Taxman is aiming for more e-filers

10 years, 1 month ago - March 10, 2011
The Mauritius Revenue Authority expects about 60% of taxpayers to file their returns this year through the Internet.

The Mauritius Revenue Authority expects about 60% of taxpayers to file their returns this year through the Internet.

Last year the figure was 40%, but the MRA wants more e-filing and is introducing incentives. For instance, if the taxpayer misses the March 31 deadline but is an e-filer and intends to pay through e-banking, he or she may not have to pay a penalty.

There are a number of changes to tax collection this year. The fiscal year has been tuned in to the calendar year, so the deadline is now the March 31 and not September 30 as in previous years.

The level of taxable income has also been revised for 2011. According to an official MRA spokesman, all people with a monthly income of Rs19,600 and above are legally liable to pay tax.

However, the marital status of the person and the number of dependants are among other factors the MRA considers when deciding whether a person falls within its fiscal net.

A major departure for Mauritians is that the MRA will not be posting out any tax forms. “The MRA is embracing a paperless initiative to be in tune with the Maurice Ile Durable concept. We are therefore asking as many people as possible to file their income tax forms electronically,” says the official spokesman.

To achieve its paperless objectives, the MRA has already started sending letters and emails to people on its mailing list to explain how to use the Internet to file returns.

The MRA is encouraging taxpayers to join its mailing list which “will allow us to inform taxpayers of the latest developments and changes in law.

“Last year, 44,913 individual taxpayers filed their returns through the Internet, representing 40% of all individual taxpayers. This year we are expecting around 60% to go for e-filing.”

E-filers can also take money from the MRA... A lottery guarantees direct participation to e-filers and it has a top prize of Rs50,000.

E-filers who miss the March 31 deadline will receive a grace period of 15 days, although they must pay through Internet banking.

Those who do not want to pay their tax at the MRA office have been given more than one option this year as a direct debit oprtion is available – however, taxpayers still have to go personally to the MRA head office in Port- Louis to fill in the necessary forms to be able use this facility; they have till March 21 to do this. 

The form can also be downloaded from the MRA website. Another innovation this year is the setting up of Income Tax Assistance Centres.

Employees of the MRA will be present in 16 villages across the country on the weekend of the March 26-27. “The objective is to help people fill in their income tax forms. They may also pay their tax to the officers if they want,” states an official source.

The MRA, of course, understands that there will be people who will be unable to access the Internet or be able to come to MRA office to file their tax returns. These taxpayers can phone the MRA office, which will then send an income tax form to them.

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