08.03.18

Poland to open consulate in Seychelles

Posted in International relations, Seychelles government at 5:27 pm by Robert Klien

 

Poland plans to open an honorary consulate in Seychelles. This plan was announced on July 31 by the newly accredited Polish ambassador to the country President Danny Faure.

After having presented his credentials to President Faure, the ambassador told journalists that the consulate in Seychelles will be of great benefit to tourists from Poland visiting Seychelles and will also help with trade and commerce between Seychelles and Poland.

Ambassador Bazański said that Poland sells some products to Seychelles also Poland buys some products, like fish, from Seychelles, , but it’s not enough. So finding other possibilities would be of help.

He also extended an invitation to President Faure from his Polish counterpart President Andrzej Duda to attend a climate change conference to be held in Poland in December 2018.

Ambassador Bazański said that President Faure has assured him that he will send a Seychelles delegation to the conference.

Other topics discussed between the ambassador and President Faure included preparations for the 100th anniversary this year of Poland regaining its independence, cooperation in trade, commerce and investment between Poland and Seychelles.

 

07.31.18

Seychelles’ Electoral Commission to audit political parties for monitoring funds usage

Posted in Business and Economy, Seychelles government at 5:17 pm by Robert Klien

The Seychelles’ Electoral Commission plans to audit the expenses of political parties that received funds for their activities.

According to the interim electoral commissioner, Bernard Elisabeth, political parties receive money every quarter depending on the number of seats they have in the National Assembly. “The money is disbursed every 3months in a year to ensure that a follow up is done by the Commission. Some political parties are even receiving 800,000 rupees every 3 months,” he said. There are 11 parties registered with the Electoral Commission. Some of them are not active but are still receiving funds and they need to be accountable for their expenses.

He added that as of now “all political parties receiving funds from the Commission need to submit an auditor’s report with details of all their expanses including a list of their executive members each year.”

According to the Electoral Commission, SCR 6.5 million is budgeted under the consolidated fund to share between political parties based on the number of valid votes gained in the previous election.

In accordance with the current voter’s register, around 63,000 people are eligible to vote out of the 93,000 people residing in Seychelles. Presidential and Parliamentary elections are held every 5 years in Seychelles. In the last Presidential election in December 2015 the candidate of the ruling Parti Lepep, James Michel, obtained 50.15%.

 

01.26.18

President of Seychelles to attend AU summit in Ethiopia

Posted in International relations, Seychelles government at 9:41 pm by Robert Klien

The President of Seychelles, Danny Faure, will be attending the 30th session of the African Union (AU) summit of heads of state which starts on Sunday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, State House said.

President Faure will leave the country on January 27 and return January 29.

According to CNBC Africa, an African television network, “Two critical issues will impact on the relevance of the AU as a regional mechanism: firstly, the continuation of the reforms proposed by Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who is set to chair the organisation in 2018; and secondly, the adoption of a protocol of free movement that will further the integration of the continent.”

Seychelles’ Secretary of State for the Foreign Affairs department, Barry Faure, is attending the AU’s Executive Council 2-day meeting which started on January 25.

Faure spoke on the subject of the implementation of the Africa Agenda 2063 and flagship projects. The Agenda is a framework for the socio-economic transformation of the continent over the next 50 years and the flagship projects are those approved by the AU Summit and seen as very urgent and relevant. According to Faure, while there has been progress in some areas like with the Single African Air Transport Market, he expressed concern that the majority of the projects were encountering delays. He called for robust mechanisms to be put in place to address this

 

01.20.18

Seychelles to chair AML meeting to address “grey-list”issues

Posted in Business and Economy, International Organisations, International relations, Seychelles government at 8:41 pm by Robert Klien

Seychelles is gearing up to hold this year’s Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Group meeting in August while also preparing to take up the presidency of the group, the jurisdiction’s finance minister said.

To prepare for the high-level meeting, Seychelles’ Ministry of Finance is holding frequent meetings with all involved parties to ensure the event goes smoothly from start to finish.

Peter Larose, the Minister for Finance, Trade and Economic Planning, said: “It is important that we plan ahead. I had to call on a number of parties to be able to assist as this is about Seychelles. We need to showcase Seychelles’ style of management, governance system and show the world that we are a capable, responsible and accountable government”.

According to him, the guests will have the opportunity to witness the competitive edge of Seychelles as part of the global village.

Minister said that discussions in this year’s meeting will focus on our compliance with international best practices including preventing money-laundering, tax evasion and combatting the financing of terrorism. “It is part and parcel of our commitment to share information within the group and Africa, and with the rest of the world,” said Larose.

The aim of the group is to combat anti-money laundering by implementing recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF). The organisation sets standards and promotes effective application of AML legal and regulatory measures.

01.02.18

Tax Law changes approved in Seychelles

Posted in Business and Economy, Seychelles government, Seychelles legislation, Seychelles offshore jurisdiction at 8:33 pm by Robert Klien

At an extraordinary meeting of the Seychelles Cabinet in December, a number of legal and tax policy proposals were approved, continuing the jurisdiction’s progress in reforming its tax regime and bolstering its economy.

According to a Ministry of Finance statement that was released following the meeting: “Cabinet approved policies relating to the Progressive Income Tax Law. The aim of these policies are to simplify income tax collection. Cabinet also approved the amendment to the Excise Tax Bill. The amendments would harmonize the categories of business and persons entitled to fuel concessions under the Excise Tax Act 2009.”

Also, administrative changes were approved to the Seychelles Revenue Commission Act and the Customs Management Bill with a view to allow for the renaming of certain posts, as well as to allow for the creation of a Revenue Commission Board.

On December 13, 2017, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a new Policy Coordination Instrument (PCI) for Seychelles. The 3-year arrangement with the IMF will allow the Government of the Seychelles to receive intensive support with regard to developing and implementing pro-growth economic policies.

The previous review of the economy held by the IMF in October 2017 said that while the Seychelles has made remarkable progress on enhancing its finance and economy, it still faces vulnerabilities and pressures, as a small island economy in a challenging global economic environment.

09.30.17

Seychelles’ situation getting better, IMF says

Posted in Business and Economy, International Organisations, Seychelles government at 4:31 pm by Robert Klien

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Seychelles has made “remarkable progress” on strengthening its economy and finances.

Since the 2008 financial crisis, the jurisdiction has been working with the IMF to improve its economy and reform its fiscal policies. According to the IMF,  these actions have driven “strong economic growth as well as noticeable improvement in fiscal and external position as well as a reduction in debt.”

The IMF said that Seychelles’ economic performance has been robust in 2017, adding that the primary fiscal surplus for the year is expected to reach 2.5% of GDP in line with the authorities’ target. So, it noted that “Growth outlook for 2018 remains positive, buoyed by the tourism sector”.

However, the IMF warned that “Seychelles still faces vulnerabilities and pressures, as a small island economy in a challenging global economic environment.” In order to manage these issues, the jurisdiction has entered into a 3-year arrangement with the IMF to receive intensive support on developing and implementing pro-growth economic policies.

The IMF discussed a number of potential measures with the authorities of Seychelles aimed to ensure continued fiscal discipline and progress towards the debt reduction goals.

07.26.17

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.

07.24.17

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.

06.05.17

Seychelles introduces penalties for late Business Activity Statements

Posted in Business and Economy, Seychelles government at 7:13 pm by Robert Klien

As of June 1, the Seychelles Revenue Commission had been applying penalties for late submission of business activity statements (BAS).

Through the business activity statements, businesses must report and pay a number of taxes, such as goods and services tax, pay-as-you-go (PAYG) tax installments, PAYG withholding, excise tax for locally manufactured goods, and income and non-monetary benefits tax.

Following the entry into force of Statutory Instrument 1 of 2017, the following penalties apply from June 1:

– SCR500 (USD36) in the case of a small business, plus SCR50 for each week or part of a week that the form is not furnished;
– SCR1,000 for medium businesses, plus SCR100 for each week or part of a week; or
– SCR5,000 in the case of a large business, plus SCR500 for each week or part of a week.

05.15.17

Seychelles alters Tax Exemption for 13th month salary

Posted in Business and Economy, Seychelles government, Seychelles legislation, Seychelles offshore jurisdiction at 7:16 pm by Robert Klien

The Seychelles Government has recently published legislation in the Official Gazette to amend the jurisdiction’s individual tax regime.

Published in the Official Gazette on April 13, 2017, the Income and Non-Monetary Benefits Tax Act (Exemption) Order, 2017, sets the value of 13th month pay that an employee can receive tax-free at SCR10,000 (USD733).

Payments in excess of this amount will be subject to tax at 15%.

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