The Finance (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2018 (the “Bill”) was presented in the Parliament with a view to making amendments to relevant legislations for the adoption of the measures announced by the Honourable Minister of Finance in his budget speech. The Bill is yet to be published in the official gazette before it is enacted.
Whilst there are changes in the Bill which require additional clarification from the Mauritian Authorities, we provide you with a summary of the main measures pertaining to the global business sector.
GLOBAL BUSINESS SECTOR
1. Global Business Company
There will be only one type of global business licence company, namely the Global Business
Company (“GBC”) as from 1st January 2019:
A GBC shall at all times:
- carry out the core income generating activities in or from Mauritius by:
- employing either directly or indirectly a reasonable number of suitably qualified persons to carry out the core activities; and
- having a minimum level of expenditure, which is proportionate to its level of activities
- be managed and controlled from Mauritius; and
- be administered by a Management Company.
Transitional period available for GBC 1 and GBC 2 companies as follows:
GBC 1 licence issue date
On or before 16 October 2017
Grandfathered up to 30 June 2021
After 16 October 2017
Grandfathered up to 31 December 2018
GBC 2 licence issue date
On or before 16 October 2017
Grandfather up to 30 June 2021
After 16 October 2017
Grandfather up to 31 December 2018
2. Authorised Company
The introduction of a new type of Company and the following conditions shall be met to be categorised as an Authorised Company:
- The majority of shares or voting rights are held or controlled by a person who is not a citizen of Mauritius and such company:
- proposes to conduct or conducts business principally outside Mauritius (under certain activities)
- has its place of effective management outside Mauritius
- an application for an authorisation shall be made through a Management Company
- It should be administered by a Management Company
- It should have a registered agent in Mauritius which shall be a Management Company
CORPORATE TAX – GLOBAL BUSINESS COMPANY AND DOMESTIC
- As from January 2019, deemed Foreign Tax Credit (“FTC”) regime which is currently available for Category 1 Global Business Licence companies will be abolished
- The introduction of 80% exemption regime on the following types of income:
- On foreign dividend, subject the amount is not allowed as deduction in source of country
- On foreign source of interest income
- On profit attributable to a permanent establishment which a resident company has in a foreign country
- Foreign source of income derived by a Collective Investment Scheme, Closed End Funds, CIS Manager, CIS administrator, investment adviser or asset manager licensed or approved by the Financial Services Commission. (“FSC”)
- Income derived from overseas by companies engaged in ship and aircraft leasing provided the company satisfies the required conditions
- The 80% exemption shall be available upon meeting pre-defined substance requirements issued by the FSC
Value Added Tax
Deferred payment of VAT at importation
- The Director General may defer payment of VAT at importation on capital goods, being plant and machinery, imported by a VAT registered person
- Where VAT deferred at importation is not declared as output tax in the taxable period in which the VAT is deferred, the deferred VAT shall become due and payable under the Customs Act
Refund of VAT upon cancellation of registration
- On cancellation of registration, the registered person shall pay any tax due including tax on any capital goods exceeding MUR 100,000 forming part of the assets of the business (except on motor cars/vehicles of less than 9 persons) for own use or consumption.
Additional VAT assessment
- The Director General of the Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) may make an additional assessment where it is found that tax has been under claimed or the excess to be carried forward has been overstated.
Tax Deduction at source (TDS)
TDS shall be applicable on the following:
- Commission payments: 3%
- Rent payable to non-residents: 10%
- Freeport operator and private Freeport developers will no longer be exempted from income tax.
- Re-export and export of goods no longer be carried out in the Freeport.
- Freight forwarding services, manufacturing and global trading are no longer permitted activities in the Freeport zone.
OTHER KEY MEASURES
An investor investing at least USD 500,000 in qualifying business activity were granted a Permanent Residence Permit. The list of qualifying business activity has been extended to include: Artificial Intelligence, Biotechnology, Fintech and Robotics. However, ‘insurance’ has been removed from the list.
The Securities Act has been amended to allow the FSC to make Rules to cater for any new market participants in securities exchanges.
The Insurance Act has been amended to allow an insurance manager to manage domestic insurance business.
Captive Insurance Act
The Captive Insurance Act has been amended to be in conformity with the substance requirements of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).