Seychelles hosts meeting of legal experts of Central Banks in SADC region

Posted in Business and Economy at 7:18 pm by Robert Klien

Legal and economic experts of Central Banks of the SADC (Southern African Development Community) region met in Seychelles for their annual meeting at the beginning of the last week.

The Governor of the Central Bank of Seychelles, Caroline Abel, officially opened the deliberations of the legal sub-committee of the Committee of Central Bank Governors (CCBG) of the SADC region on July 24 at the Savoy Seychelles Resort.

This meeting aims at the harmonisation of laws that will ultimately add value to and facilitate trade within the SADC region.

In an interview with the press following the opening ceremony, the chairman of the SADC CCBG legal sub-committee, Webster Madera from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, highlighted some of the common grounds, including the Central Bank Model Law, which has been approved by the CCBG and is currently being incorporated within the local laws of the respective countries, as well as the SIRESS Payment System, which will facilitate payment within SADC countries.

Another important issue discussed is the mainstreaming of the principle of what is referred to as a “cooling-off period”. Governor Abel explained to the press that this is an important issue for Seychelles, as it has to do with a set period of time that a governor or other senior officers of a Central Bank has to stay out of employment in the financial sector after leaving their post.

“The employment market in Seychelles is very small and we really have to consider the constitutional right of a person to employment, while ensuring that no financial institution receives an unfair advantage over others by employing a former Central staff who has just left the post and who is in possession of critical information with regard to the financial sector in Seychelles,” said Ms Abel.

The SADC CCBG legal sub-committee meeting ended on July 25.


Seychelles to announce SME Tax Cuts in Budget

Posted in Business and Economy, Seychelles government at 7:08 pm by Robert Klien

Government ministers from the Seychelles have met with local businesses to discuss reforming and potentially enhancing the tax incentives for businesses and in particular SMEs.

According to the Government of the Seychelles, the meeting had been held ahead of the release of a 2018 Budget. It said that the Government is investigating ways to harmonize existing tax breaks, including those under the VAT, trade tax, excise tax, business tax, and income tax regimes.

It was indicated that the Government favors lowering taxes for small- and medium-sized firms (SMEs). A reduction to the 15% VAT rate on insurance policies was discussed, in order to make such products more affordable for all, especially for the needs of SMEs.


Seychelles urged to hike Taxes on Tourism Services Firms

Posted in Business and Economy, International Organisations, Seychelles government at 7:08 pm by Robert Klien

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Seychelles has scope to further increase its tax revenue despite already having a relatively high tax-to-GDP ratio.

The IMF said that while Seychelles collects more in tax than other tourism-dependent island countries, its business tax-to-GDP ratio has been hovering around 4.25-5.5%, down from a peak at 7.1% in 2011. It noted that the jurisdiction should limit tax incentives for tourism-related companies, saying that the policies including taxing businesses in the sector at a rate of 15%, compared with 30% to 33% for other companies, had reduced tax collections by 0.5% of GDP.

Elsewhere the IMF welcomed the country’s plans for a property tax but said that it should be “non-discriminatory and should minimize distortions.” Seychelles is also considering the introduction of a sugar tax in its November budget and has delayed the introduction of a progressive personal income tax until January 1, 2018.

Significant reforms were announced in Seychelles in December 2016 Budget. They included the introduction of a new property tax will be introduced on land ownership in Seychelles, to be levied only on foreigners, and purchases of private land by foreigners will also attract a high stamp duty. Also, there were comprehensive changes proposed covering the personal and corporate income tax regimes.