Experts discuss budget implications on financial services at SACCM event

In collaboration with KPMG, PwC and FSPA, the South African Chamber of Commerce Mauritius (SACCM) hosted the ‘budget 2017 presentation review-A Hundred Days In’ where Head of Tax at KPMG Mauritius, Wasoudeo Balloo, Partner at PWC Mr Anthony Leung Shing and Assistant Manager at FSPA, Mr Rajneesh Phokeer made presentations on the budget and implications of measures on the local economy were introduced by the President of the chamber, Mr Richard Robinson.

Partner, Head of Tax at KPMG Mauritius Mr Wasoudeo Balloo spoke on various tax transparency, Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FACTA), Common Reporting Standards (CRS) and BEPS Action 5 rulings among others that compares with several global tax development impacting Mauritius.

He stressed on Tax Deduction at Source (TDS) that focus on payment of directors’ fees to management companies targeting Global Business Companies and said that there will soon be regulations. For Balloo, it is expected that the rate of 15 percent tax will be aligned with the directors’ fees.

The KPMG’s tax partner also emphasized on several fiscal measures following the signing of the Multilateral Instrument (MLI) as well as CRS and FACTA that will impact the Mauritius International Financial Centre (MIFC).

He emphasized, “One can assess that Mauritius will keep facing pressure to be compliant by implementing the CRS, for instance. The jurisdiction stands good on specific criteria since authorities are ensuring that global standards for good governance are fulfilled on the jurisdictions.”

Balloo calls upon stakeholders to navigate through the wave of change where one should expect treaty changes on account of the MLI. For him, the industry players must review their business model or tax planning structure and fine-tune tax strategy be it foreign tax credit or GBC 2 deemed to be essential for them to sail through.

Partner at PwC, Mr Leung Shing pointed out on the quantity and quality of public sector investment which is dwindling where Rs 116.9 billion has been earmarked over the period of 2017 and 2020. The sum includes a budget of Rs 40.2 billion for the transport system. He observed that public sector investment is geared towards local goods such as utility and public transport taking into account the big shift for increased reliance on renewable energy coupled with the fact that the biggest recipient remains the water sector.

FSPA’s Phokeer emphasized on using the local jurisdiction as an entry point to transform Africa where the bottom line is to shift away from treaty jurisdiction to offer more OECD complaint products. The emphasis, he says, for FSPA is to tap the African continent through promotions and the geographical position of Mauritius makes it well placed to do business where emphasis would be on the air corridor strategy.

The MIFC has much to offer, argues Phokeer through structures such as debt financing and cross-border transactions to Africa as well as risk mitigation facilities by being a member of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). “We should be able to offer services such as family offices to transfer assets to build a credible IFC that boasts of attractive features such as global treasury activities to repackage the global treasury offerings,” he added.

Source: Platform Africa 

21 September 2017.