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How do I get a Binding Tax Ruling from the SRC?

Many business owners and individuals, together with their accountants will identify circumstances in their business affairs which may place them in a “grey” area where a transaction, procedure or event may become unclear as per how it should be treated for tax purposes. It is in these circumstances that a taxpayer can approach the Seychelles Revenue Commission (SRC) and request for a binding tax advice by way of a ‘Private Ruling’.

What is a private ruling?
In Section 62 of the Revenue Administration Act 2009, a ‘Private Ruling’ is legally defined as an opinion given by the SRC to a taxpayer and which is binding to SRC with regards to that taxpayer. The Private Ruling from SRC will set out how the organisation will treat your situation and will indicate the SRC’s view of the taxpayer’s likely tax outcome.

A Private Ruling will only apply to a singular set of specific circumstances and will be exclusive to that taxpayer who has applied for the ruling only. The Private Ruling will be a one-off decision by the SRC to that taxpayer and that set of circumstances only and cannot be used by other taxpayers in identical circumstances, and therefore it cannot be adopted as a standard by any other taxpayer.

How can a Private Ruling help you?
When you are considering a tax arrangement in an area where the tax law is not clear and adequate, then asking for a ‘Private Ruling’ to confirm how SRC will treat your situation is a good way to clarify the possible tax outcome.

A Private Ruling, once issued to you by SRC, is binding on the organisation, provided that you implement the arrangements exactly how the circumstances were presented to the Revenue Commissioner in the Private Ruling Application Form and SRC is obliged to administer the tax law as set out in that ruling.

Are all requests for Private Rulings granted?
Private Ruling requests may be refused by the Revenue Commissioner as per Section 63 (1) of the Revenue Administration Act 2009, reasons for refusal can include if:
  • an existing Public Ruling adequately covers the matter that is subject to the application;
  • the application relates to a matter that is the subject of an audit or an objection;
  • the application is frivolous or vexatious; or
  • the applicant has not provided the Revenue Commissioner with sufficient information to make a Private Ruling.
The Revenue Commissioner shall serve the applicant with a written notice whether the Private Ruling application has been accepted or refused.

Where a Private Ruling cannot be provided, SRC may provide you with a non-binding general guidance instead. You can read more about general guidance as per Section 68 of the Revenue Administration Act 2009.

How to complete the Private Ruling & General Guidance Application Form?
The form can be download here and is broken up into Section A – F.

Section A: In this section, you are required to enter the details of the person SRC will liaise with to keep your business informed about your application status. By having your correct details, SRC will be in a better position to keep you informed about your application status.

Section B: This section provides details of the taxpayer and who the request will relate to. Only the taxpayer named in Section B, will the ruling apply to.

Section C: This section entails listing the specific questions / issues that the taxpayer would like SRC to address. The question needs to be as specific as possible and specific to a set tax period as well, indicated by the starting and ending dates to which the question relates (E.g. 1st January 2014 to 31st December 2014).

Section D: In this section you are required to describe in detail the arrangement in question. You should provide all relevant facts, assumptions, transaction dates and the names of any other third parties. For a Private Ruling you must attach any other relevant supporting documents like contracts and agreements. The applicant also has a choice to attach their view on the matter via any additional argument and reference such as relevant legislation or case law.

Section E: This section is a checklist that you will have to complete in regards to identifying if the matter has been dealt with in previous or current audits or rulings.

Section F: This part is to be signed and dated by any person who is completing this form and providing any additional information attached. This document is to declare that all information provided on the form is accurate and in accordance with the request presented by the taxpayer.

How long will it take to receive a response to my Private Ruling or General Guidance request?
If all the required information has been provided in your application and the question you have asked is one that can be answered, then the SRC will endeavor to provide you with a response between 3 and 21 working days depending on the complexity of the matter. If the SRC requires additional time we will contact you appropriately.

Where to get a Private Ruling & General Guidance Application Form?
Private Ruling & General Guidance Application Forms can be collected at all SRC offices or can be downloaded here.

Where do you submit the Private Ruling & General Guidance Application Form?
You can lodge this application once completed via:
  • E-mail: TaxQuery@src.gov.sc or TaxQueries@src.gov.sc
  • Fax: +248 4225565
  • Post: Revenue Commissioner, Seychelles Revenue Commission, P.O. Box 50, Victoria, Mahé, Seychelles.
  • Hand-deliver: Seychelles Revenue Commission, 2nd Floor, Orion Mall.
For more information
You can email us at TaxQuery@src.gov.sc or TaxQueries@src.gov.sc or visit any of our SRC office at Orion Mall-2nd Floor

Website Published Date: 2nd April 2014

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