Targeting international money moves, Seychelles gets support from Tax Inspectors Without Borders
Maison Collet houses the headquarters of the Seychelles Revenue Commission. (Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles will receive technical support from the Tax Inspectors Without Borders initiative to build its tax audit capacity, in a move to target cross-border tax avoidance, said the finance ministry.
Under the one-year programme launched virtually on Monday, the government of India, which was chosen as the partner administration, will provide a tax expert to assist the Seychelles Revenue Commission (SRC).
"Seychelles recognises the need to carry out better quality audits. Our lack of experience and skills in complex international audits often acts as a barrier and allows for cross-border tax avoidance," said the Secretary of State in the Ministry of Finance, Patrick Payet.
Tax Inspectors Without Borders is a joint initiative of the OECD and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to support developing countries in building tax audit capacity. The initiative makes use of a pool of qualified tax experts who are deployed to jurisdictions where technical know-how, skills, best practices and experiences can be shared and transferred to the local tax auditors.
The programme in Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, will focus on building the capacity of the Revenue Commission in handling transfer pricing cases in the tourism and financial services sectors.
The Seychelles Revenue Commission was created in 2010 to oversee the collection of all government revenues in an efficient and transparent manner. It is the Authority responsible for both customs and tax, which were previously two separate divisions within the Ministry of Finance. Although the Ministry of Finance remains the parent ministry with the responsibility to oversee major policy issues affecting SRC, the Commission has its own mandate.
Ben Dickinson, head of the global relations and development division at the OECD's Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, attended the virtual event.
"We're delighted that Seychelles and India are fully engaged in international tax cooperation discussions. TIWB provides practical support and is a great asset to international tax cooperation," said Dickinson.
Payet commended Tax Inspectors Without Borders for adopting such an approach from which countries with limited resources, such as Seychelles, would really benefit from the transfer of such knowledge from qualified and experienced tax experts.
Since its inception, TIWB has supported over 50 countries and jurisdictions through its targeted tax audit assistance programmes.