Sunday, November 3, 2013

St. Helena Adopts a 25% Flat Tax

The British Overseas Territory of St. Helena adopted a 25% flat tax on both corporate and personal income effective April 1, 2012.  The Income Tax Ordinance 6 of 2012 replaced that of 2009, which consisted of two rates of 17% and 27%.  (St. Helena issues its own currency, which is set at par with British pounds sterling.)

Allowances were adjusted to prevent those in the previous 17% bracket from paying more in taxes than under the new 25% rate.  The 2009 law provided a personal allowance of 3,500 pounds that was deductible against charged income.  The 2012 ordinance increased the allowance to 7,000 pounds.

Capital gains are taxed at 10%.

The purpose of the 2012 reform was to increase the attractiveness of St. Helena as a place to invest in the wake of an airport scheduled to open in early 2016.  Previously, all physical contact with the island was through a weekly ship service to and from southern African ports.  The autonomous government of St. Helena plans to further reduce tax rates (and import duties).

1 comment:

Otis said...

St Helena has now dropped its 25% flat tax in a move to target higher earners ( over £25,000) now at 31%. The new Tax Bill introduced with about two weeks notice is expected to hit Government contract workers recruited from Overseas the hardest. The tax reform has annoyed some contractors recruited on fixed term contracts of between 2 and 3 years on fixed salary terms although the tax increase has played out well locally and received unanimous political support.

Further tax hikes appear likely whenever the Government budget comes under pressure in future as the Island depends upon UK financial support. St Helena is heavily reliant upon aid from the UK Department for International Development.