Mauritius (MU)

Jurisdiction Overview

206 *Is any formal registration required at all? NEITHER: Neither domestic law trusts nor foreign law trusts domestically managed have to register.
 Data Date: 2017


"Trusts are not required to be registered in Mauritius, except if the constitution of the trust involves transfer of ownership or usufruct of immoveable property (the Registration Duty Act). However, under the Income Tax Act, every trust (except charitable trusts) is taxable as a company and has to file an annual tax return to the MRA [Mauritius Revenue Authority] (sections 46 and 116). Resident trusts are liable to tax on income derived from Mauritius or elsewhere and non-resident trusts are liable to tax on income derived from Mauritius (section 5)." (GF 2011a: 30; [TJN-Note]). Footnote 24 specifies further: "A trust is a tax resident if it is administered in Mauritius and a majority of the trustees are residents in Mauritius, or if the settlor of the trust was resident in Mauritius when the trust was created (section 73)." (GF 2011a: 30, FN 24).
Following this description, it appears that trusts that are not considered resident for tax purposes (for example because a minority of trustees is resident in Mauritius) would not be required to file tax returns. In 2014 the Global Forum referred to changes in Mauritius law. However, changes only refer to trustees' obligation to keep ownership information but not to the obligation to file information with tax authorities (GF 2014: 19). In 2017, the Global Forum did not refer to any changes (GF 2017: 57).
While according to the Ministry of Finance "Section 2 of The Trust Act 2001 - "qualified trustee" means a management company or such other person resident in Mauritius as may be authorised by the Commission to provide trusteeship services" (Communication with Mauritius Ministry of Finance, January 9, 2020), we understand that it is not clear from the legislation that all trustees need to register, only the qualified trustees, while the legislation refers to custodian trustees and managing trustees as well, and it is not clear that they are all "qualified".

GF 2011a: 30
GF 2014: 19
GF 2017: 57
Trusts Act 2001