Category: Mauritius

INVESTIGATION: How MTN ships billions abroad, paying less tax in Nigeria

MTN has consistently prided itself as the foremost telephone company that is getting Nigerians talking the most. Now the South African company is about to set tongues wagging across networks with revelations that it has routinely been shipping billions of naira overseas to avoid paying its fair share of tax… – Continue reading

East Africa: Rwanda Taxman Moves to Catch Tax Evaders

Rwanda has commissioned an audit into recent merger and acquisition deals involving foreign firms in its latest effort to clamp down on tax avoidance among multinational corporations. This comes amid growing concern that multinational companies move profits from the countries where they are generated and, in so doing, reduce national… – Continue reading

India fails to get to root of black money problem

The Indian government’s initial unsuccessful efforts to unearth billions of dollars of undeclared foreign assets – some believed to be hidden in Swiss banks – highlight the complexity of vehicles used to move money illicitly. Earlier in the year, a new law on black money came into effect. It included… – Continue reading

Mauritius eyes Africa as pressure mounts on offshore business

Mauritius beats Singapore as the world’s top route for foreign investment to India and is a hub for thousands of firms managing half a trillion dollars in assets. But there are only a sprinkling of office blocks in Ebene Cybercity, the heart of the tiny Indian Ocean island’s financial services… – Continue reading

Tax executives set to convene

Business Reporter Tax administrators from all over Africa are set to meet from October 20 to 22 2015 in Lomé, Togo under the auspices of the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF),the premier tax organisation on the continent,which holds its 2nd International Conference on Tax in Africa (2ICTA). The gathering of… – Continue reading

Mauritius Wants To Be To Africa What Dubai Is To The Middle East

Concerned about the impact of tax havens, world powers are tightening the noose on multinationals seeking tax advantages. India wants changes to its tax treaty with Mauritius, forcing the island’s new government to re-examine its business model and focus elsewhere. There is debate in the new government, which took office… – Continue reading

MTN bullies SA with jobs threat

South Africa is allowing MTN potentially lucrative tax credits on money sent from its African operations to a letterbox company in Mauritius. Last week, amaBhungane and Finance Uncovered, a global reporting project, exposed how MTN’s African subsidiaries send billions in management fees to MTN International in Mauritius. The Mauritian entity… – Continue reading

Mauritius plans derivatives platform in bid for African business – minister

EBENE, Mauritius, Oct 12 (Reuters) – Mauritius plans to launch a trading platform to hedge African currencies against the U.S. dollar, part of a bid to expand its role as a financial hub for the continent, the financial services minister said. The Indian Ocean island is also in talks to… – Continue reading

Ramaphosa and MTN’s offshore stash

Emmanuel Mayah, Jeff Mbanga, Francis Kokutse and Nick Mathiason contributed to this joint investigation by the M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism (amaBhungane) and Finance Uncovered, a global reporting project involving journalists in 54 countries. Shortly after Cyril Ramaphosa left MTN to become South Africa’s deputy president last year, he lashed… – Continue reading

Uganda: How MTN Uganda’s Offshore Stash Sent URA On the Hunt

MTN Uganda has been accused of failing to provide evidence to justify shifting huge amounts of cash out of Uganda to a briefcase company located in Mauritius, potentially lowering its tax bill in Uganda – the subject of which remains an ongoing dispute with Uganda Revenue Authority, it has emerged…. – Continue reading

Foreign allies to help Modi government dig deeper into black money data

NEW DELHI: India has found global allies in its fight against black money. Germany, France, Switzerland, Singapore, Mauritius and the British Virgin Islands are among those that are providing information, or will soon start doing so, on assets held by Indians, helping the Narendra Modi government in its campaign to… – Continue reading

Top Wall Street Banks Stash Billions Of Dollars In Nearly 400 Offshore Tax Havens

Six of the nation’s largest banks — Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs — utilize a combined 395 known tax havens to avoid potential tax bills in the billions, according to a new analysis. In total, the big six banks kept $126 billion… – Continue reading

Internal Revenue Service Begins Reciprocal Automatic Exchange of Tax Information Under FATCA IGAs

On October 2, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service announced that it had achieved a key milestone in implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), a critical anti-tax evasion law passed by Congress in 2010 but not fully implemented until July 2014. The milestone announced by the IRS was… – Continue reading

It’s Here; The Automatic Exchange of Information Under FATCA Began September 30th

The IRS has announced that as of September 30, 2015 it will implement the automatic exchange of tax information as set forth in the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, (FATCA). The IRS Commissioner in announcing the implementation of the automatic exchange of information stated: “This information exchange is part of… – Continue reading

India discussing revision of tax treaty with Mauritius: Hasmukh Adhia

NEW DELHI: The Centre is in talks with Mauritius with regard to the long-pending revision of the bilateral tax treaty, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said today. “We are in discussion with them. Some negotiations have already taken place and they wanted to reopen certain issues. we are in discussion with… – Continue reading

Bye bye Mauritius? With BEPS, tax havens will be viewed differently

With the final draft of the OECD’s BEPS initiative – Base Erosion and Profit Shifting – out later today, the taxman’s ability to tax international transactions as well as those of foreign firms operating in India will go up dramatically; the idea behind the initiative is to treat all cross-border… – Continue reading

UK aid money going to known tax havens

Millions of pounds of British aid money could have been given to known tax havens to fund public services The UK paid out £45m to 13 countries on the European Commission’s tax haven “blacklist” in 2013, according to a report in The Independent. The blacklisted countries that received British aid… – Continue reading

Jersey: The Offshore Dragon: The Increasing Popularity Of IFCs In The PRC

Using companies incorporated in international financial centres (IFCs) in structuring financial transactions, capital raisings and corporate structures has long been popular in Asia, particularly Hong Kong (itself an IFC). Following the energetic expansion of the PRC economy and assisted in part by the relaxation of PRC regulations in relation to… – Continue reading

Steps to avert treaty abuse makes treaty access more taxing!

Tax treaties serve to reduce or eliminate double taxation which, if unrelieved, would be a significant barrier to cross-border trade and investment. At the same time, there was need felt to protect against granting of treaty benefits in inappropriate circumstances. In this background, the work of the OECD and G20… – Continue reading

SC to hear Castleton Investment case against MAT levy tomorrow

The court agrees to an early hearing in the case, scheduling it for 30 September New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to an early hearing in the case of Castleton Investment Ltd scheduling it for 30 September. Castleton Investment, a Mauritius-based foreign company, is contesting a case against… – Continue reading

Emergence of a new order in tax policies

India must align domestic laws with international treaties A recent ruling of the Punjab & Haryana High Court (HC) in the Serco BPO case has once again underlined the need for consistency between tax policies and the jurisprudence that evolves around it, thus, leaving little to interpretational hazards. The HC,… – Continue reading

Tax treaty access, a challenge going forward? – Impact of BEPS Action 6 on collective investment vehicles

In 2013, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released a series of proposed tax measures for eliminating corporate tax structures that shift profits to foreign jurisdictions. This corporate tax practice is commonly referred to as base erosion and profit shifting or BEPS. Towards this, the OECD and G20… – Continue reading

Mauritius appoints minister for financial services

When Delta, a South Africa-based property investment fund, decided to switch the offshore domicile of its international operations from Bermuda to Mauritius a year ago, it gained unexpected benefits, reports the Financial Times. “We’ve been very pleased,” says Bronwyn Corbett, head of Delta, as she reflects on the success of… – Continue reading

Barclays Bank Seychelles discontinues offshore banking services

(Seychelles News Agency) – The Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS) says it is engaging with Barclays Bank Seychelles to ensure that clients have sufficient time to shift their deposits in their offshore bank accounts, following a recent decision by Barclays to discontinue its banking services for non-residents in foreign currencies…. – Continue reading

The NZ registered financial service provider that tells potential clients of NZ bankrupts ‘who still live in mansions & drive Ferraris owned by their trusts’

A small office shared with three other companies deep in the bowels of the Outsource IT Tower on Auckland’s Khyber Pass Road opposite a reservoir isn’t necessarily where you’d expect to find the global headquarters of a financial service provider that claims to be following in the footsteps of three… – Continue reading

EU blacklists Hong Kong as ‘non-cooperative tax jurisdiction’

Kenneth Leung (PC,F-Accountancy) explains what he – and the government – are doing to get Hong Kong off the EU’s undeserved blacklisting as a “non-cooperative tax jurisdiction”. Why has Hong Kong been placed on this list? There are ten European countries that have named Hong Kong as a tax haven…. – Continue reading

Government panel submits financial sector reforms report

A government committee on financial sector reforms has finalised a report, broadly outlining the amendments required in financial laws and taxation to make domestic sector more competitive in the international market. Sources in the know said the report was submitted on Tuesday by the Standing Council of Experts, which was… – Continue reading

FATCA for Hedge Funds: Eight Common Pitfalls

For hedge funds in most jurisdictions, the first wave of registration and reporting deadlines surrounding the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is now in the rearview mirror, but a significant amount of work likely remains. Due to the staggered approach regarding the definition of a reportable investor in 2014… – Continue reading

The OECD Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters: Mauritius deposits Instrument of Ratification, Acceptance or Approval

Based on the overview of Jurisdictions Participating in the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters as available on the website of the OECD, on August 31, 2015 Mauritius deposited its instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval for the Protocol of the OECD Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance… – Continue reading

Indian Court Allows Mauritius Treaty Benefits For Appellant

Rejecting “treaty shopping” claims, India’s High Court of Punjab and Haryana has ruled that India should not tax capital gains from the sale by Mauritian entities of shares held in an Indian company if they are proven resident in Mauritius. The ruling was given in Serco BPO Private Limited v…. – Continue reading

Foreign companies with no permanent base may get Minimum Alternate Tax relief

Three-member AP Shah Committee has recommended extending minimum alternate tax (MAT) relief to foreign companies which do not have permanent establishment or public business in India. In an earlier version, the committee had sought to restrict MAT to foreign institutional investors and foreign portfolio investors. The committee had also not… – Continue reading

Seychelles No Longer a Tax Haven for Indians

NEW DELHI: India continued to develop its relationship in the Indian Ocean Region, offering an additional coast guard patrol boat to visiting Seychelles President James Alix Michel, who is in India within five months of Prime minister Narendra Modi’s state visit.The visit also provided an opportunity to sign an agreement… – Continue reading

Confusion over Modi’s I-Day speech: DTAA info behind Rs 6,500 cr disclosure on black money

Many have, mistakenly, confused the prime minister (PM)’s recent remark that Rs 6,500 crore had been disclosed by holders of hitherto unaccounted money with disclosures under the compliance window in the recent law on the subject. However, this money has nothing to do with the latter’s three-month window. These came… – Continue reading

Botswana: Govt, Mauritius Sign Tax Agreement

Gaborone — Botswana and Mauritius on Saturday August 15 signed a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement, renewing a convention the two countries have had since 1995. Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Mr Kenneth Matambo represented Botswana while Mauritius’ Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr Marie Joseph… – Continue reading


Luxembourg currently has 76 income tax treaties in force, and there are 29 treaties under negotiation. Tax treaties can provide a legal framework not only for the avoidance of double taxation and fiscal evasion, but also for international administrative cooperation between Luxembourg and its treaty partners in terms of mutual… – Continue reading

Top FPIs raise concerns with Sebi over Mauritius Treaty, GAAR and participatory notes

MUMBAI: Large foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) have voiced concerns before Indian capital market regulator Sebi about the fate of the Mauritius treaty which the government is renegotiating with the tax haven. Officials of more than 20 offshore asset managers, belonging to top banking groups and fund houses, met Sebi chairman… – Continue reading

Cayman Islands: Proactive Guidance Needed To Help Entities Meet FATCA Deadlines

The first reporting cycle for the United States Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) kicked off with the 31 March deadline set by the US Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) for countries and territories such as Hong Kong that have a Model 2 Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA). Although the IRS has granted… – Continue reading

Islamic banking ‘a possible option’ for BMIO as reorganization plan is implemented

(Seychelles News Agency) – Onshore banking activities, including the possibility of introducing Sharia-compliant banking are being considered for the Seychelles-registered Bank of Muscat International Offshore (BMIO). The Al Salam Bank of Bahrain, which now owns 50 percent shares in the Seychelles-registered Bank is engaging with the Seychelles authorities on the… – Continue reading

Growing trend: Islamic finance goes offshore

The rise of Islamic finance and sukuk issuances have brought with it a growing phenomenon: Shariah banking is increasingly taking advantage of offshore banking jurisdictions, and this for a number of reasons, reports the Gulf Times. Many offshore centres around the world meanwhile offer a wide range of features allowing… – Continue reading

Civil society groups in Kenya push for laws to criminalise tax evasion

NAIROBI: The civil society in Kenya wants Parliament to join them in the push to end tax evasion through enactment of laws that enhance compliance from international trade. This, they argue, will boost revenue collection by the State. They say tougher laws will criminalise tax avoidance and spell harsher penalties… – Continue reading

Foreign investors not liable to pay MAT, says AP Shah panel

The recommendations of Justice AP Shah-led three-member committee on minimum alternative tax (MAT) has come in for big relief to foreign investors. The 64-page report, exclusively accessed by dna, says a foreign investor is not liable to pay MAT prior to April 1, 2015. The report, however, is silent on… – Continue reading

Mauritius introduces new form for tax residency with more disclosure

MUMBAI: The Financial Services Commission (FSC) of Mauritius, which is the regulatory body for the Mauritian non-banking financial services sector, has introduced a new application form for obtaining a tax residency certificate (TRC). FSC verifies these applications and recommends issue of the Mauritius tax residency certificate by the Mauritius revenue… – Continue reading

Mauritius & P-notes: Any proposed change in rules may spook Dalal Street

Just as every new government fiddles around with high school history text books, it also dabbles in Mauritius and P-notes. Both actions have a sharp, short-lived impact, leaving behind a trail of conspiracy theories. Mauritius and P-notes are ghosts that New Delhi and regulators could never quite exercise. They unfailingly… – Continue reading

Mauritius: FATCA Reporting Deadline Extended

The Mauritius Revenue Authority has extended the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) reporting deadline to 31 August 2015. The FATCA Agreement between Mauritius and the United States was signed on 27 December 2013. FATCA seeks to obtain information on accounts held by U.S. taxpayers in other countries. It requires… – Continue reading

Tax implications of setting up overseas subsidiaries

There is a rising trend that many start-ups incorporate their ultimate holding companies abroad, especially in Singapore for various reasons with tax being one of the top 3 factors for such decisions. Some of them have restructured the holding structures after few months of direct Indian holding to accommodate requests… – Continue reading

P-note crackdown may weigh heavy on markets : This route accounts for Rs 2.75 lakh crore of FPI holdings

The Supreme Court-appointed special investigative team’s (SIT’s) recommendation of stricter norms for participatory notes (P-notes), to check the flow of unaccounted money, is likely to be viewed negatively by the market. The SIT had last week suggested the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) put in place regulations to… – Continue reading