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Seychelles Revenue Commission – celebrating 10 years | 18 November 2019

Seychelles Revenue Commission – celebrating 10 years

The following is a snapshot of the SRC Corporate organigram

The Seychelles Revenue Commission (SRC) was created on January 1, 2010 with the enactment of the Seychelles Revenue Commission Act 2009 as the body responsible for the administration of Seychelles Revenue Laws.

Being comparatively a young organisation as opposed to several other revenue authorities across the globe, SRC started as two simple divisions responsible for collection of taxes within the portfolio of the Ministry responsible for Finance. Prior to the year 2010, the following taxes were collected through the following divisions:

 

         i.            Customs Division – for collection of the then Trades Tax.

        ii.            Tax Division – for collection of Business Tax, Withholding Tax and GST.

 

These two divisions have since grown and have been incorporated under the corporate umbrella of SRC where each division is now headed by a Commissioner under the overall responsibility of the Commissioner General and the deputy Commissioner General. It is important to note that during the earlier days, these two high level positions provided for under the SRC Act was previously referred to as Revenue Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner.

Over the past ten years, SRC has grown immensely to become one of the largest governmental entities in Seychelles, employing a total of three hundred and thirty-three (333) Revenue Officers. In order to achieve the Commission’s mission which is “to optimize revenue collection and facilitate trade to improve the socio-economic well-being of Seychelles”, the following are the main functions of the two divisions:

 

Tax Division

Customs Division

         i.            Registration of taxpayers

         i.            Airport Passenger Terminal (profiling, screening & examination)

        ii.            Return and Payment Processing

        ii.            Airport Cargo Operations (screening & examination)

      iii.            Provision of Advice to Taxpayers

      iii.            Post office (screening & examination of parcels)

       iv.            Tax Audit

       iv.            Boarding (vessels & flights)

        v.            Audit Intelligence

        v.            Seaport (screening & examination of imported cargo)

       vi.            Processing of Payroll

       vi.            Investigation & Post Clearance Audit

     vii.            Processing of Tax Refunds

     vii.            Bonded Warehouse & Concessions

    viii.            Issuing of Tax Certificates

    viii.            Excise & SITZ

       ix.            Revenue Collection

       ix.            Document checks and Amendments (BOE)

        x.            Enforcement & Debt Collection

        x.            Risk assessment & management

 

       xi.            Verification of Exports

 

     xii.            Valuation & Rules of Origin

 

    xiii.            Revenue Collection

 

    xiv.            Enforcement & Debt collection

 

Other functions such as Internal Audit; Provision of legal advice and Prosecution; Objections and Appeals; International Tax; Corporate Planning and Research; Compliance, Policy and Programming; Investigation; Taxpayer Education and Service Delivery; and Information Technology have been created under the offices of the Commissioner General and the Deputy Commissioner General. A third division also exist which covers Administration, Human Resource Management, Human Resource Development (Training) and other Support Services. Together, all three divisions work collectively in order to deliver SRC’s main responsibility which is to support the economy of the Republic of Seychelles. This is through the administration of the continuously updated revenue laws and in accordance with SRC’s mandate which includes:

 

            i.            Assessing, collecting and accounting for all government revenue;

           ii.            Administering efficiently and effectively all revenue laws in force;

         iii.            Advising government on matters of policy relating to revenue;

          iv.            Improving the standard and quality of services provided to taxpayers;

           v.            Counteracting revenue evasion;

          vi.            Monitoring and controlling cost of revenue collection; and

        vii.            Exchanging information in terms of any tax agreement or treaty.

With its headquarters currently based on the 2nd and 3rd floor of Maison Collet building in Victoria, SRC has its offices scattered at various strategic locations which includes, Sacos Tower Building, Post Office, Customs House New Port, SLA office at Orion Mall, the Green Corner Building - Providence, Airport Cargo building at Pointe Larue, Airport Passenger terminal at Pointe Larue, and satellite offices at the Horizon Complex at Baie Ste Anne Praslin, Pension Complex at Grand Anse Praslin and La Passe, La Digue behind the district administration centre.

SRC collects tax revenue on behalf of the government of Seychelles and all revenue collected are remitted daily to the Ministry responsible for Finance.  Tax revenue will represent about 74% of the budget for the fiscal year 2020 and will be used to fund government infrastructure such as public schools, public service hospitals, housing projects and other programmes which will benefit the Seychellois community.

Non-compliance to the Revenue laws is one of SRC’s greatest challenges and the ever growing number of registered businesses and increasing trade activities is stretching the ability of the Commission’s small technical team to efficiently provide support and assistance to the taxpayers and to deter tax evasion through audits and compliance actions.  The demands of globalisation and the increased regulatory scrutiny from our international obligations have brought another dimension to the complexities of SRC’s current operations.

The Commission has nonetheless received fruitful collaborations with other tax jurisdictions and has developed close working relationships with other local enforcement agencies to address these challenges. These partnerships have helped SRC to:

  • Meet its revenue collection targets;
  • Detect drugs, illicit goods and other contraband;
  • Introduce more effective measures to counter some of the tax evasion practices;
  • Facilitate business transactions nationally and across borders;
  • Increase training and capacity building for SRC staff; and
  • Increase participation in international forums organised by ATAF, CATA, COMESA, WCO, World Bank, IMF and OECD just to mention a few.

Given the much broader tax base which exists today (including Personal Income Tax, VAT, Excise Tax, CSR Tax, Tourism Marketing Tax, Customs Duty and Presumptive Tax in addition to Business Tax and Withholding Tax), SRC’s activities have grown over the years but it has nonetheless been able to deliver a professional service and effectively achieve set targets.  In the financial year 2018, SRC recorded:

 

  • Nearly 1,314 new Taxpayer Registration;
  • Clearance of 144,693 parcels through the Post Office;
  • Clearance of 462,631 passengers through the Passenger Terminal at the International Airport;
  • Successful boarding of 642 vessels at sea;
  • Processing of 64,990 Bills of Entry;
  • Conduct spot checks and monitor all the licensed bonded warehouses;
  • Conduct audit investigations; and
  • Manage tax disputes.

 

In March 2018, the first Governing Board for SRC was appointed following amendments to the SRC Act.  The SRC Board has seven members with the role of ensuring the integrity of financial information; provide oversight and monitoring of financial planning and financial reports, including adoption and supervision of the annual budget, provide strategic direction, guidance and leadership to the management of the Commission among several others.

Progression within the SRC is attainable for those who promote the SRC values of integrity, impartiality, professionalism, transparency, and accountability. The collective efforts of all Revenue Officers for their positive contribution towards the economic and social well-being of our beloved Seychelles have to be recognised and encouraged. SRC hopes to also receive maximum support from the business community in the attainment of its motto which is ‘Contributing towards a stronger Seychelles’.

 

 

Contributed by SRC

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