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).

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