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Location and infrastructure

The Republic of Seychelles is a 115-island country spanning an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, some 1,500 kilometres (932 mi) east of mainland Southeast Africa, northeast of the island of Madagascar.

Its capital city is Victoria.

Population

Seychelles has an estimated population of 86,525, the smallest population of any African state.

Language

French and English are official languages along with Seychellois Creole, which is primarily based upon French.

Currency

The national currency of the Seychelles is the Seychellois rupee. Initially tied to a basket of international currencies it was allowed to be devalued and float freely in 2008 on the presumed hopes of attracting further foreign investment in the Seychelles economy.

Tax system

Corporate Income Tax

Generally, the owners of businesses are liable to pay business tax if their taxable income exceeds SR 150,000 for a particular tax year in respect of sole trader and partnership. Whereas a company is liable to pay business tax on any net profit that it derives. A Seychelles taxation year runs from 1 January to 31 December. However, taxpayers may request to have an alternative tax period apply to their business under Section 26 of the Act.

Depending on your circumstances, business tax may be remitted in different ways. Most businesses will lodge an annual return for a tax year and this is treated as having made a self-assessment under Section 58. Some businesses must pay their tax as they go (PAYG) on a monthly basis or for some specified businesses the tax may be withheld before they receive payment from their business customers. These methods of payment are known as Pay As You Go Instalment and Pay As You Go Withholding respectively.

Except for payments to non-residents, both monthly Pay As You Go Instalment and Pay As You Go Withholding are accumulated as a credit and held by the Revenue Commission on behalf of the taxpayer. The credit is used to offset any business tax assessed in respect of that particular year. Any excess credit will be refunded to the taxpayer.

As from 1 January 2011, the Business Tax rate is 0% on the first SR 150,000 of taxable income in respect of a sole trader and a partnership business, 15% on the next SR 850,000 of taxable income and 33% on the remainder. Companies do not have a tax free threshold. The Business Tax rate is 25% on the first SR 1,000,000 of taxable income and 33% on the remainder. 

Double tax treaties

Seychelles has signed double tax agreements with: Zambia, Indonesia, South Africa, Botswana, Barbados, China, Cyprus, Malaysia, Mauritius, Oman, Qatar, Thailand, UAE, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.

Legal system

Originally, Seychelles was a french colony before acceding to the British. The effect of this is that Seychelles has a unique mixed jurisdiction legal system. The civil law is governed by a Civil Code derived from the French Napoleanic Code, there is therefore, strictly speaking, no such thing as tort and trusts, which are creations of British case law (common law). The criminal law is substantially based on the British criminal law. Procedural law is primarily British based.

Banking

Seychelles offers a confidential and secure banking environment. As of February 2012, Seychelles has six (6) Commercial banks, with branches of four foreign banks. All the commercial banks are regulated by the Central Bark in Victoria and are required to renew their licenses annually.

Seychelles has a highly sophisticated banking system – all types of accounts are available including current, fixed deposits, call deposits, savings schemes, loan accounts, and all major credit cards are represented.

Types of companies

  • Seychelles International Business Company
  • Seychelles Special Licence Company
  • Seychelles Limited Partnership
  • Seychelles Protected Cell Company
  • Seychelles Trusts
  • Seychelles Foundations

Changes to the tax laws and other applicable rules in various countries covered by this publication may be proposed. Therefore, readers should contact local specialized firms to obtain further information.