Group or branch registration
The standard rate of VAT is 15% and it applies to all supplies of goods and services not qualifying for an exemption or zero-rating. There is no higher or reduced VAT rate.
Group registration is not allowed in Mauritius. A branch of a foreign company can register for VAT purposes in Mauritius.
VAT was introduced in Mauritius with effect from 7 September 1998, to replace the sales tax Act of 1982. VAT is levied in terms of the Value added tax Act, 1998 and the VAT authority is the Mauritius Revenue Authority.
Rates and scope
A person making taxable supplies may register voluntarily provided that he can satisfy the VAT authorities that he keeps proper business records and has done so for a period of at least one year prior to the application. He must also satisfy the VAT authorities that he has been discharging his obligations under the revenue laws.
VAT is charged on any supply of goods or services made in the Republic of Mauritius, where it is a taxable supply made by a business that is registered or should be registered for VAT purposes, in the course or furtherance of any business carried on by it.
The importation of goods by any person is also liable for VAT, subject to certain exceptions.
A nonresident business is only required to register if it has a permanent establishment in Mauritius and the registration threshold has been exceeded. Nonresident businesses may register in their own name and must appoint a local representative for purposes of filing VAT returns and dealing with related matters.
Application for registration
VAT is applicable to the whole territory of the Republic of Mauritius, which includes the island of Rodrigues.
A registration form needs to be completed and submitted by the business to the VAT office.
VAT registration is compulsory where the taxable annual turnover has exceeded MRs2 million.
There is no registration threshold for certain businesses and professions, e.g. domestic banks, insurance agents/ brokers, management companies, lawyers, accountants and consultants.
The penalties for late registration, or failure to register, is the higher of MRs200,000 or treble the amount of tax involved, as well as imprisonment for a term not exceeding eight years. The penalty is payable on conviction.
The registration number of a resident and a nonresident business contains eight digits: VAT 99999999.
A registered person, whether resident or nonresident, who has ceased carrying on business may apply for deregistration.
Prices must be advertised inclusive of VAT. If prices are shown exclusive of VAT, this must be stated clearly.
Exemptions and zero-rating
Exempt supplies (without input tax credit) include, but are not limited to, the following:
basic food items;
supplies of ships and aircraft;
educational and health services;
financial services, including general domestic banking services, but excluding services in respect of credit and debit cards, safe deposit lockers and the keeping of customers’ accounts; and
insurance services, except services provided by insurance agents, insurance brokers and insurance salesmen.
Zero-rated supplies include, but are not limited to:
goods, other than exempt goods, exported under customs control;
certain food items such as edible oil, wheat flour and sugar;
the transport of passengers and goods by sea or air;
the supply of goods or services other than exempt supplies to the freeport zone;
the supply of services by management companies to GBL1 and GBL2 companies (formerly known as offshore companies