On 07 June 2022, the Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development (Minister of Finance) tabled the National Budget for the fiscal year 2022-2023 under the theme “With the People, for the People”. The Minister of Finance declared that the avowed ambition of the National Budget is the strengthening our economic growth and guarding ourselves against future “shocks”.
A highlight of the salient measures is set out below.
INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL CENTRE
The Financial Services Commission will be empowered to authorize re-insurance companies set up operations in Mauritius.
FAMILY OFFICES & GLOBAL HEADQUARTERS ADMINISTRATION LICENCES
The Government ambitions to further enhance the Mauritian International Financial Centre through family offices and Global Headquarters Administration licences as follows:
- the minimum portfolio to manage a family office will now be USD 5 million per family office; and
- work and residence permits will be provided to 5 executives and their dependents who hold Global Headquarters Administration licence.
Companies licensed as ‘Global Headquarters Administration', ‘Global Shared services', ‘Global treasury activities' will be regulated and managed separately in line with FATF requirements. Thus, the activities falling within the umbrella of these licences will be removed from the scope of ‘financial services' under the Financial Services Act.
TAX INCENTIVES TO MULTINATIONALS
As part of the Government's efforts against tax base erosion and profit shifting, a domestic minimum top-up tax is being introduced to ensure that resident companies of large multinationals are taxed at a minimum rate of 15%.
In an endeavour to pursue the overhauling of the financial services sector, the Government will adapt the legislative framework to converge the domestic and the global business regime.
ACQUISITION OF RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY BY NON-CITIZENS
Each non-citizen who each invests more than USD 375,000 into a single residential property under ‘fractional ownership' is entitled to apply for the status of residency.
Conversely, a non-citizen will not be authorised to acquire residential property to which he is not entitled through the acquisition of shares. This will be achieved through an amendment to the Non-Citizens (Property Restrictions) Act.
Furthermore, holders of residence permits will be entitled to acquire a residential property of a minimum of USD 350,000 outside the existing schemes, subject to a 10% contribution made to the Solidarity Fund.
ACQUISITION AND/OR DISPOSAL OF SHARES BY NON-CITIZENS
A non-citizen who wishes to acquire or dispose of his shares in a partnership, société or a company must submit to the Registrar General/Conservator of Mortgages a certified copy of the certificate which was issued to him under the Non-Citizens (Property Restriction) Act.
PREMIUM INVESTOR CERTIFICATE
The Registrar General will be empowered to (i) assess duty or tax which would otherwise be payable and (ii) claim the duty or tax applicable to the parties to the transaction in the event that the holder of a Premium Investor Certificate does not use the land acquired under his Premium Investor Certificate.
The Government will support businesses by enabling them to recruit talents under the young professional occupation permit.
A. BANK OF MAURITIUS
The Bank of Mauritius will be authorised to open bank accounts and accept deposits from individuals for the purposes of issuing digital currency.
The Bank of Mauritius will ensure that a bank account can be opened within 1 week whether for an individual or a business.
GRANT OF BANKING LICENCE
The criteria which the Bank of Mauritius will apply in order to grant an in-principle approval for a banking licence will be reviewed. Thus, a banking licence will be granted to an applicant solely when the applicant (i) has fulfilled all conditions and (ii) has submitted all documents which have been requested by the Bank of Mauritius.
BANK OF CHINA
The Bank of Mauritius will launch a regional Renminbi Clearing Centre this year together with Bank of China.
NATIONAL PAYMENTS CORPORATION OF INDIA
The Bank of Mauritius will issue ‘RuPay' cards and Indian QR Code in Mauritius in collaboration with the National Payments Corporation of India.
B. REGISTRAR OF COMPANIES
- The cost associated with incorporation of a company will be removed.
- Henceforth, there will be a prohibition on a company to be registered both in Mauritius and in another jurisdiction simultaneously.
- The Registrar of Companies will be empowered to (i) remove a company from her register of companies when she is of the view that there is no reason for the company to continue its existence and (ii) ease the restoration of a company on her register of companies where the company was still undertaking business at the time that it was removed by the Registrar of Companies.
C. REGISTRAR GENERAL DEPARTMENT
- The Registrar General will be empowered to accept for registration deeds with secure digital signature which comply with the Electronic Transactions Act.
- A company which acquires its own shares will have to pay to the Registrar General, (i) registration duty tax which is payable when a company holding immovable property transfers its shares and (ii) land transfer tax when the transfer of shares in a company leads to a change of control of the company.
C. MAURITIUS REVENUE AUTHORITY
The Mauritius Revenue Authority will be empowered to request information from a Foundation or a Trust to enable the MRA perform the following:
- make an assessment;
- collect tax; or
- comply with any request for the exchange of information under a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement.
Clearly, amidst the current uncertain and unprecedented times which the global village has witnessed, the Mauritian Government has pursued its strategy for building a resilient economy, adaptation and, sustainability by further arming its international financial centre and the nation with the tools to achieve self-sufficiency and be future ready'. This is the new normal.
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