charged on meals, tours, and other purchases at the hotel, along with most other purchases in Belize including car rentals, tours, and purchases at stores. The GST is supposed to be included in the cost of meals, goods, and services, but many businesses add on GST like a sales tax instead. Very small shops and street vendors are not required to collect GST.

When departing the country by international air, even on a short hop to Flores, Guatemala, you'll pay US$39.25 departure tax and fees. However, most international airlines include the departure tax in the airline ticket price. Don't pay twice—check your airline to see if the tax is included.

When leaving Belize by land to either Guatemala or Mexico, there's a border exit fee totaling BZ$40 or US$20. This may be paid in either U.S. dollars or Belize dollars, but not by credit card. For departures by boat to Guatemala, Mexico or Honduras, you pay a BZ$7.50 conservation fee, in U.S. or Belize dollars. Those in transit through Belize, staying less than 24 hours, can avoid paying the BZ$7.50 conservation fee but have to fork out other taxes and fees.

Some Guatemalan hotels and some tourist restaurants charge a 10% to 22% tourist tax, though others include this VAT in the price. The Guatemala airport-departure tax is US$30, plus about US$3 security fee. Guatemalan border officials in the past have asked for a Q20 fee (about US$2.50) when entering Guatemala at Melchor de Mencos. However, in 2016 this entrance fee was not being charged; there is no exit fee by land from Guatemala.

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