Mauritius Increasing AML & International Tax Enforcement
The Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) held its annual press conference on September 3, 2021. Among the issues discussed were anti-money laundering (AML) initiatives and international taxation. The highlights of the conference demonstrate financial institutions must ensure they have a strong compliance program in place if they choose to do business in Mauritius.
Mauritius established the AML/CFT Unit in the Fiscal Investigations Department in February 2020. The goals of this unit were outlined by the MRA as:
Identifying, investigating, and prosecuting tax evasion cases having a money laundering component.
Working in close collaboration with other law enforcement authorities to deter money laundering.
During the short time this unit has been in place, it has achieved the following:
Referred 18 cases related to tax invasion to the Mauritius Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) for money laundering investigations. The tax involved in these cases amounted to Rs 73.4M (approximately US$1.7M).
During 2018 – 2020, levied assessments of Rs 34.5M (approximately US$812K) based on information received from the Mauritius Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).
Exchanged information with FIU, Mauritius Financial Services Commission (FSC), and the Mauritius Corporate and Business Registration Department in suspected tax evasion cases.
During the OECD’s most recent monitoring exercise, Mauritius’ preferential tax regimes met all the established criteria.
The OECD’s Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes is currently assessing Mauritius’ confidentiality and data safeguards.
Mauritius is the only jurisdiction in Africa to have successfully maintained an “on track” rating for Common Reporting Standard (CRS) implementation which the MRA stated shows its commitment towards tax transparency and combatting illicit cash flows.
The European Union (EU) declared Mauritius to be compliant with all commitments on tax cooperation and EU good governance principles on tax.
The MRA is ahead of schedule in its implementation of required reforms to address the deficiencies identified by the EU.