Filling out tax forms might not be as easy as it seems. The Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) has pointed out common mistakes made by people.
170 000 taxpayers will submit their forms this year, as opposed to 130 000 last year.
The deadline for the submission of the forms is the 31st of March. Those not submitting their forms will have to pay from Rs 2 000 to Rs 20 000 per month. Those not paying their taxes or delay the payment thereof will have a 5 % penalty fee.
Who are those who have to submit a tax form?
1. Those who have received revenues of more than Rs 275 000 from January to December 2014.
2. People with revenues from businesses exceeding Rs 2 million.
3. Employees whose Pay As You Earn (PAYE) has been reduced.
4. Taxpayers whose “Tax deduction at source” (TDS) has been applied to their revenues.
5. Those having bought land for more than Rs 5 million in 2014.
6. Those having acquired a vehicle costing more than Rs 2 million and whose registration fees exceed Rs 75 000.
7. Those making the acquisition of a boat over Rs 1 million.
8. Those with “chargeable incomes”
Common mistakes made by taxpayers when filling in their forms
1. Deductions for children
The MRA receives many forms from parents whereby both have claimed deductions for their children. However, the correct way to fill in the forms is for only one parent to mention the children.
Another mistake to be avoided is for different spouses requesting for deductions for different children: for example, the mother does so for their son, while the father does so for their daughter.
Also, in case of divorced parents, only one parent is authorised to claim deductions for the kids.
Another point to keep in mind relates to those above 18 years of age. If someone’s child has legally reached adulthood but is unemployed and thus still under the charge of the parents, he still cannot be considered as a “dependent”. However, in case he is a student under a full-time programme, or if he suffers from a physical or mental disability, he will be considered a dependent.
2. Deductions for couples
The deduction relating to spouses is only applicable to those couples who are married, either religiously or legally.
Otherwise, couples who are not married are not included.
3. Deductions for dependents
The law governing this considers only spouses and children under 18 years, as well as those above 18 years of age who are physically or mentally disabled, as dependents.
Relatives are NOT included in this category.
4. Exemptions of Rs 80 000 and Rs 125 000 are available if one’s children is following tertiary studies in Mauritius and abroad respectively.
It is to be noted that the institutions have to be recognised by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) and the courses must imperatively be undergraduate ones and followed on a full-time basis.
Parents with revenues over Rs 2 million are not eligible for this exemption though.
5. Exemptions for home loans
Those who have contracted home loans are eligible to a maximum exemption of Rs 120 000 on the interest rates paid for a year on the condition that the loan was contracted after the 1st of July 2006 and that they were not the owners of a house at the moment of contracting the loan.
Yet again, those with revenues beyond Rs 2 million are not included for this exemption.
6. Income reporting
Many individuals do not report the totality of their incomes. For instance, teachers have to make tuition fees they obtain known. Director of companies have to inform of any “director fee” they receive. Even those above 60 years of age have to report any income if they are still professionally active.
7. Online form-filling
Those doing so online have to click on the “submit” button for their form to be sent to the MRA instead of just saving it.
Furthermore, they need to ascertain that they have received an “acknowledgement ID” from the MRA to inform them that their forms have indeed been received by the MRA.
8. The different categories
Retired people and those suffering from a certain handicap come under the categories E and F. The former is for those not having any dependent (Rs 325 000) while the latter includes those with a dependent (Rs 435 000).