Mauritius grows tax income, takes aim at money laundering

A resort on the west Coast of Mauritius. Tourism is a major revenue earner for the Indian Ocean island. FILE 

Mauritius grew its revenue collection five per cent last year even as it says money laundering remains a challenge on the country that is seen as a tax haven.

The Indian Ocean island has now set a 65 billion Mauritian rupees (about $2 billion) revenue target for this year, up from the Rs 58 billion collected in 2012, itself an increase from Rs 53 billion in 2011.

The taxation figures for the country of about 1.3 million people were made public by the Mr Sudhamo Lal, director-general of the Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA).

In its just-ended financial year the MRA collected Rs 8.3 billion in corporation tax and Rs 6. 2 billion as Pay As You Earn.

VAT brought in Rs 24.9 billion while customs and excise duties totalled Rs 14.5 billion. An addition Rs 1.2 billion was earned from gambling tax and airline passenger fees.

The MRA said there were 14,000 new taxpayers registered last year, while 107 financial investigations into tax evasion had been conducted, netting Rs 336 million.

Strengthened policies at the customs department are planned to tackle international fraud schemes and deal with money laundering, officials further outlined.

The island is a popular destination for high net worth tourists and regularly ranks top of governance surveys in the continent.

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