01.13.17

IMF says Seychelles Needs to Boost Revenue

Posted in International Organisations, International relations at 6:22 pm by Robert Klien

On January 11, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) indicated that Seychelles will need to take further measures aimed to increase tax revenue over the medium term.

With strong economic activity continuing in Seychelles, the IMF it expects the country’s primary surplus – the surplus before accounting for the cost of interest on debt – is to reach 3% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016, despite the expansionary impact of the fiscal initiatives announced in the State of the Nation Address in early 2016. Those measures included personal income tax (PIT) cuts and increases in pensions and the minimum wage.

The IMF confirmed that “the State of the Nation Address initiatives entailed substantial fiscal costs, around 3% of GDP on a full-year basis.” The PIT reforms were designed by the Government of Seychelles to reduce the tax burden on low-income earners and, on a phased basis, make the tax system more progressive.

The IMF noted that the proposed 2017 Budget includes some measures to moderate the impact of the initiatives, including a new property tax on foreigners’ land ownership in Seychelles, and realignments to the presumptive tax rate and to the tax rate on profits made by individual businesses. However, its opinion was that “additional and permanent measures to boost revenue and contain expenditure will be needed to ensure a steady debt reduction over the medium term.”

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