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Mauritania Publishes Law for New General Tax Code with New Corporation Tax

On 7 May 2019, Mauritania's General Directorate of Taxation announced that Law No. 2019-018 on the General Tax Code was promulgated on 29 April 2019 and published in the Official Gazette on 30 April. This includes a new General Tax Code that consolidates all tax regulations into a single document. The New Code is broken down into four main books:

  • Book 1, which defines the rules for direct taxes;
  • Book 2 which deals with indirect taxes;
  • Book 3, which sets the rules for registration and stamp duties; and
  • Book 4, which includes the rules for modern procedures (control of computerized accounting, tax ruling, remote procedures, etc.) in a simple application framework.

According to the General Directorate, the new Code is a continuity of current tax law in many respects, although a number of changes have been made to the direct taxation of profits for the establishment of a cost-effective and open tax system for domestic and international private investment. This includes the introduction of a new corporation tax (Impôt sur les sociétés - IS), which replaces the Industrial and Commercial Profit Tax (Impôt sur les Bénéfices Industriels et Commerciaux - IBIC) and the minimum fixed tax (Impôt Minimum Forfaitaire - MFI).

Under the new corporation tax, rules are provided for a normal real profit regime, which applies to companies with annual turnover exceeding MRU 5 million, and an intermediate real profit regime for companies with annual turnover equal to or below MRU 5 million.

For companies under the normal regime, the corporation tax payable is the higher of 25% of net taxable profit or 2.0% of taxable revenue. A minimum tax payable is also set under the normal regime at MRU 100,000.

Under the intermediate regime, the corporation tax payable is the higher of 25% of net taxable profit or 2.5% of taxable revenue. No minimum tax amount is set under the intermediate regime, although certain restrictions apply, including in relation to foreign exchange gains/losses and depreciation, among others. Taxpayers under the intermediate regime may opt to apply the normal regime, but not vice versa.

For taxpayers engaged in land transport of persons or goods or the rental of vehicles, regardless of the tax regime (normal or intermediate), tax payable is equal to the higher of either 25% of net taxable profit or a fixed amount per vehicle. For this purpose, the amount per vehicle ranges from MRU 600 to MRU 7,500, depending on the age and carrying capacity of the vehicle.

With respect to the payment of corporation tax, three installments are due under both regimes. The first is due with the annual tax return by 31 March of the following year and is equal to 40% of the amount of corporation tax due. The second installment, equal to 30% of the corporation tax due, is due by 30 June of the following year and the third installment, representing the balance of corporation tax due, is due by 30 September of the following year.

The new General Tax Code will apply from 1 January 2020. The General Directorate of Taxation will be holding workshops and publishing practical guidance on the application of the new Code during the second half of 2019. Additional details will be published once available.

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