Assembly approves two bills unanimously |13 December 2023
The National Assembly yesterday waived the seven days’ notice requirement for the second reading of two bills, to allow the House to debate and approve the bills.
These were the Revenue law (amendment) Bill 2023, and the Political Parties (Registration and Regulation) (Amendment) Bill. Both bills were presented by Minister Naadir Hassan, from the Ministry of Finance, National Planning and Trade.
When presenting the Revenue Administration bill, Minister Hassan explained it was part of effort to improve the efficiency of government services, specifically those offered by the Seychelles Revenue Commission.
As mentioned in the 2024 budget presentation, government will continue to invest in the digitalisation of SRC. In line with this, SRC has developed an electronic system that allows taxpayers to register and declare their revenues for payments.
“Together with the digital platform being developed, it is important that we update our laws in line with the direction we are taking,” explained the minister.
Two sections are being amended. The first part relates to the method stipulated in the law with regard to how a taxpayer should submit their documentation to the SRC. The government is now making provision for the documents to be submitted in digital form. Secondly it is adding a new section, which stipulates various ways how a document being submitted can be signed, to allow for electronic signatures.
The second bill was the Political Parties (Registration and Regulation) (Amendment) Bill, which is a continuation of reform being undertaken in the tax regime since 2019. Mr Hassan explained the government has implemented tax reform for different entities.
It was now considering tax applicable to political parties. “We recognise that political parties rely on certain financial sources to cater for its operational cost. There could be instances where political parties get involved in profitable activities and the tax regime should reflect this,” he explained.
The government was therefore introducing a tax regime applicable to reflect this. It should be noted there are five types of revenues that can be recorded by political parties namely money from contributions, donations, gifts or as loan, subscription paid by party members, returns on investment, revenue from the sales of assets and goods, and any money it gets from funding for political parties.
According to the minister, tax will not be applicable on contributions, donations, gifts or loan, subscription paid by party members and funding for political parties and the law will be amended to reflect this. In addition, the bill is including a new provision in the Business Tax Act which states that with regard to any donation given to a political party, there will not be an allowable deduction on the entity making the deduction.
Both bills were approved unanimously by the National Assembly.