Key measures of the Finance Bill 2023 voted last week

Expat news
Published on 2023-07-28 at 07:10
On Tuesday 18 July, Parliament passed the Finance Bill to make official all the provisions presented in the 2023-2024 Budget. Here are some of the key measures in this programme.

Personal taxation

To alleviate the tax burden on individuals with low incomes, the Bill suggests a tax exemption for those earning less than Rs 30,000 per month. Additionally, it aims to implement a progressive tax system with rates varying from 0% to 20%. Furthermore, the solidarity contribution on an individual's income will be removed.

Simultaneously, the bill will set new thresholds for tax deductions concerning university tuition fees and health insurance premiums.

Support for businesses

To promote job creation and incentivize the employment of women and individuals with disabilities, the government is offering employers a monthly allowance of up to Rs 15,000 for each person they hire who has been unemployed for at least one year. Furthermore, additional partial exemptions and tax deductions will be introduced to provide support to key sectors of the economy.

Regarding charitable donations, companies will be eligible for a tax deduction equivalent to 300% of the amount donated electronically to charitable institutions that aid individuals with health issues and disabilities, assist in the rehabilitation of street children, or protect animals. However, this deduction will be capped at Rs 1 million per year.

The bill also extends tax benefits to employers of women benefiting from the Prime à l'Emploi program, as well as employers of disabled individuals. Additionally, to encourage work-life balance, companies investing in Childcare Centers for their employees will receive a tax deduction equivalent to 200% of these expenses.

Employment and working conditions 

One of the significant measures in the Finance Bill is the introduction of a 4-day working week, pending agreement between employers and employees. This initiative aims to enhance the work-life balance of employees while simultaneously increasing productivity within companies.

Furthermore, the bill includes provisions for additional compensation for employees who work on public holidays. Employers will be obligated to pay their workers double their regular wage for the first eight hours worked and triple the regular wage for any additional hours worked on public holidays. Moreover, to enable workers to better care for their sick parents or grandparents, the bill proposes to authorize the utilization of up to 10 days of paid leave, sick leave, or holiday leave for this specific purpose.

Financial services

The main objective of the bill is to enhance the transparency of financial statements for Protected Cell Companies (PCCs) and Variable Capital Companies (VCCs). Under this proposal, these entities will have the option to present separate financial statements for each cell, treating them as independent entities for tax purposes.

Regarding virtual assets, service providers associated with these assets and issuers of initial token offerings will now have to submit an annual declaration of financial transactions to the tax authorities for transactions that exceed a certain threshold.

Furthermore, the Finance Bill suggests that individuals acquiring more than 20% of a company's issued shares, and consequently gaining rights to ownership, occupation, or use of a property, will be required to furnish information about the property's market value and the number of shares allocated to them over the previous 3 years. This information will be essential for registering the deed of transfer with the Receiver of Registration Duty.

Real estate

In 2022, Mauritius implemented an additional registration duty of 10% on the property's value (excluding VAT) for non-citizens acquiring property outside certain existing schemes, where the property value was at least US$350,000. The proposed amendment in the Bill is to apply this extra tax only when the property value is US$500,000 or more.

The Finance Bill also suggests expanding the requirements for obtaining a residence permit for foreigners. Going forward, non-citizens will be eligible to apply for a residence permit by purchasing a residential property of a specified minimum value under the Property Development Programme for Senior Residences. Additionally, the minimum salary requirements for professionals applying for work permits will be standardized. Currently, these requirements vary between MUR 30,000 and MUR 60,000 per month, depending on the sector. Under the new proposal, the minimum salary requirement would be set at MUR 30,000 per month for all sectors. This measure aims to simplify and standardize the eligibility criteria for professionals seeking a work permit in Mauritius.

Lastly, the requirement to contribute to the COVID-19 Project Development Fund for the family residence permit will be abolished, which will facilitate the process for families wishing to bring their relatives to Mauritius.