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The Exchange of Tax Information Portal is an initiative of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. The Global Forum conducts peer reviews of its member jurisdictions' ability to co-operate with other tax administrations in accordance with the internationally agreed standard. The standard provides for exchange of information on request where it is foreseeably relevant to the administration and enforcement of the domestic tax laws of the requesting jurisdiction. Effective exchange of information requires that jurisdictions ensure information is available, that it can be obtained by the tax authorities and that there are mechanisms in place allowing for the exchange of that information. The Global Forum's peer review process examines both the legal and regulatory aspects of exchange (Phase 1 reviews) and the exchange of information in practice (Phase 2). The EOI Portal will track the development of these peer reviews, including changes that jurisdictions make in response to the Global Forum's recommendations.

Peer Review: Phase 1 Peer Review Report - The Seychelles

This report for Seychelles has been published on 27 Jan 2011. You can buy this report, or browse it online below.

Skip directly to the Executive Summary. You may also want to view the tables of determinations and ratings.


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Determinations and Recommendations

Jurisdictions should ensure that ownership and identity information for all relevant entities and arrangements is available to their competent authorities. (ToR A.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is not in place.   The Seychelles does not have appropriate mechanisms in place that allow the identification of owners of bearer shares in domestic companies and international business companies established before 2009.  The Seychelles' authorities should ensure that the issuance of bearer shares without reporting obligations is no longer possible under the Companies Ordinance, 1972. Appropriate mechanisms to identify holders of bearer shares issued by IBCs before the 2009 amendment of the IBC Act should also be established. 
There is no need in the Seychelles to make IBSs shareholding information available to governmental tax authorities in charge of EOI.  The Seychelles' authorities should amend the Seychelles legal and regulatory framework to ensure that IBCs' shareholding information is available to governmental tax authorities for the purpose of EOI. 
There is no need in the Seychelles to make information on limited partners in a limited partnership available to government authorities. This information can only be disclosed to the partners themselves.  The Seychelles' authorities should amend the limited partnership act, 2003 to open the limited partners register to be kept by the designated general partner to public inspection of governmental authorities. 
There is no need in the Seychelles to maintain and keep up to date information on settlors and beneficiaries of trusts, nor to disclose this information to government authorities. In addition, the disclosure of documents relating to an international trust can only be effected in cases of criminal activity.  It is recommended that the International Trust Act, 1994 be amended to ensure the availability of information on settlors and beneficiaries of trusts and to ensure this information is updated in a timely fashion. 
Designation of the beneficiaries of international foundations is optional, not obligatory.  The Seychelles authorities should amend the Foundations Act, 2009 to ensure that information is available to identify the founders, members of the foundation council, and beneficiaries (where applicable), as well as any other persons with the authority to represent the foundation. 
The "customer due diligence" rules provided for by the Seychelles anti-money laundering legislation does not ensure the retention of accurate ownership information, in particular due to the fact that the timeframe within which such identification must occur is not specified and that the definition of beneficial ownership, is not broad enough to oblige service providers and in particular persons in an ownership chain.  The Seychelles authorities should amend the anti-money laundering legislation to ensure the retention of accurate ownership information. 
Jurisdictions should ensure that reliable accounting records are kept for all relevant entities and arrangements. (ToR A.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is not in place.   The Seychelles legislation does not ensure that reliable accounting records, or underlying documentation, are kept by IBCs, limited partnerships, trusts or foundations.  The Seychelles should amend relevant legislation to ensure that reliable accounting records and underlying documentation which meet the international standards are kept by the IBCs, limited partnerships, international trusts and foundations. 
International business companies, limited partnerships, international trusts and foundations are not required to keep accounting records and underlying documentation for a period of 5 years or more.  The Seychelles should require that accurate accounting records and underlying documentation are kept by all relevant entities for at least 5 years. 
Banking information should be available for all account-holders. (ToR A.3)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Competent authorities should have the power to obtain and provide information that is the subject of a request under an exchange of information arrangement from any person within their territorial jurisdiction who is in possession or control of such information (irrespective of any legal obligation on such person to maintain the secrecy of the information). (ToR B.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is not in place.   The broad powers of the Revenue Commission to access all types of information can only be used "for the purpose of administering any revenue law" and international co-operation, including international exchange of information, is not a stated purpose of any of the revenue laws.  The Revenue Administration Act, 2009 should be amended to indicate that one of the roles of the Revenue Commission is in the field of international co-operation. 
When read together, the Financial Institutions Act, 2004 and the Revenue Administration Act, 2009 effectively result in a secrecy provision which restricts the access to information held by offshore banks.  The Seychelles should ensure the authorities have the power to obtain and provide information that is the subject of a request under an exchange of information arrangement from any bank within their territorial jurisdiction. 
The rights and safeguards (e.g. notification, appeal rights) that apply to persons in the requested jurisdiction should be compatible with effective exchange of information. (ToR B.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Exchange of information mechanisms should provide for effective exchange of information. (ToR C.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is not in place.   Only 3 of the treaties signed by the Seychelles meet the international standards and provide for exchange of all types of information without regards to domestic tax interest.  The Seychelles authorities should commence negotiations with partners to amend their current agreements to bring them to the standard. 
The existing treaties are not in effect as there is no provision in the domestic law allowing the Revenue Commission and its employees to exchange information with treaty partners.  The Seychelles' legislation should be amended to provide for the exchange of information between the Revenue Commission and counterparties to agreements. 
The jurisdictions' network of information exchange mechanisms should cover all relevant partners. (ToR C.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is not in place.   Over the last three years only treaties with Barbados and Monaco and a protocol with Malaysia were concluded to the standard.  It is recommended that the Seychelles should expand its EOI arrangements network to the standard. 
The jurisdictions' mechanisms for exchange of information should have adequate provisions to ensure the confidentiality of information received. (ToR C.3)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
The exchange of information mechanisms should respect the rights and safeguards of taxpayers and third parties. (ToR C.4)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
The jurisdiction should provide information under its network of agreements in a timely manner. (ToR C.5)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The assessment team is not in a position to evaluate whether this element is in place, as it involves issues of practice that are dealt with in the Phase 2 review.