Seychelles: Tax Information Exchange
In August the Seychelles announced that it will become an early adopter of the offshore transparency initiative for the automatic exchange of tax information. The Seychelles becomes the 46th jurisdiction to join the G5 (UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain) automatic exchange initiative.
Under the initiative, signatory states are able to automatically disclose information on taxpayers who hold taxable income in offshore accounts. The objective is to end tax evasion by corporate entities and individuals, through greater tax transparency. The first exchange of information is due to take place in 2017.
Other jurisdictions that have signed up to the offshore transparency initiative include the United States, Switzerland, Jersey and Guernsey.
The UK Government praised the Seychelles for their leadership and commitment to fighting global tax evasion and called on other financial centres to match the commitment of the 46 early adopters to end tax evasion.
The Seychelles Government has taken other steps to regulate activity in accordance with international standards and to prevent money laundering in the territory. Earlier in the year the Financial Services Agency was established to regulate corporate service providers, securities exchange and other related activities within the jurisdiction.
The Seychelles is continuing to work with the OECD to meet its international obligations and is pressing for an early reassessment of the 2013 Phase Two Peer Review in which it was rated as non-compliant in two areas for tax transparency. The adoption of the G5 initiative is considered to be a step towards addressing these concerns.
We understand that the Seychelles plans to provide annually bulk information on individual taxpayers to the country of the taxpayer’s residence relating to financial account information, including balances, interest, dividends, and sales proceeds from financial assets. It will be the obligation of Seychelles financial institutions to provide the government authorities with this information. ‘Taxpayer’ for these purposes includes individuals, corporate entities, trusts and foundations.