Seychelles Tax System
The Seychelles has historically operated a territorial tax regime, meaning that only income sourced in Seychelles was liable to tax in Seychelles. Income was considered Seychelles’ sourced income exclusively where it arose from business “activities conducted, goods situated or rights used” within the physical territory of Seychelles. This meant that income was considered non-Seychelles sourced income (i.e. “non-taxable business income”) where the income was:
- From activities conducted by a Seychelles business in an overseas jurisdiction (through a branch, office, shop or otherwise); and
- In the form or dividends, interest, royalties, rents and other “passive income” received by a Seychelles resident from a non-resident.
The changes of law applying from 16 September 2021, adopts a revised approach for covered companies, including the adoption of an economic substance test for passive income received from a non-resident.
The self-assessment regime was introduced in 2010 to encourage voluntary compliance. The regime places the responsibility of tax on the taxpayer operating in Seychelles to determine if it has Seychelles sourced income in a tax year, to declare and report on their taxable income, for the relevant tax period with permitted deductions and exemptions, in line with applicable laws.
All new businesses must register with the Seychelles Revenue Commission (SRC) within 14 days of trading. For new businesses with employees, the business must register all of its employees within 7 days of employment. For more information on how to register your business click here TMS
Businesses must keep any records such as books, sales ledger, expenses, assets, receipts of cash, purchases, banking records and relevant data for a period of 7 years as may be prescribed in English, French or Creole.
Submission of Business Tax Return
All business tax return must be submitted to SRC no later than 31 March of every tax year, unless approved by the Commissioner General, as stated in the Business Tax Act 2009, Section 26, thus granting a taxpayer a period of three months after the end of each tax year to submit their business tax return. For the avoidance of doubt, a business tax return is required irrespective of any tax liability or loss.
Business tax is applicable on the taxable income of a business activity. Taxable income in simplified term is assessable income less any allowable deductions (except for those exempted as per the Second Schedule of the Business Tax Act as amended in 2021).
Business Tax is levied at different rates depending on the business structure (e.g. sole trader, company or partnership), or the economic sector under which the entity or person operates (as per SI 108 2021 of the Business Tax Act) (Amendment of Schedules) (Regulations 2021).
The Business Tax Act covers three main regimes:
Introduced in January 2013 under the Tenth Schedule of the Business Tax Act, 2009 as amended, for small businesses with an annual turnover below SCR 1 million.
Applicable at a flat rate of 1.5% on the annual business turnover of the current year (that is the year in which the revenue is earned). For example, the Presumptive Tax due (payable) in 2022 depends on the 2021 annual turnover of a business.
Filing and Lodgment of Return
Under the presumptive tax regime, taxpayers must file and lodge a simplified one-page return to SRC, by the 31 March of every year inclusive of the tax liability due.
Under this regime, taxpayers can only declare their turnover (income received) and no expenses are allowed. However, taxpayers are encouraged to keep records of both income and expenses for a minimum of 7 years in case in the latter years, the threshold is exceeded and the business activity falls under the business tax regime.
- Pre-Payment Option for Presumptive Tax
‘Pay As Your Earn’ (PAYE) Scheme – In 2022 the Seychelles Revenue Commission (SRC) introduced the ‘Pay As You Earn’(PAYE) scheme to allow businesses under the Presumptive Tax Regime to pay their taxes as and when they receive an income, to relieve the potential financial burden at the end of the tax year.
- How it Works
Businesses with a turnover of less than SCR 1 million voluntarily pay their tax, that is 1.5% of their income received in any particular month to SRC. The amount of tax paid will be credited to the taxpayers’ business account with SRC and will be offset when the taxpayer lodges the presumptive tax return at the end of the year by paying the difference in the lodgment (if any). Any surplus recorded in the tax payment will be carried forward as credit onto the taxpayers’ business account with SRC or refunded upon request.
- How to Pay
Under the PAYE scheme, taxpayers can remit their tax payment to SRC at any time by completing the ‘Business Activity Statement for Advanced Payment of Presumptive Tax’ when effecting payment. To download the form. Business Activity Statement for Advanced Payment of Presumptive Tax
No penalties will apply if payment is not made in a particular month, but taxpayers must ensure to lodge their return on time.
Businesses categorized as ‘Specified Businesses’, using the Deduction At Source (DAS) booklet and businesses currently under the ‘Pay As You Go’ scheme are exempted from PAYE.
- Applicable to businesses with an annual turnover exceeding SCR 1 million
- Tax Rate
- Varies for sole traders, partnerships and companies as follows:
|Sole Trader and Partnership||
- Filing and Lodgment of Return
- Under the business tax regime, taxpayers must file and lodge a five-page return to SRC (Hover and download the five-page return), conduct one tax payment by the 31 March of every year, report their income and expenses on cash basis, keep records of income and expenditure for a minimum of 7 years. In regards to a company, the business tax payable to SRC under this regime is on any net profit that the company derives.
- Extension of Lodgment:
- A taxpayer can request for a substituted tax year to the Commissioner General, if the taxpayers’ accounting year end defers from 31 December. In line with Section 57 of the Business Tax Act, the business must furnish a business tax return for each tax year within three months after the end of the substituted tax year in the prescribed form and manner to SRC. The payment of any taxes due should be done at the time of lodging the return within the three months’ period.
- A taxpayer under an approved Tax Agent Lodgment Program for business tax return may have a different lodgment date as follows:
|Sole traders, partnerships engaged in taxable supplies.||30 June|
|Companies engaged in taxable supplies.||31 July|
|All sole traders, partnerships and companies engaged in non-taxable supplies.||31 October|
|Taxpayer with an approved substituted tax year by the Commissioner General.||Three months after the accounting period ends or by 30 September the earliest.|
- Pre-Payment Option
- ‘Pay As You Go’(PAYG) – A scheme under the Business Tax Act for businesses to pay their taxes as they go (PAYG) on a monthly basis.
- How it Works
- Business tax is paid at a fixed rate before or on the 21st of every month. The PAYG scheme is available to businesses with a turnover above SCR 1 million and the tax payable is calculated on the taxable income from prior years or on the estimated taxable income the business expects to derive in the particular tax year. A taxpayer can request for a revision of the PAYG payable for that year if the business is expected to surpass its performance of the prior year or vice-versa.
- How to Pay
- Taxpayers must submit the completed ‘Business Activity Statement’ (BAS) when effecting payment to SRC. The BAS must be submitted on the 21st day of the following applicable month along with the tax payment to the Seychelles Revenue Commission (SRC). (Hover and click on the ‘Business Activity Statement’ to view and download the form.)
- Failure to submit the BAS or payments within the aforementioned timeframe will result in additional penalties, interest and charges.
There are two types of withholding tax under the Business Tax Act as follows:
- Withholding Tax
- Withholding of Tax from Payments to a Specified Business (Deduction at Source)
- Applied on the gross amount of interest, dividends, royalties, technical and managerial service fees as well as natural resources, derived by a non-resident person from sources in Seychelles.
- To collect such tax, the payer, that is the person responsible for paying the fees to the non-resident, must withhold the tax from the gross payments made to the non-resident and remit same using the ‘Business Activity Statement’ (BAS) to the Seychelles Revenue Commission (SRC). The payer must bear in mind the provision for permanent establishment under the act and the double taxation avoidance agreements DTAA signed by Seychelles, to determine the liability for withholding tax. If in doubt, contact SRC via email at email@example.com
- Tax Rate
- Withholding tax is due and payable to the Seychelles Revenue Commission (SRC) on or before the 21st day of the following applicable month. As withholding tax is a final tax, income that is subject to withholding tax is not liable to business tax.
|Categories of Income Liable to Withholding Tax||Tax Rate|
|Dividend, interest, royalty, natural resource amount, or technical services fee paid to a non-resident.||15%|
|Dividends paid under Section 62 by:
|In respect of a promoter, agent, or similar person paying remuneration to a non-resident entertainer or sports person in respect of a performance or sporting event in Seychelles.||5%|
|Managerial fees paid to a non-resident by a financial institution operating in Seychelles.||33%|
|Insurance premium paid to a non-resident.||5%|
|Interest on current account, fixed deposit and call deposit of residents and non-residents (in Seychelles Rupees or foreign currency).||5%|
|Interest on savings account, bank to bank transfers and non-residents bank interest.||0%|
|Managerial fees paid to a non-resident by a financial institution operating in Seychelles.||33%|
|Interest on Bearer Bonds.||T5%|
|Interest paid by a person being a non-financial institution to a person not being a financial institution.||15%|
|Treasury Bills (where the recipient is not a resident or a non-resident financial institution as defined in the Financial Institutions Act 2004 or carrying on the business as an insurer as regulated under Insurances Act, 2008). ||15%|
|The rate of withholding from the gross payment made to a specified business listed in the Fourth Schedule of the Business Tax Act.||15%|
Withholding of Tax from Payments to a Specified Business (Deduction at Source)
- Deduction At Source (DAS)
- Is the collection of tax directly from the very source of payment for services rendered by specified businesses.
- Paid by businesses (e.g. governmental bodies, public entities, private enterprises and others) having a contract with a specified business for works undertaken. The contracting party must withhold tax from the gross payment made to the specified business and remit same to the Seychelles Revenue Commission (SRC).
- There are five categories of specified businesses under the fourth Schedule of the Business Tax Act 2009 as follows:
- Maintenance Contractor (e.g. landscaping, cleaning).
- Building Contractor.
- Mechanic (motor vehicle, marine or refrigeration).
- Hirer of Omnibus.
- Hirer or operator of plant, equipment including sea vessels, motor vehicles used for transportation of goods and for towing.
- Tax Rate
- Effective 2020, the payer must withhold 1.5% of the total amount paid to the specified business.
- Payment Method
- Tax deducted at source should be remitted on or before the 21st day of the following applicable month. Upon submission of the withholding tax payment to SRC, the payer must enclose the blue page of the Deduction At Source (DAS) book with the completed ‘Business Activity Statement’ (BAS).
- Credit for Tax Withheld
- Deduction at source payments are accumulated as a credit and held by SRC on behalf of the taxpayer. The credit is used to offset any business tax assessed following lodgment of the return in respect of that particular year, whilst any excess will be refunded to the taxpayer.
- If the tax has been withheld from income derived by a person, the amount of income included in the assessable income of that person is the amount derived before the withholding of tax (gross amount).
Value Added Tax
Value Added Tax (VAT) introduced in 2010, is the tax imposed on goods and services supplied in the Seychelles (taxable supplies) or imported into the Seychelles (taxable imports). Generally, VAT is considered as follows:
- Consumption tax- Charged on the sale of goods and services to consumers.
- Broad based tax Applied- on all purchases of goods and services unless exempted. VAT is paid at the point of entry and / or at each stage of production and distribution in a value chain.
- Destination based tax- Levied where the goods is consumed.
VAT is ultimately borne by the final consumer.
The VAT system comprises of the taxable and exempt supplies.
- Taxable supply is a term used for the sales of goods and delivery of services on which VAT can be charged, even if the tax rate is 0%.
VAT Rates on Taxable Supplies
The two types of VAT rates applicable on taxable supplies are as follows:
- The 15% standard rate applied on most imported goods or services sold in Seychelles.
- The zero rated (0%) applied on exports of goods and on specific items as specified in Schedule 2 of the Value Added Tax Act, 2010.
Collection of VAT on Taxable Supplies
VAT on Taxable Supplies
VAT registered businesses making taxable supplies (goods and services) collect VAT from their customers at the point of sale. The VAT charged should be shown separately from the sales price on the invoice and receipt issued by the VAT registered business.
VAT on Zero-rated Supplies
VAT registered businesses making zero-rated supplies will charge VAT at 0% on the selling price, meaning VAT will not be shown on the invoice nor will it be charged and paid by the customer.
A VAT registered businesses will only remit to the Seychelles Revenue Commission (SRC) the difference between the output tax (VAT charged on sales) and the input tax (VAT paid on purchases).
A VAT refund is possible if the input tax exceeds the output tax (in other words a VAT credit).
Are goods or delivery of services sold which are not liable for payment of VAT. Exempt supplies are enumerated under Schedule 1 of the VAT Act 2010 and they include goods such as pharmaceutical products, infant formulae, pampers and certain basic necessities (e.g. rice, lentils …etc) and services such as education, health and financial services.
VAT Rates on Exempt Supplies
Compared to taxable supplies where an invoice showcasing the VAT payable by the customer is clearly visible and businesses engaged in taxable supplies can claim credit or refund with the Seychelles Revenue Commission (SRC), businesses providing exempt supplies are excluded from payment of VAT and cannot claim a credit or refund on the exempt goods sold or services rendered.
Businesses that exclusively make exempt supplies should not be registered for VAT.
Under the VAT system, only taxable registered businesses can recover the VAT paid on purchases and imports, by claiming the VAT as an input tax credit, provided that the expenses incurred are for the purpose of the business. A taxable business can recover the VAT incurred on purchases if the expenses made are deductible (that is the VAT on these purchases can be claimed back), or if the expense has been used in the process of making taxable supplies. However, an input tax credit cannot be given if the taxable purchase is used to make an exempt supply. Unless used for the making of taxable supplies specific to the activity of the business, input tax credit is not allowed on the following taxable supplies:
- Passenger vehicle, spare parts or repair and maintenance services.
- Petroleum products.
- Any supplies used to provide membership or entrance for any person in a sporting, social or recreational club, association, or society.
For more details, view Section 25 of the Value Added Tax Act 2010 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
All goods imported into the Seychelles are treated as a taxable transaction under the VAT Act 2010 regardless of the status of the importer, (if the importer is VAT registered or not) or the nature of the transaction (commercial or personal importation).
VAT on importation is assessed by the Customs Division of the Seychelles Revenue Commission (SRC) and is paid at the point of entry together with Customs duties either at Seaport, Airport and the Post Office. VAT registered businesses can claim input tax credit on importation of taxable supplies.
However, there are certain goods, class and categories of persons exempted from paying VAT at the point of entry.
For more details on the exempted list, view the First Schedule of the Value Added Tax Act 2010 or email email@example.com.
VAT Calculation on Importation
VAT on imported goods is applied on the value of the import (Customs value) which is the CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight) + customs duties (excise tax where applicable).
The threshold for mandatory VAT registration is SCR 2 million.
- Compulsory Registration
Applies to businesses with a total value of taxable supplies made or reasonably expected to be made during a certain period equal to or greater than the threshold of SCR 2 million.
If the business is already registered with SRC, a VAT registration form will be sent to the business to complete the registration process. This will be followed by a letter confirming the status of registration, issuance of the VAT registration certificate and sticker to display at the principal place of business. For new businesses registering for VAT, click here. (Add link with TMS for new business registration).
- Voluntary Registration
Businesses with an annual turnover below SCR 2 million may also voluntarily register for VAT. To determine the eligibility of the application prior to granting approval, the Seychelles Revenue Commission (SRC) will conduct a field visit at the premises of the business to:
- Determine if the business is actually making or will make taxable supplies.
- The business has a fixed place of operation.
- The business has commenced trading and is keeping proper records of all transactions.
- The business is complying to all obligations under the revenue laws including licensing for cash register.
- There are enough reasonable grounds to believe that the business will keep proper records and furnish regular and reliable VAT returns to SRC.
Having met all these requirements, the Commissioner General will issue the business with a letter confirming the status of registration, a VAT registration certificate and a VAT sticker to display the principal place of business.
A business must apply to the Commissioner General for VAT registration at the beginning of any 12-month period if there are reasonable grounds to expect that the business will exceed the registration threshold within that period or at the end of any 12 month or lesser period, if in that period the person exceeds the registration threshold by completing the VAT registration form.
Corporate Social Responsibility Tax
The Corporate Social Responsibility Tax (CSR) Act 2013 which came into effect on 1 January, 2014 was repealed on 20 April, 2021. However, any CSR tax payment falling due prior to 20 April, 2021 can still be collected or paid.
As such with effect from 21 April 2021, businesses wishing to make any donations or sponsorships must follow Section 23 and the Fifth Schedule of the Business Tax Act, 2009 relating to ‘Approved Gifts’ as follows:
Gifts (other than the gifts referred to in paragraph 1A) made to public fund, body, institutions, charities or non-governmental organizations shall be 100% deductible from the business assessable income.
For the purpose of this schedule:
- a) Gifts shall also include donations.
- b) Charities and non-governmental organizations shall be registered with the Ministry of Finance, National Planning and Trade as a charity or non-governmental organization and issued with a certificate confirming its status.
Immovable Property Tax
The Immovable Property Tax Act 2019, applicable to all non-Seychellois owning an immovable property in the Seychelles, came into effect in January 2020. Immovable properties comprise of condominium units, commercial and industrial properties, buildings used for residential purposes, freehold or leasehold land, multi-purpose buildings as well as villas.
All non-Seychellois property owners must register the ownership of their immovable property at the office of the Registrar General located at the Independence House in Victoria or submit the completed registration form via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. A period of four months will be gazetted each year for registration.
Following registration, the immovable property will be valuated by the Ministry of Land Use and Housing. In accordance with the Immovable Property Tax Act, failure to submit an application to the Registrar General will result in fines payable to the office of the Registrar General as follows:
- SCR 50,000 in the case of a commercial, industrial and multi-purpose properties including villas.
- SCR 10, 000 in the case of any immovable property not specified above.
Following amendments to the Immovable Property Tax Act, 2022 (Act 14), the Registrar General can automatically register a non-Seychellois on the immovable property owners register, based on the following circumstances:
- The immovable property is transferred to the non-Seychellois through death, bankruptcy, insolvency or liquidation under the Land Registration Act.
- Proof of possession and judgement or order of the court showing that the property should be transferred to a non-Seychellois.
- Where the Registrar General registers an instrument of transfer after being satisfied that the non-Seychellois is granted a sanction under the Immovable Property (transfer restriction) Act.
The person owning an Immovable property used for residential purposes including part of any multi-purpose building used for residential purposes
The tax payable in a financial year is imposed on 1st January of every year.
The immovable property tax rate is 0.25% of the of the property’s market value, payable to the Seychelles Revenue commission (SRC) on or before 31 December of every financial year. All payments should be accompanied by the notice of valuation provided by the Chief Valuation Officer and the Business Activity Statement (BAS). Immovable Property Exempted from Tax Payment
Tax shall not be paid on immovable property:
- Considered to be a commercial or an industrial property.
- Property used for residential purposes that is owned by a taxpayer who is married to a Seychellois
A non-Seychellois who after coming into operation of this Act meaning after 1st January 2020, becomes a first time owner of an immovable property used for residential purposes is exempted from payment of immovable property tax for a period of one year from the date of owning the property. This process is based upon application in writing to the Commissioner General.
Effective August 2022, all immovable property owners submitting their valuation in foreign currency, are advised that every year the approved valuation amount will be converted into Seychelles rupees (SCR) using the mid-rate of exchange for drafts issued by the Central Bank of Seychelles for each respective currency that is in Dollars ($), Euros (€) or Pound Sterling (£).
An approved valuation amount is valid for five years and every year after the first year of the valuation, the Seychelles Revenue Commissions (SRC) will issue a statement of the tax payable for the particular year based on the new conversion of the approved valuation amount, using the rate of exchange on the 1 January of the applicable year. The tax payable will then be based on the converted valuation amount for the applicable year.
All taxpayers will need to submit a new valuation form to the Chief Valuation Officer whereby a new notice of acceptance or validation as applicable will be issued.
Taxpayer who submitted their valuation in Seychelles Rupees shall make payment based on the tax payable amount stated on the Notice Acceptance/ Valuation Submitted by the Chief Valuation Officer every year until the end of the five-year validation period. No statement of tax payable for this category of taxpayers will be issued by SRC.
Non-Seychellois can pay immovable property tax in Dollars ($), Euros (€) or Pound Sterling (£) only through bank transfer. The amount paid will then be converted by the Seychelles Revenue Commission (SRC) using the Central Bank of Seychelles mid-exchange rate of the day, on the date that the payment is received.
Taxpayers must hold sufficient amount of funds when conducting payments through bank transfers to cater for possible fluctuations in the rate of foreign exchange. Any surplus in the payment received to SRC will be carried forward as a credit onto the taxpayers account with SRC into the following year.
Payment of Immovable Property Tax in Seychelles rupees is only accepted in person directly at any SRC offices based on Mahe, Praslin or La Digue.
Tourism Marketing Tax
The Tourism Marketing Tax (TMT) was introduced in January 2013 to fund marketing activities and promote Seychelles as the number one tourist destination in the world, in addition to ensuring continuity in tourism-related investments.
Applicable for the following business activities:
- Hotels, guest houses, self-catering establishments;
- Cafés or restaurants;
- Fixed or rotary wing passenger air transport services;
- Domestic ferry services for the transport of freight or passengers;
- Boat or yacht charterers (including live-aboard);
- Car hire operators;
- Underwater diver operators or dive centers;
- Water sports operators;
- Travel agents;
- Tour operators;
- Tour and or tourist guides;
- Equestrian operators;
- Insurance companies (excluding brokers); and
- Telecommunication service providers.
- Building contractor (class 1)
- Casino operators
The rate of Tourism Marketing Tax payable by a business with an annual turnover of SCR 1 million and above is 0.5%.
Filing and Lodgment of Return
Filing and lodgment of return for Tourism Marketing Tax is made on the 21st of the following applicable month on the Business Activity Statement (BAS).
Accommodation Turnover Tax
The Accommodation Turnover Tax recently came into operation on 1 January, 2023.
All tourism accommodation operators, namely hotels, guesthouses, self-catering establishments, yachts, cruise and ships. For more information, refer to the Accommodation Turnover Tax Act, 2022 available here.
Threshold for Liability
- Tourism accommodation operators with an annual turnover of SCR25,000,000.00 and above.
- The liability will depend on the annual turnover of the previous business year, under the above category with a turnover of SCR25,000,000.00 and above for the tax year 2022.
- Businesses must monitor their income during the year 2023 and remit the Accommodation Tax Turnover to the Seychelles Revenue Commission (SRC) as soon as the business reaches the threshold of SCR25,000,000.00
The rate of Accommodation Turnover Tax payable by a business as soon as the business reaches the SCR25,000,000.00 threshold and above is 2%.
How to Pay
Payment for the Accommodation Turnover Tax is made on the 21st of the following applicable month on the Accommodation Turnover Tax Returns Form to SRC. Note, payment for the month of January 2023 will be due by 21 February, 2023.
Note payment for the Accommodation Turnover Tax cannot be claimed as an expense in the yearly Business TAX Return.
Failure to submit payments within the aforementioned timeframe will result in additional penalties, interest and charges.