Seychelles announces changes to tax assessments, exchange rates for foreign property owners
The Ministry of Finance on Thursday announced changes in the exchange rate that will be used to calculate payment of the immovable property tax which came into force in 2020.
The Immovable Property Tax is applicable to non–Seychellois who own an immovable property for residential purposes.
The tax rate is 0.25 percent of the property’s market value and is payable to the Seychelles Revenue Commission (SRC) on or before December 31 of every financial year.
The director for sectorial policy and taxes, Selena Verghese, told a press conference that “as the tax is based on property value, the taxable property will be evaluated every five years and it is 0.25 percent of this value that will be paid in taxes for the next five years until the next evaluation is made.”
What has changed is the exchange rate that would be used to calculate payment of the tax, due to exchange rates constantly changing.
“We have decided that the rate to be used for each five-year cycle will be based on the exchange rate on the day that the evaluation of the property value is made,” said Verghese.
Other changes made include adding new exemptions to the tax which includes properties owned by non-Seychellois businesses being used to house the company’s staff. It also applies to properties that are deemed to have conservation aspects to it, such as endemic plants on site, although this will have to be certified by the Department of Environment.
Another addition to the exempted list is properties used to house workers of embassies in Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, and also properties that have been repossessed by banks, after a client has not paid their loans.
Commercial and industrial properties which are owned by a non-Seychellois married to a Seychellois are also exempted from the Immovable Property Tax.
The tax was first announced by the Ministry of Finance in 2017.
The property can be classified as land, buildings, or other immovable improvements to the land which increase the value of the real estate.
Property owners had until October 31 of 2021 to register their properties with the Registrar General’s office, where failure to do so would have resulted in fines of SCR50,000 ($3,400) for those who failed to register their commercial and industrial properties, while those who did not register their residential properties would have to pay SCR10,000 ($687).
Over 600 individuals had registered their properties as of June this year.