Companies, Trusts, Trustees of Unit Trust Schemes, Collective Investment Schemes, Foundations and Non-resident Sociétés (Partnerships) are all subject to income tax.
- Companies engaged in export of goods : 3% (w.e.f 01 July 2017)
- Others : 15%
"Export of goods" includes international buying and selling of goods by an entity in its own name, whereby the shipment of such goods is made directly by the shipper, in the original exporting country, without the goods being physically landed in Mauritius.
Subject to conditions set out as per lists A and B below, a company can avail itself of a partial exemption of 80% on certain type of income/activities.
The list of income/activities on which a partial exemption is available are:
Foreign dividend derived by the company.
Interest derived by a company other than bank.
Income derived from ship/aircraft leasing.
Income attributable to Permanent Establishment.
Income from Collective Investment Scheme (CIS) / Closed-End Fund (CEF) / CIS Manager / CIS Administrator / Adviser / Asset Manager approved by the Financial Services Commission (FSC).
Reinsurance / Reinsurance brokering activities.
Leasing & provision of international fibre capacity.
Sale, financing, arrangement, asset management of aircraft and its spare parts and aviation advisory services related thereto.
Partial exemption is available to a company subject to the following conditions:
It must carry out its core income generating activities in Mauritius;
It must employ directly or indirectly, an adequate number of suitably qualified persons to conduct its core income generating activities; and
It must incur a minimum expenditure proportionate to its level of activities.
The chargeable income / (loss) of a body of persons subject to income tax is calculated as follows:
Chargeable Income/(loss) = Gross Income - Allowable Deductions
Gross income refers to all income derived by the company other than exempt income.
Allowable deductions are expenditure, losses or allowances which are deductible under the Income Tax Act.
Losses of companies
Where a company has incurred a loss in an income year, it may deduct that loss in computing its net income for that income year.
Carry forward of losses
Where the amount of loss cannot be fully relieved in the income year in which it arose, the company may carry forward the unrelieved amount of the loss and set it off against its net income derived in the following five income years provided that there is no change of more than 50% of its shareholding at the end of each of those income years.
Time limit of five years
The time limit to carry forward the losses in the following five income years does not apply for the amount of loss attributable to annual allowance claimed in respect of capital expenditure incurred on or after 01 July 2006 or where the loss is attributable to expenditure incurred on deep ocean water air conditioning, water desalination plant or research and development.
Transfer of loss on takeover or merger
Where there is a change in shareholding of a company by way of takeover or merger, any unrelieved loss of the acquiree may be transferred to the acquirer in the income year in which the takeover or merger takes place under the following circumstances:
A company takes over another company engaged in manufacturing activities;
Two or more companies engaged in manufacturing activities merge into one company;
A company takes over, or acquires the whole or part of the undertaking of another company and the Minister has deemed such a take-over or transfer of undertaking to be in the public interest;
A company facing financial difficulties which is taken over by another shareholder.
The above transfer of losses on takeover or merger should be on such conditions relating to safeguard of employment or on such other terms and conditions as may be approved by the Minister.
Note that any unrelieved loss transferred shall be deemed to be incurred by the acquirer in the income year in which the loss is transferred and shall be available for set-off against the net income of the acquirer.
When a company is submitting its return of income and is in doubt regarding the interpretation of the law or treatment in respect of any matter to be included in its return of income, it may draw the attention of the Director General by specifying the doubt in its return.
Where such doubt has been specified, the company will be treated as having acted in good faith and no penalty on late payment would be imposed in respect of any additional tax resulting from the adjustment relating to the doubt.
However, when such doubt has not been specified, any additional tax from the adjustment relating to the doubt will attract penalty on late payment at the rate of 5%, except for companies having an annual turnover not exceeding 10million rupees where the penalty would be at the rate of 2%,
Submission of return of income
A company whether or not it is a taxpayer shall submit, not later than six months from the end of the month in which its accounting period ends, a return declaring all its income derived by it during the preceding year and at the same time pay any tax payable thereon.
An amended return shall not be submitted after three years from the end of the year of assessment to which the return relates except where it is submitted in respect of undeclared or underdeclared income.
The amended return should be submitted electronically in an approved form, giving reasons for each amendment made to the previous return.
Any additional tax as per the amended return should be paid forthwith, together with the appropriate penalties and interest.
Every company, is required to file its annual return not later than six months from the end of the month in which its accounting year ends.However, where a company's accounting year ends on 30 June or 31 December, the due date for submission of return and paymentof tax is 2 days, excluding Saturdays and public holidays, before the end of December and June respectively.
Besides the annual return, companies are also required to file, under the Advance Payment System(APS), quarterly APS statements and to pay tax in accordance thereof. However, APS does not apply to a company with a turnover less than Rs 10 million per annum.
All companies deriving gross income and exempt income have the legal obligation to file annual returns and pay tax electronically. Failure to file electronic returns carries a penalty of 20% of the tax payable (maximum Rs 100 000) or Rs 5000 where no tax liability is declared in the return.
Companies may file return / statements and pay tax electronically to MRA using the Mauritius Network Services (MNS) system.
To file returns through the MNS, companies will have to seek approval from this office. The form should be duly filled in and sent to the MRA.
Alternatively, companies may request an eFiling Service Centre to do the electronic filing on their behalf. A list of approved eFiling Service Centre is also available on MRA website. Companies filing their returns in Mauritian rupees may use the efiling facility available on the MRA website.
Penalty for late submission of return
A penalty of Rs 2,000 per month or part of the month is applicable on the late submission of a return subject to a maximum limit as follows:
- Rs 20,000 for a Global Business Company and a company with an annual turnover exceeding Rs 10 miilion;
- Rs 5000 for a company having an annual turnover less than Rs 10 miilion (excluding Global Business Companies).
Late submission of return
A penalty of Rs 2,000 per month or part of the month up to a maximum of Rs 5,000 (Applicable to companies having annual turnover less than Rs 10 miilion, excluding Global Business Companies).
Late payment of tax
A penalty of 5% of the amount of tax (Applicable to companies having turnover not exceeding Rs 10 million and Global Business Companies).
A penalty of 2% of the amount of tax (Applicable to companies having turnover not exceeding Rs 10 million, excluding Global Business Companies).
Interest on unpaid tax
Interest of 0.5% per month or part of the month during which the tax remains unpaid.
Penalty for Loss overclaimed
A company, which has claimed a loss in excess of the actual loss incurred or brought forward, would be liable to a penalty of up to 5% of the loss overclaimed. The penalty of 5% shall be offset against the amount of loss to be carried forward.
Penalty on Income Tax refund overclaimed
A company, which has overclaimed a refund of the income tax would be liable to a penalty of up to 25% on the amount of the excess refund overclaimed.