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Mauritius Issues Draft CRS Implementation Guidance

by Lorys Charalambous,, Cyprus

19 April 2016

As promised earlier this year, the Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) has published Guidance Notes for the implementation of the OECD's Common Reporting Standard (CRS).

The CRS, the new global standard for automatic exchange of information for tax purposes, obliges all participating countries and jurisdictions to obtain financial information from their financial institutions (FIs) and to exchange that information automatically with other jurisdictions on an annual basis.

Mauritius signed the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters developed by the OECD in June 2015. The competent authority to administer the CRS in Mauritius is the Director-General of the MRA. To that effect, a dedicated unit has been created in the agency's Large Taxpayers Department.

The Income Tax Act has been amended to enable implementation of the CRS. An amendment has also been added to safeguard the confidentiality of tax information exchanged.

The Guidance Notes aim at providing practical assistance to FIs and other stakeholders dealing with the implementation of the CRS. They can be used as a reference source alongside the Commentaries to the CRS and the CRS Handbook, both of which are available on the MRA website.

The Notes are also a notice to all stakeholders falling within the scope of the CRS to comply with the requirements laid down under the Income Tax Act to establish, maintain, and document due diligence procedures to record the tax residence of clients; and to provide the Director-General with the information required at such time and form as laid down in the Notes.

As indicated previously, the Notes confirm the MRA's requirement for Mauritian FIs to apply due diligence procedures recording the tax residence of clients with reportable accounts from January 1, 2017, with a reporting date to the agency of July 31, 2018.

TAGS: compliance | tax | tax information exchange agreement (TIEA) | tax compliance | Mauritius | banking | financial services | Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) | tax authority | agreements | services | Tax

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