Tax haven Seychelles

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Tax haven Seychelles is a progressive international financial centre that offers a series of offshore tax benefits and a growing number of legislative measures that intend to create a sufficiently regulated and attractive business environment. As a tax haven, Seychelles allows for the formation and operation of low tax and tax free structures that enhance international trade, one’s capacity to protect assets and maximize profits.

Faced with its own challenges at a time of world economic recession, tax haven Seychelles has taken the necessary steps to ensure that its economy continues to develop and transform into one which is successful and modernized. Achieving this objective is rooted in the tax haven’s values of resilience, being responsible and realistic.

Country Overview

Tax haven Seychelles (Republic of Seychelles) is an archipelago consisting of 115 islands found off the east coast of Africa in the Pacific Ocean; however, the country’s constitution identifies a total of 155 islands. Tax haven Seychelles are in neighbours to other islands such as Reunion, Mayotte, Mauritius and Comoros.

As an independent democratic republic, with a stable political environment Seychelles benefits from government policies which actively foster local and foreign investment.

Tax haven Seychelles has a unicameral assembly and an elected president who fills the position of leader of government and head of state. Tax haven Seychelles has 25 administrative regions, 8 of which form Seychelles’ capital and are known as Greater Victoria.

For many years, Seychelles’ economy has been based on tourism which contributed at least 70% of GDP, while providing about 30% of employment for residents. However, efforts have been made by the Seychellois government to diversify the economy through the promotion of the offshore sector, fishing, manufacturing on a small-scale and farming. Tax haven Seychelles has an ideal location which puts it between the principle manufacturing and trade routes of Europe, Africa and Asia, thus making it a unique platform for investors involved in doing business in these areas.

French and English are the two official languages spoken, in addition to Seychellois Creole.

Seychelles Fiscal Incentives and Advantages

As a tax haven Seychelles has in place a number of advantages for investment ventures. Despite its economic challenges, the country’s progress has been coupled by various legislative, geographic and cultural factors which make Seychelles a tax haven with great potential for growth.

Some of these features include:

  • No capital gains tax
  • No withholding tax
  • No corporate tax
  • No stamp duty or transfer tax
  • Absence of exchange controls
  • Professional bilingual population
  • Growing network of double taxation treaties
  • Convenient time zone
  • Sea and air links with USA, Africa, Europe and Asia

Seychelles Legislative Framework

Tax haven Seychelles has a wide offshore library which ensures that offshore and financial services are conducted in a regulated environment and that international standards are adhered to by service providers. Some of the laws enacted in tax haven Seychelles include:

  • International Trusts Act
  • International Corporate Service Providers Act
  • Financial Institution Act
  • Mutual Funds & Hedge Fund Act 2008
  • International Business Company Act 1994
  • Insurance Act
  • Companies Ordinance 1972

Tax haven Seychelles’ advantageous legislative framework also include the fact the country has a judiciary framework which is a hybrid combination of both common Law and Civil Law and double taxation treaties with countries such as China, Indonesia, Belgium, Cyprus, South Africa, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.

Seychelles Offshore Financial Services

Providing diverse offshore financial services has been the focus of the Seychelles’ government agenda for developing the offshore sector. An important aspect of increasing Seychelle’s competitive edge as a tax haven is improving the features with which Seychelles offshore companies, trusts and insurances are endowed, as well as installing the right mechanisms to ensure that these structures are cost effective, flexible and not free from burdensome fetters.

Offshore services offered in Seychelles as a tax haven include the following:

  • International Business Companies (IBCs) formation
  • Protected Cell Companies formation
  • Limited Partnerships (LP) formation
  • Offshore banking
  • International trust formation
  • International insurance formation
  • Yacht/Ship registration

Seychelles International Business Authority (SIBA)

The Seychelles International Business Authority (SIBA) was created for the purpose of providing the government with advice on offshore business activities; ensuring that international business activities are carried out according to law; monitoring, coordinating and supervising international business activities from within Seychelles and, promoting Seychelles as a tax haven.

SIBA comprises various members including a managing director, chairman, a principal secretary in the ministries of trade, industry, finance and ports. The SIBA’s board includes as well the Attorney-general or his/her representative, 3 persons nominated by the Minister under whom the Seychelles International Business Authority Act is administered and 3 nominated members from the Chamber of Commerce.

New Developments

A two week mission (January 30 to February 15, 2009) was led by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Victoria, Seychelles to review the Seychelles’ economic reform program, which has been supported by a 2 year Stand-By Arrangement with the IMF. In order to build the country’s economic status, the in collaboration with the IMF, the government of tax haven Seychelles is in the process of removing all foreign exchange controls, boosting the productivity within the private sector, implementing a mounting fiscal structure, reducing the number of parastatal bodies and reducing the number of persons employed by the government.

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