International aspects of Taxation


  1. Commitments taken by Mauritius to implement tax good governance principles
  2. Abolition of the Deemed Foreign Tax Credit (DFTC) regime
  3. Abolition of the Category 2 Global Business licence
  4. Introduction of the Partial exemption system
  5. Notice on obligation to furnish information for exchange purpose

  1. Commitments taken by Mauritius to implement tax good governance principles

    Criterion 1. Transparency

    1. Commitment to implement the automatic exchange of information, either by signing the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA) or through bilateral agreements

      Mauritius is a signatory to the MCAA and has started to exchange information under the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Common Reporting Standard as from 2018.Information is also being exchanged on an automatic basis under Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) since 5 years.

    2. Membership of the Global Forum on transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes and satisfactory rating

      Mauritius has been assigned an overall rating of "Compliant" by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes during the second round of Exchange of Information on Request (EOIR) reviews.

    3. Signatory and ratification of the OECD Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance or network of agreements covering all EU Member States

      Mauritius has signed and ratified the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters in 2015 and has a broad network of Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements and Tax Information Exchange Agreements (56 in all), providing mechanisms for exchange of information with some 140 jurisdictions including all European Union (EU) member States. The Global Forum has in its second round report for Mauritius commended the efforts of Mauritius to expand its exchange of information network.

    Criterion 2. Fair Taxation

    1. Existence of harmful tax regimes

      Nine preferential tax regimes of Mauritius have been assessed by both the OECD Forum on harmful Tax Practices (FHTP) and the EU Code of Conduct Group (COCG).These are:

      1. The former Deemed Foreign Tax Credit available to corporations holding a Category 1 Global Business Licence (GBC 1) and Banks on their foreign sourced income;
      2. The Captive Insurance regime;
      3. The former Category 2 Global Business regime;
      4. The Freeport regime;
      5. The Global Headquarters Administration regime;
      6. The Global Treasury Activities regime;
      7. The Investment Banking regime;
      8. The Shipping regime; and
      9. The innovation-driven activity regime.

      Subsequent to the assessments, reforms were brought through the Finance Act 2018 and Finance Act 2019 to those regimes which were found to have potentially harmful features. These are summarised below:

      1. abolition of the Deemed Foreign Tax Credit regime and introduction of a new partial exemption system;
      2. introduction of a separate tax regime for banks;
      3. abolition of the Category 2 Global Business regime;
      4. removal of the ring-fencing aspects identified in certain regimes;
      5. adoption of enhanced substantial activities requirements that are in line with Annex D of the ‘Harmful Tax Practices 2017 Progress Report on Preferential Regimes’;
      6. introduction of the nexus approach for the innovation driven activity regime;
      7. adoption of an additional anti-abuse provision in the form of Controlled Foreign Company (CFC) rule; and
      8. adoption of clear substance requirements for outsourcing.

      Following these reforms, the OECD Forum on Harmful Tax Practices (FHTP) is now satisfied that Mauritius does not have any harmful features in its tax regimes, including in the reformed Freeport regime and the newly introduced partial exemption system and banking regime.

      The tax reforms that have recently been implemented fit within the strategy of Mauritius to be recognised as a well-regulated, transparent and compliant jurisdiction.

    2. Existence of tax regimes that facilitate offshore structures which attract profits without real economic activity

      New conditions of substance that meet the FHTP standards were introduced in the Income Tax Act and the Financial Services Act. Moreover, Mauritius has put in place a robust monitoring mechanism to ensure that taxpayers benefitting from preferential regimes meet the substantial activities requirements. The FHTP has concluded at its June 2019 meeting that the monitoring mechanism in place in Mauritius is adequate.

    Criterion 3. Anti-BEPS Measures

    1. Membership of the Inclusive Framework on BEPS or implementation of BEPS minimum standards

      Mauritius joined the Inclusive Framework in November 2017 and has committed to implement the BEPS minimum standard. The status of implementation is as follows:

      1. BEPS Action 5:
        • In its 2018 peer review report of the Action 5 transparency framework, the Forum on Harmful Tax Practices (FHTP) has noted that Mauritius has met all aspects of the terms of reference (ToR) for the calendar year 2017 and no recommendations were made; and
        • As stated above, all preferential tax regimes of Mauritius meet the FHTP standards.
      2. BEPS Action 6:

        Mauritius signed the Multilateral Convention (MLI) to implement tax treaty related measures to prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting. 44 of our 45 treaties have been listed as Covered Tax Agreements and these treaties as amended will include the minimum standards under the MLI, with the "Principal Purpose Test (PPT)" as the main anti-abuse provision. Necessary steps are being taken to ratify the MLI.

      3. BEPS Action 13
        • Mauritius has signed the Country-by-Country (CbC) MCAA and has passed legislation to enable exchange of country by country reports as from the fiscal year starting 1 July 2018; and
        • Positive comments were received in the latest CbC peer review document as regards the putting in place of the domestic and legal framework for CbC reporting. The ‘Guidance for appropriate use of CbC reporting’ has been published on the MRA website and steps are being taken to implement the full administrative framework for exchange of CbC reports.
      4. BEPS Action 14

        Once the MLI is ratified, Article 14 of existing treaties will be amended to enable residents to apply for a Mutual Agreement Procedure in either of the two tax authorities.

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  2. Abolition of the Deemed Foreign Tax Credit (DFTC) regime

    The Deemed Foreign Tax Credit (DFTC) of 80 % available to a company holding a Category 1 Global Business licence or a bank carrying out Segment B banking activities was abolished with effect from 1 January 2019.

    Grandfathering rules are however available up to 30 June 2021 to any company issued with a Category 1 Global Business licence prior to 16 October 2017.

    These grandfathering rules do not apply to:

    • such intellectual property assets acquired from a related party after 16 October 2017;
    • such intellectual property assets acquired from an unrelated party, or to such newly created intellectual property assets, after 30 June 2018; and
    • income derived from such specific assets acquired, or projects started, after 31 December 2018, as the Director-General may determine.

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  3. Abolition of the Category 2 Global Business licence

    The Category 2 Global Business licence regime was abolished with effect from 1 January 2019.

    Grandfathering rules are however available up to 30 June 2021 to any company issued with a Category 2 Global Business licence prior to 16 October 2017.

    These grandfathering rules do not apply to:

    • such intellectual property assets acquired from a related party after 16 October 2017;
    • such intellectual property assets acquired from an unrelated party, or to such newly created intellectual property assets, after 30 June 2018; and
    • income derived from such specific assets acquired, or projects started, after 31 December 2018, as the Director-General may determine.

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  4. Introduction of the Partial exemption system

    A partial exemption system was introduced with effect from 01 January 2019 whereby companies deriving specific types of income may benefit from 80 % tax exemption subject to meeting conditions of substance as prescribed under Regulations 23D of the Income Tax Regulations 1996.

    The types of income qualifying for partial exemption as listed in the Second Schedule of the Income Tax Act are reproduced below:

    • Foreign dividend derived by a company - Item 6 of Sub-Part B
    • Interest derived by a company other than bank - Item 7 of Sub-Part B
    • Income derived by a company from ship/aircraft leasing - Item 42 of Sub-Part C
    • Income attributable to Foreign PE - Item 40 of Sub-Part C
    • Income from CIS/CEF/CIS manager/CIS administrator/adviser/asset manager approved by FSC - Item 41of Sub-Part C
    • Reinsurance/reinsurance brokering activities - Item 44 of Sub-Part C
    • Leasing & provision of international fibre capacity-Item 45 of Sub-Part C
    • Sale, financing, arrangement, asset management of aircraft and its spare parts and aviation advisory services related thereto - Item 46 of Sub-Part C

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  5. Notice on obligation to furnish information for exchange purposes

    1. Under section 124(1)(b) of the Income Tax Act every person, when so required by the MRA, should furnish such information as is demanded of him to enable the MRA to comply with any request for the exchange of information under a tax treaty. The provisions of this sub-section apply also to banks.
    2. Power is also given to the MRA in section 64(9) of the Banking Act to enable the Director General to apply to a Judge in Chambers for an order of disclosure of any information relating to the transactions and accounts of any person by any financial institution.
    3. The Income Tax Act allows the Minister to enter into an arrangement with the government of any foreign country for the exchange of information in respect of any person, including a non-resident of Mauritius.Mauritius has an exchange of information relationship with some 140 jurisdictions.
    4. The MRA and the FSC have signed a Memorandum of Understanding which sets out the framework for effective exchange of information between the two Authorities. Information in respect of Global Business corporations is usually required from management companies.
    5. To ensure effective exchange of information with our treaty partners in a timely manner, the MRA has adopted a Procedure Manual where clear timelines have been set and will have, in all circumstances, to be strictly complied with.
    6. The procedure requires that a request be, in the first instance, made by the MRA to the taxpayer himself to furnish within a delay of 21 days the information in his possession. The delay may be extended to one month for the production of bank statements.
    7. Where a taxpayer fails to produce bank statements within the time limit, a request will be made directly to the bank. In the event the bank fails to comply within a period of 21 days, an application to the Judge in Chambers will be made for an order of disclosure, as provided in the Banking Act.
    8. Where a taxpayer persistently fails to comply with a request for information, under section 124(1)(b) of the ITA, he shall be liable to penalties in accordance with Regulation 23C of the Income Tax Regulations 1996.
    9. Moreover, the MRA may apply to the Judge in Chambers for an order to require the taxpayer to comply with the request for information (amendment in Finance Act 2019).
    10. We would like to assure all our stakeholders that the MRA does not entertain from treaty partners any information request characterised as fishing expedition. Only those requests for information which are foreseeably relevant or necessary, as provided in the relevant tax treaties, are given due consideration. Treaty partners are also required to use information exchanged with them only for tax purposes in accordance with the provisions of the treaty concerned.
    11. We rely on the understanding and co-operation of every person to provide within the specified timeline all information that may be requested by the MRA either directly or through the FSC so as to enable the MRA to attend to requests for exchange of information with treaty partners in a timely manner

For any further information, please contact:

  • Name: Mrs. Y. Rangasamy
    Tel: 207 6000 – Ext 3059
    e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.