US, Seychelles sign agreement to ensure tax compliance by Americans
US Ambassador to the Seychelles David Reimer signed the agreement with Finance Minister Maurice Loustau-Lalanne on Monday.(Thomas Meriton)
The United States has signed an agreement with Seychelles’ government to ensure tax compliance by Americans who live in the island nation or have businesses here.
The US Ambassador to the Seychelles David Reimer signed the agreement to implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) agreement with Finance Minister Maurice Lousteau-Lalanne, to prevent tax evasion by US nationals.
“FACTA is a US law passed in 2010 in the fight against tax evasion. Its primary aim is to prevent US taxpayers from using foreign accounts to facilitate tax offences,” Reimer told the press on Monday.
The signing was held at the Ministry's headquarters at Liberty House in the capital city of Victoria.
Through this agreement local financial institutions will provide information regarding Americans living, working and having assets in Seychelles – a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean. This information is then passed directly to the US Internal Revenue.
Loustau-Lalanne said that currently there are around 10 US citizens who own businesses in the island nation.
“Our banks are ready and all set and we hope to give complete satisfaction both in terms of American companies here and also individuals operating in Seychelles with regards to FATCA,” Loustau-Lalanne.
The minister added that “our aim in the future is to improve our international standards with regards to anti-money laundering and terrorism and enforcing tax evasion.”
Loustau–Lalanne said the agreement is another step in the right direction towards accountability, transparency and good governance.
“We are also ensuring compliance as per international norms,” explained the minister, adding that information from banks will be provided to the US authority when needed.
“Today’s agreement also sends a positive signal to the international community about Seychelles’ role as a leading financial hub. Seychelles now joins a network of 61 governments with similar agreements in place. It addresses finance impediment and reduces financial burdens. In the end, what this means is that US tax evaders can no longer find a safe haven in Seychelles” concluded Reimer.
The Minister for Finance, Trade, and Investment Maurice Loustau-Lalanne said that with this agreement the Seychelles Revenue Commission will also be working closely with the US Internal Revenue.