- Future Looking Brighter For Seychelles, IMF Says 2nd October 2017
Seychelles has made “remarkable progress” on strengthening its economy and finances, the International Monetary Fund says.
The country has been working with the IMF to bolster its economy and reform its fiscal policies since the 2008 financial crisis. The IMF said that these actions have driven “strong economic growth as well as noticeable improvement in fiscal and external position as well as a reduction in debt.”
It said that the country’s economic performance has been “robust” in 2017, adding that the primary fiscal surplus for the year is expected to reach 2.5 percent of GDP in line with the authorities’ target. “Growth outlook for 2018 remains positive, buoyed by the tourism sector,” it said.
But the Fund warned that “Seychelles still faces vulnerabilities and pressures, as a small island economy in a challenging global economic environment.”
To manage these issues the country has entered into a three-year arrangement with the IMF to receive intensive support on developing and implementing pro-growth economic policies.
The IMF said that it had discussed a number of potential measures with the authorities to ensure continued fiscal discipline and progress towards the authorities’ debt reduction goals.
- Paper Looks At 'Tax Haven'-Use Trends Globally 14th September 2017
The US-based National Bureau of Economic Research has released a new report that looks at which countries’ taxpayers have the most wealth stored in so-called “offshore tax havens.”
Ten percent of world gross domestic product is held in “tax havens” globally, says NBER, in a summary on its new report. However, the use of tax havens by taxpayers varies widely from country to country.
Assets located in offshore tax havens amount to just a few percent of GDP for taxpayers in Scandinavia, to about 15 percent in Continental Europe, and 60 percent in Gulf countries and some Latin American economies.
The report uses these estimates to construct revised series of top wealth shares in ten countries, which account for close to half of world GDP.
“Because offshore wealth is very concentrated at the top, accounting for it increases the top 0.01 percent wealth share substantially in Europe, even in countries that do not use tax havens extensively,” NBER said, noting “it has considerable effects in Russia, where the vast majority of wealth at the top is held offshore. These results highlight the importance of looking beyond tax and survey data to study wealth accumulation among the very rich in a globalized world.”
- Seychelles Expected To Announce SME Tax Cuts In Budget 24th July 2017
Government ministers from the Seychelles have met with local businesses to discuss reforming and potentially enhancing the tax incentives for businesses and in particular SMEs.
The Government said the meeting had been held ahead of the release of a 2018 Budget. It said that it is investigating how to harmonize existing tax breaks, including those under the VAT, trade tax, excise tax, business tax, and income tax regimes.
It was indicated that the Government favors lowering taxes for small- and medium-sized firms. A reduction to the 15 percent VAT rate on insurance policies was reportedly under discussion, with a view to making such products more affordable for all, but with a special emphasis on the needs of SMEs.