Seychelles Revenue Commission introduces tax reform update

Posted in Seychelles government, Seychelles legislation at 5:07 pm by Robert Klien

As from January 1, 2010, the Seychelles Revenue Commission introduced a Seychelles Business Number (SBN) and a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).

According to the Commission, SBN and the new GST system will be introduced by the government of Seychelles in 2012. A new goods and services tax (GST) system will be introduced on January 1, 2012 and will be akin to the value-added tax (VAT) in countries such as the United Kingdom. The SBN will be an important part of this new tax system that will give taxpayers the opportunity and the time to familiarize themselves with the SBN as well as to register their business in preparation.

It should be noted that, as regards the registration to obtain an SBN, nothing has changed. However, in the state-of-the-nation address on February 26, 2010, President James Michel said anounced a phasing-in of the SBN.

From January 1, 2010, there was a withholding obligation where a business sold goods or services without quoting their SBN on invoices over R5,000. However, this is no longer in place. This change is effective from January 1, 2010.

In addition to the SBN, the Seychelles Revenue Commission has introduced a Tax Identification Number (TIN) as part of the tax reform programme. The TIN will replace the old Business Tax ID and Social Security number.


Seychelles’ President visits Central Bank

Posted in Seychelles banking, Seychelles government at 4:57 pm by Robert Klien

On March 25, President James Michel visited the Central Bank of Seychelles. Mr Michel said that it is an example of how an institution can empower young Seychellois in playing a key role in the economy of the jurisdiction.

As regards wide acclaim that the Seychelles rupee has received from foreign investor guides and media, Mr Michel said that the employees of the Central Bank should go on developing their competence to help the bank carry out its mission of a better economy in a competitive environment. The President said that the global recognition of rupee as a strong performer, which was reported in the international media, reflects the success of the economic reforms initiated by him in 2008.

Also, Mr Michel noted that Seychelles has been a leader in many fields such as in the environment and human resources development.


Seychelles’ offshore investment potential appreciated by China

Posted in Business and Economy, Foreign investments, International relations, Offshore Services, Seychelles offshore jurisdiction, SIBA at 11:50 am by Robert Klien

On March 10, a seminar on Seychelles’ offshore investment potential was held in Beijing. The theme of the seminar was: “Seychelles offshore planning for China companies in 2010 – how to maximize your company value through offshore practices”.

Around 120 Chinese professionals from the offshore sector along with several high-level officials were attracted by the event. Henry Liu, executive director of the Eastern Africa Investment Department, China-Africa Development Fund, was one of them.

The seminar was jointly organised by Seychelles’ embassy in China and the Seychelles International Business Authority (SIBA).

Conrad Benoiton, managing director of Appleby Corporate Services, chaired the meeting. Other speakers included Laurence Lipsher, a US expert on Chinese taxation; Jennifer Sullivan, head of financial services supervision and economist Hilda Palconit, both from the Central Bank of Seychelles; and Anuj Sharma, director of Abacus Seychelles. Barclays Bank was represented by its commercial director John Esther. Also, many Seychellois offshore services providers took part in the seminar.

With the help of a delegation from SIBA, headed by chief executive and managing director Steve Fanny, all the participants had a chance to meet representatives of Chinese companies showing interest in Seychelles’ offshore opportunities. As a result, all Seychellois and Chinese delegates were optimistic about the potential of the event to make Seychelles more distinctly noticeable as a very competitive offshore jurisdiction.


Change of legislation reflects pledge to counter piracy

Posted in Seychelles legislation at 11:57 am by Robert Klien

Minister Joel Morgan said that moves to amend the Penal Code prove the government’s commitment to countering piracy. On March 16, Morgan was speaking in the National Assembly to present the Penal Code (Amendment) Bill that will define the action of piracy and empower the attorney-general to prosecute offences regardless of whether they are committed in or outside the jurisdiction.

The Minister for Environment, Natural Resources and Transport, as well as the head of the High-Level Committee on Piracy said that the amendments update an English law of 1843.

Morgan explained that there is a need to take measures to counter piracy as the situation is getting worse that is revealed by up to 10 attacks by suspected pirates around Seychelles’ exclusive economic zone in the last 10-12 days. The existing laws were not well-suited to the situation like this, while the amended law includes a number of provisions of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. With the changes, courts in Seychelles will be given the power to impose a punishment of 30 years in prison and a fine of R1 million on a person committing the offence of piracy or attempting or conspiring to commit piracy.


IMF expects continued progress for Seychelles

Posted in International Organisations at 11:41 am by Robert Klien

The new head of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) mission to Seychelles, Jean Le Dem, expects that the jurisdiction’s rapid economic recovery will continue.

In the middle of March, Mr Le Dem was introduced to President James Michel by his predecessor Paul Mathieu. The IMF’s head said that his team will come in May in order to review the programme. They will study Seychelles’ success story and then spend 2 weeks assessing how the programme has been running since the last evaluation. After that, they will return every 6 months.

Mr Mathieu noted that having been involved with Seychelles since July 2008 was a great pleasure for him. According to him, “one of the pleasures of working with Seychelles has been the dramatic success of the reforms, with major changes in economic and financial policies”.

He said the results were also very fast in stabilising the exchange rate and reducing the budget deficit to end up with a surplus.