1. MAURITIUS INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL SECTOR
Protected Cell Company and Variable Capital Company
- The scope of Variable Capital Companies has been extended to include family offices and wealth management.
- No recourse to assets of other cells or non-cellular assets of the protected cell company by the MRA for the recovery of tax owed.
- Each sub-fund or special purpose vehicle of a variable capital company will be treated as a separate entity for the purpose of recovery of tax.
- Partial exemption threshold
- Increase of 15% (from 80% to 95%) in the partial exemption threshold for interest income earned by a Collective Investment Scheme or a Closed End Fund created in Mauritius.
Virtual Asset and Initial Token Offering Services
- Virtual Asset Custodian will be allowed to hold custody of securities tokens.
- Empowering the FSC to make Rules for the setting up of a Virtual Asset Register on virtual asset service providers.
- A virtual asset service provider and an issuer of initial token offerings will have to report annually to the MRA a transaction made by an individual, a société or succession exceeding MUR 250,000 or transactions exceeding in the aggregate MUR 2 million in a year. As regards a corporate, the threshold will be MUR 500,000 and MUR 4 million respectively.
Ease of doing business
- Implementation of a unique identification number for each firm and company by the Economic Development Board (EDB), Corporate and firm Registration Department, and the MRA, to be utilised by all government agencies.
- Consolidation of Mauritius International Financial Centre (“MIFC”)
- Introduction of a Wealth Manager and Family Officer licence to Private Banking.
- New framework to support the licencing and operation of Electronic Money Institutions.
- Making Mauritius more attractive for Funds domiciled locally by permitting such Fund structures to invest in loans or similar debt instruments such as bonds, fixed deposits, debentures and other securities.
The Companies Act will be amended to:
- Clarify that service address of a company has to be in Mauritius;
- Establish a time limit of one month from the date of resignation or death of the last remaining director, for shareholders of a company to appoint new directors, failing which the Registrar of Companies will remove that company from the Register;
- Require a company to send its annual report to shareholders at least 21 days, instead of 14 days, prior to the annual meeting;
- Enable a company to send its annual report and financial statements electronically coupled with a right for shareholders to request for a hard copy of the documents; and
- Provide that a meeting of shareholders and voting may be done in such manner as the Registrar of Companies may approve.
Financial Services Act
The Financial Services Act will be amended to:
- Provide that the FSC can enter into arrangements and extend assistance to a foreign supervisory institution if that institution satisfies relevant confidentiality requirements imposed by the FSC;
- Require moneylenders to comply with any requirement of the FSC instead of prudential requirements;
- Align sanctions for non-payment of administrative penalties with that of non-payment of licence fees;
- Provide for the delegation of the Chief Executive’s power to issue directions for the purpose of an investigation;
- Remove the Chief Executive as a member of the Settlement Committee to avoid possibility of conflict;
- Enhance the role of Management Companies with respect to ensuring compliance of their clients with relevant laws;
- Clarify that the issuance of a certificate of good standing is also applicable to Authorised Companies;
- Provide for the electronic filing of documents by licencees;
- Provide that recovery of annual fees and late charges due to the FSC will not be time barred to enhance recovery capacity of the FSC; and
- Empower the FSC to make Rules on obligations and responsibilities of holders of a Management licence.
- Ombudsperson for Financial Services Act
- The Ombudsperson for Financial Services Act will be amended to exclude financial services not licenced by the BOM and the FSC from the purview of the Ombudsperson for Financial Services.
2. FISCAL MEASURES
- The individual income tax rate has been reviewed as per table below:
- Note: The income tax allowance for dependents has remained unchanged
- Solidary Levy contributions for individuals have been removed.
- Minimum wage has been increased from MUR 12,075 to MUR 15,000.
- The monthly CSG income allowance of MUR 1,000 is maintained until next fiscal year for individuals earning up to MUR 50,000 monthly. For individuals earning up to MUR 25,000, the allowance has been increased to MUR 2,000.
- For all those who have a revenue, including the CSG income allowance of less than MUR 15,000, Government will top-up a maximum of MUR 1,425 monthly.
The negative excise duty of 10% will be extended up to June 2024.
Increase in the excise duty by 10% for alcohol and cigarettes.
The MRA will build a developer's site to test the Electronic Billing Systems (EBS) in order to make sure that billing is carried out consistently and without mistakes.
The Tax Arrears Settlement Scheme will be extended for a period of one year and penalties will be waived.
The Income Tax Act will be amended to broaden the scope of TDS to cover payments to
- Insurance companies 3%
- Panel beaters
- Spray painters for repairs of motor vehicles of policy holders
- Interior Decorator/Designer 5%
Tax Deduction at Source will not apply on fees paid to
(a) A Management Company licensed by the Financial Services Commission (FSC); and
(b) An Investment Adviser licenced by the FSC.
3. WORK AND LIVE IN MAURITIUS
Occupational and residence permit
- An applicant for an occupation permit will be allowed a business visa of 120 days without having to leave Mauritius;
- The threshold to obtain an occupation permit for professionals will now be MUR 30,000 instead of MUR 60,000.
- Obtaining an occupation permit will no longer be conditional on having a local bank account.
- Retired non-citizens will be required to open a local bank account within 2 months’ time upon application for residence permit. A certified bank statement showing proof of source of funds would be accepted at the time of application together with a written undertaking to open a local bank account within two months’ time.
- The Young Professional Occupation Permit will be now opened to all fields of study.
- Introduction of a silent consent principle of 4 weeks for work permits applications with relevant professional bodies.
- Non-citizens on a tourist or business visa will be allowed to apply for a work permit.
- For sale of immovable property outside of schemes to Resident non-citizen, the minimum value of a residential property acquired by a resident non-citizen will be increased from USD 350,000 to USD 500,000. Only one property may be acquired by the main holder of a resident permit and not his or her spouse or children.
- A non-citizen and his family will be allowed to acquire residential property of a minimum price of USD 375,000 under the Sustainable City Scheme (a new scheme to be introduced).
- A residence permit to be granted to a retired non-citizen and his family on the acquisition of a property in a PDS project relating to senior living, provided that the acquisition price exceeds USD 200,000 and the non-citizen is aged above 50 years old.
- Medical patients and retirees as well as up to two accompanying caretakers will be eligible for a premium visa;
- Foreign retirees above 60 years old will have access to medical insurance;
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