For the fiscal year 2018/2019, the MRA made a total collection of Rs 98.4 billion. This amount includes Rs 8.9 billion relating to special funds which comprise, among others, NPF, NSF, Lotto Fund, Responsible Gambling and Capacity Building Fund and National CSR Fund.
Rs 89.5 billion is the amount that has been remitted to the consolidated fund, representing an increase of 7.7% as compared to the last financial year.
During the previous year, the MRA paid a total of Rs 561 million for Negative Income Tax and Special Fund. 138,722 low income earners benefited from the two schemes.
The debt reducing schemes, namely the Alternative Tax Dispute Resolution and the Expeditious Dispute Resolution of Tax Cases, brought an amount of Rs 431.4 million. The tracking of non-filers added Rs 21.5m to the consolidated fund. Selected fiscal investigation in the fields of Real Estate Sector, seller of grilled food with liquor licence, restaurants and security services brought Rs 346 m.
Through CRS data on financial accounts owned by Mauritians overseas, the MRA has gathered information about Mauritian individuals having foreign financial accounts worth Rs 104 billion and Corporates having assets worth Rs 980 billion. Progress on BEPS has been achieved in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Financial services and private sector stakeholders, such as, Global Finance Mauritius and Association of Trust and Management Companies.
The individual e-filing of income tax returns reached almost 100%. E-payments have reached 93%. 53245 out of 57407 individuals had a quick refund and the rest were examined. 90% of individual refunds were made within 10 days. VAT refunds of Rs 35 million were made to persons constructing residential buildings or purchasing apartments. Rs 3.6 m were refunded to other sectors namely, planters, fishermen and breeders.
An online taxpayer satisfaction survey (TSS) was conducted through 25357 taxpayers and 85% rated the overall service delivery of the MRA over the last 5 years either as very good or good.
The improvement in the World Bank Ease of Paying Taxes Index 2019 to 6th position in the world is on account of reforms brought to expedite VAT refunds through a fast track system and upgrading of its platform to allow for online submission of amended corporate income tax return. Mauritius ranks first on the African continent.
Time release study reveals that sea cargo dwell time improved from 4.6 days in 2016 to 4.2 days in 2018. For air cargo, it improved from 1.9 days to 1.7 days. Border control measures such as CCTV in warehouse and mobile scan van have been introduced. Counterfeit goods seized by customs have been destroyed. MRA K9 dogs have made 63 seizures. An estimated amount of Rs 727 m of drugs were seized by customs during the last financial year.
The Tax Arrears Settlement Scheme (TASS), the Presumptive tax for small enterprises, the Voluntary disclosure of income scheme – foreign assets and voluntary disclosure scheme for SME were introduced in the Finance Act 2019.
For the financial year 2019/20, the MRA is forecasting to collect an additional of 6.4% on top of the current year. New projects are in the pipeline such as full body x-ray scanner at SSRIA and wireless body worn camera.
* Published in print edition on 13 September 2019
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