Mauritius Budget 2020 – 2021: real estate-oriented tax measures

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Following national budget presentation held on 5th of June 2020 par the Finance Minister, R, Padayachy, a list of tax measures related to the Mauritian property sector have been put forward to encourage foreigners to settle in Mauritius (to live, invest, work or retire in Mauritius).

Property Tax Exemptions for Mauritian Residents
The Scheme giving full exemption on registration duties when a Mauritian acquires a newly-built dwelling not exceeding Rs 6 million will be extended for another two years i.e. covering the acquisition of a newly-built dwelling up to 30th June 2022. Furthermore, the threshold value of a newly-built dwelling will be raised from Rs 6 million to Rs 7 million.

The exemption is also granted if the dwelling is purchased off-plan or during construction (i.e. under vente à terme or vente en l’état futur d’achèvement - VEFA).
This exemption does not apply to a property on Pas Géométriques (leasehold) or within a IRS, RES, PDS or IHS.

Exemption from Land Transfer Tax to a Promoter undertaking construction of Residential Projects for Mauritians
The construction of housing estate schemes will be extended as follows –

  • the Scheme will run, from 1st July 2020 to 31st December 2020, for registration of projects comprising of at least 5 residential units with the MRA;
  • no registration duty and land transfer tax will be payable on the transfer of freehold bare land for the construction of housing estate project provided the land is transferred by 31st December 2020;
  • construction must be completed before 31st December 2021; and
  • exemption of land transfer tax will be granted on the sale of a residential unit (including by way of ‘Vente en Etat Future d’Achèvement - VEFA’) provided it is made to a Mauritian before 30th June 2022.
  • In addition, the maximum price of Rs 6 million of a residential unit under the Scheme will be raised to Rs 7 million.

Tax exemptions for first-time buyers
A person is eligible to the first-time buyer registration duty exemption even if he or his spouse is or was the owner or co-owner of an immovable property acquired by inheritance provided the land area is now less than 20 perches (was 10 perches).

Real Estate Sector

  • The minimum investment amount for an investor to obtain the status of Permanent Resident or a holder of an immovable property under an existing scheme to obtain the status of Resident will be reduced from USD 500,000 to USD 375,000.
  • To attract and retain foreign talents and businesses, non-citizens holders of a Residence Permit, an Occupation Permit or a Permanent Residence Permit will be allowed for a period of 2 years (up to 30th June 2022) to acquire one plot of serviced land not exceeding 2,100 m2 for residential purposes within Smart Cities. Construction of a residential building will have to be completed within 5 years.

Employment
The minimum monthly salary to obtain an occupation permit will be brought down from Rs 60,000 to Rs 30,000

Permits for non-citizens
Changes announced regarding the Occupational Permits, Residence and work permits and Permanent Residence Permits:

  • The Work Permit & Residence Permit combined into one single permit.
  • Validity of an Occupational Permit and a Residence Permit for retirees lengthened from 3 to 10 years renewable.
  • The minimum investment amount for obtaining an Occupational Permit reduced from USD 100,000 to USD 50,000.
  • The minimum turnover and investment requirement for Innovator Occupation Permit removed.
  • The spouse of an Occupational Permit holder will not need a permit to invest or work in Mauritius.
  • Occupational Permit holders will also be allowed to bring their parents to live in Mauritius, as their dependents.
  • Professionals with an Occupational Permit and foreign retirees with a Residence Permit will be able to invest in other ventures without any shareholding restrictions.
  • Non-citizens who have a Residence Permit under the various real estate schemes (PDS, RES, IRS, Smart City) will no longer require an Occupation or Work Permit to invest and work in Mauritius.
  • The Permanent Residence Permit will be extended from 10 to 20 years.
  • Occupational Permit and Residence Permit holders will be eligible to apply for a Permanent Residence Permit (20 years) if they have held the permit for three consecutive years.

Important note: Information regarding the above budgetary measures are solely for information purposes. They have been announced during the 2020-2021 National Budget Presentation but need to be voted and enacted by the National Assembly.

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