New deadline: Foreign property owners in Seychelles must pay Property Tax by March
Foreigners who own property in Seychelles now have until the end of March 2021 to pay the new Immoveable Property Tax Act.
The extended deadline for the Immoveable Property Tax (Interim Measures) Bill was approved on Wednesday by the National Assembly.
The Bill was presented by Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Trade Naadir Hassan, who explained that it proposes certain amendments to the legislative framework relating to the Immoveable Property Act 2019 which provides for non-Seychellois to register and pay a 0.25 percent tax on the immovable property based on evaluations of the value of the said property.
“The final day to register properties with the Registrar General to be prolonged to December 31, 2020, and the final day to submit valuations to the chief valuation officer be extended to February 28, 2021. The final day for tax payments for these immovable properties for 2020, is extended to March 31, 2021. It is worth noting that in the instance that submissions are handed in after these dates, penalties under the Immoveable Property Tax Act 2019 will be applicable,” said the minister.
The bill provides for the broadening of the tax base without it being necessary to increase the domestic tax rate, requiring non-Seychellois residents with immovable property to contribute toward government revenue to finance projects.
Hassan added that the bill covers three main components. First, it serves to prolong the stipulated timeframe to register the properties as per the Immoveable Property Tax Act 2019 and secondly it prolongs the time given to evaluate the properties.
Thirdly, it looks at the procedures to be followed in the eventuality that property has been purchased in foreign exchange.
The Property Tax was first announced by the Ministry of Finance in 2017. It a tax assessed on real estate and it is usually based on the value of the property. The property can be classified as land, buildings or other immovable improvements to the land which increase the value of the real estate. The tax will be due and payable to the Seychelles Revenue Commission on or before 31 December of each year.
To date, there are 552 submissions of which 460 of which have been successfully registered. A total of 100 evaluations have been submitted, 50 of which have been processed. One of the issues resulting in delays was that the necessary mechanisms were not in place, but an online submission process has been put in place both at the Registrar General and Ministry of Lands and Housing.
Once the law comes into force non-Seychellois purchasing new properties in Seychelles – 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean – will automatically be registered at the Registrar.