The Island of Mauritius, renowned for its beautiful coastline and tropical climate, has over the past decade managed to attract substantial foreign investment into the country, as well as to firmly establish itself as a secure and reliable investment destination. This, is mainly due to its progressive investment oriented fiscal policies, good corporate and financial governance, transparency and ethics.
Over the past 12 months, investment into Mauritius by French citizens has risen significantly. In particular, investment by French citizens into real-estate developments, called either Integrated Resort Schemes (IRS) or Real-Estate Schemes (RES), which offer foreigners the opportunity to reside permanently in Mauritius. One of the driving factors behind these property purchases is the fiscal advantages of being tax resident in Mauritius.
Under IRS, residential properties such as luxury villas, apartments and penthouses can be sold freehold to foreigners at a minimum price of US$500 000, which entitles the purchaser and immediate family to a residency permit. Under theReal-Estate Scheme (RES), residential units target all price brackets and are sold to foreigners at no minimum price, however, only acquisition of property over US$ 500 000 entitles the purchaser and immediate family to a residency permit. Furthermore, residency is linked to the property so should the property be sold, then residency is relinquished. From a business perspective, a residency permit entitles the resident to apply for an occupation certificate which then allows the resident to start a business or to become an employee of a company in Mauritius.
The investment oriented fiscal policies implemented in Mauritius over the past decade have created an investment friendly environment and a low tax jurisdiction which has encouraged both foreign individuals and companies to purchase property as well as set up businesses. The fiscal benefits when tax resident in Mauritius include :
- No Inheritance taxes
- 15% Corporate and Personal Income tax rate
- No capital gains tax
- Tax free dividends
- Free repatriation of profits, dividends and capital
- 80% Tax credits for offshore companies – GBL1 (actual tax rate of 3%)
- 15% VAT (refundable)
- Exemption from customs duty and VAT on equipment
Over and above the financial benefits the lifestyle benefits of residing in Mauritius are also substantial. The friendly culture, tropical climate, easy lifestyle and reasonable cost of living all appeal to the French, with the added advantage of familiarity in language and cuisine due to its French heritage.