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 News - 07-Feb-2013

Mauritius Grows Tax Revenue For Tourism

Mauritius has announced that it has grown its tax revenue after a difficult year for tourism, a year where it just fell short of meeting its targets. The results from its enhanced tax collection campaign mean that it is likely to meet its higher targets for economic growth for the year 2013.

The results revealed Mauritius had successfully grown its revenue collection by five percent in 2012. This in spite of the challenge of money laundering, which is still a major problem this island nation has to confront and overcome. One of the main reasons this increase in tax revenue has become apparent is due to the country being seen as a tax haven by many.

In response to the latest figures from its successful tax collection campaign, the Mauritian Government has decided to set a new 65 billion Mauritian rupees target for this coming year; this is roughly $2 billion USD. This target is up from the 58 billion Mauritian rupees collected during 2012, which is up from the 53 billion Mauritian rupees in 2011.

These figures are important to a country trying to reduce the effects of the economic crisis in Europe. It primarily relies on the patronage of European tourists to keep its industry of Mauritius luxury holidays up and running. Recently, it has attempted to shift the emphasis away from Europe to the emerging Asian and African markets. Arrivals from these two continents are up for 2012 on their 2011 figures, so it has already achieved something with this new direction.

The director-general for the Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA), Mr. Sudhamo Lal announced the taxation rates collected from the island’s 1.3 million people. In the financial year that just ended in the country, the MRA brought in 6.2 billion rupees in Pay As You Earn revenue and 8.3 billion in corporation tax. This figure on corporation tax highlights the benefits many foreign companies can see by relocating to the country, and it is also an endorsement of its economic freedom policies.

24.9 billion rupees came into the country through VAT, and a further 14.5 billion came in from customs and excise duties. Finally, 1.2 billion rupees came from airline fees and gambling taxes.

As part of its new revenue collection efforts in 2012, the MRA paid particular attention to tax evasion. It announced the registration of 14,000 new taxpayers and another 107 financial investigations into tax evasion. All 107 were concluded and successfully gave the island 336 million rupees in fines and recouped tax.

Additional policies within the customs department have helped to force international fraud schemes away from the country. Officials also highlighted positive news in the department’s fight against money laundering. The MRA renewed its commitment to working closely with other departments to help bring in high net tourists and collecting the relevant tax and duties to help major industries grow.

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