Mauritius ranks 6th among top 10 least taxed countries worldwide
According to the report by Bradley Hackford, Mauritius counts as an attractive low-tax jurisdiction based on its simple residency process and a personal income tax rate as low as 15%. (Image: SMH)
Mauritius has won 6th place worldwide among least taxed countries in the 2014 rankings compiled by Bradley Hackford, which is a company that specialises in relocation for individuals seeking a low-tax environment.
Bradley Hackford’s report rated Bahamas, Andorra, Monaco, Bulgaria, Panama, Mauritius, United Arab Emirates, Guernsey, The Cayman Islands and Switzerland as the top ten countries where it is pays to establish a physical and tax residence as these jurisdictions impose neutral or low tax rates on individuals.
According to the report, Mauritius counts as an attractive low-tax jurisdiction since international investors appreciate the island economy based on the simple residency process and the tax benefits related to residency.
The main process of obtaining residency in Mauritius is through the purchase of real estate on the island, approved under the local program called the Integrated Resort Scheme (IRS), with a minimum value of US 500,000 (approximately Rs 15.50 million).
In addition, the report justifies Mauritius’ ranking on the grounds that the island has low tax rates, with a personal income tax rate as low as 15%.
Also, on account of the bilingual nature of its citizens, a majority of whom can converse in both French and English, the island attracts French-speaking individuals who appreciate the French language fluency of the population as well as the weak tax levy on the island.
Besides, Bahamas was ranked first due to its proximity to the USA and because of its zero percent income tax regime. Obtaining residence requires making a local real estate investment, with a minimum value of USD 500,000 or, for those opting for the accelerated process, a minimum value of USD 1,500,000.
Next on the list is Andorra, a small principality located between France and Spain, which is considered an ideal destination to establish residence in Europe, particularly by Russians, due to its very favorable taxation.
Following Andorra is Monaco, which, with its upscale recreational opportunities and its recognized security, attracts many residents from various countries, especially Italy, Russia, and more recently from Switzerland.
However, obtaining residence at the principality of Monaco requires being able to demonstrate significant financial wealth. The bright side is that living in Monaco allows people to benefit from the total absence of income taxes – except for people of French nationality who continue to pay their taxes in France.
The report went on to explain Bulgaria’s high-rank on the grounds that it offers one of the lowest tax rates in Europe at 10%, and non-Europeans living in the country can travel freely throughout Europe.
Panama in Central America was considered an attractive destination due to a simple process that allows for residency to be obtained quickly and for a low investment requirement for a number of nationalities.
Overall, Bradley Hackford used five criteria to establish the classification of nations in the low-tax regime rankings: the rate of tax burden for individuals residing in the country; the country’s quality of life, the country’s legal and physical security; the quality of the economic investment program developed by the local government to encourage new residents in the country to invest (document processing speed is also taken into account in this criterion); and finally, the country’s geographical location, its accessibility, and its recreational opportunities.
It may be noted that Bradley Hackford operates in several jurisdictions worldwide and is specialised in international relocation procedures mainly in countries with attractive tax policies. It also helps out with nationality acquisition procedures for the concerned individuals who seek to relocate to low-tax jurisdictions.