On March 19, 2020, the Mauritius Government announced a two-week “lockdown” because of the coronavirus (COVID -19) pandemic.
Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) – No penalty and interest for late filing
The Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) informs taxpayers that, given the lockdown prevailing in Mauritius, those who are unable to submit their return/statement, or effect payment on or before the deadline, will not be charged any penalty or interest for late submission of return/statement or late payment for the following.
- Payment of customs duty, excise duty and taxes under the Deferred Payment Scheme for goods cleared during the month of February 2020 and for which payments were due by 10 March 2020; and Bills of Entry not submitted within the statutory time frame as provided under Section 9A (1) of the Customs Act.
- Returns/statements and payments due by 31 March 2020:
- Submission of CPS Statement & Payment of Tax electronically for quarter ending 31st December 2019 by individuals;
- Submission of APS for quarter ending 31st December 2019 by companies;
- Submission of return and Payment of Tax by companies with accounting year ending in September 2019;
- Remittance of Passenger Fee/Passenger Solidarity Levy;
- Joint electronic PAYE & NPF/NSF return and electronic payment of tax withheld;
- Submission of VAT Return for February 2020 electronically and Payment of Tax electronically; and
- Monthly Return of TDS and electronic payment of Tax deducted.
- Returns and payments due on 20 March 2020 by operators of Limited Pay-Out Machines, Casinos, Gaming House, Coin Operated Machines and Amusement Machines.
- Returns and payments due on 20 March 2020 and 27 March 2020 by Betting operators (Bookmaker conducting fixed odds betting on foreign football, Local pool promoter and Agent of a foreign pool promoter).
- For those taxpayers who are in a position to submit their tax returns, the MRA wishes to inform them that they can have recourse to its e-Services to file their returns and effect payment.
- The head-office of the MRA is closed to the public. However, queries may still be emailed to the MRA as a team of MRA officers are working from home to maintain their services. Facilities for the electronic submission of tax returns and electronic payment of tax remain available on the MRA website.
Promoting work-from-home policy & tax credits for companies affected by the COVID-19
- With a view to promote working from home, the Government introduced a tax reduction scheme in 2020 which gives employers a double tax deduction in respect of emoluments payable to its staff who work from home and a 5% tax credit on the acquisition of information technology system. These measures are transitional and apply only for the period 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2020.
- A “double tax deduction” and a 5% tax credit on certain IT system purchases available to employers in an effort to promote employee telecommuting and working from home are available through 30 June 2020.
- Companies also may be eligible for certain enhanced tax deductions for plant and machinery acquired during the period 1 March 2020 through 30 June 2020.
Business Income Tax
Subject to the legislation being enacted, the Government had set up a COVID-19 Solidarity Fund to provide support to the population and the community at large who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government will allow the deduction of the amount donated/contributed from taxable income.
The COVID-19 (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill
The COVID-19 (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill was passed by Parliament on 15 May 2020, and signed by the president on 16 May 2020.
- Among the measures in the enacted legislation is a “COVID-19 levy” that will be imposed on companies, individuals and resident societies that received government wage assistance. Calculation of the COVID-19 levy generally is limited to the lower of the amount of financial support received or 15% of the employer’s tax adjusted income, and the COVID-19 levy will be payable over a two-year period.
- Other provisions reflect:
- Deductions for contributions to the COVID-19 solidarity fund
- A zero rate (0%), instead of 15%, for value added tax (VAT) on certain medical supplies
- An extension of time to pay taxes, to 25 June 2020
- Extensions of time to resolve tax disputes.
The deadline for reporting information on financial accounts to the Mauritius Revenue Authority for FATCA and common reporting standard (CRS) purposes has been extended, to 30 September 2020.