IRS Strategy

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Dream villas? In 2002, the Government launched the IRS (Integrated Resort Scheme) mechanism. Today, the results are more than lukewarm. We are far from the 6000 to 7000 thousands of villas announced in 2002 and from the billions of dollars of profits which were to be generated.

Integrated Resort Scheme (IRS)?

The IRS is basically a project for the construction and sale of luxury villas to foreigners in an idyllic setting near the beautiful coastal region of Mauritius. The acquisition of a villa for residential purposes only by a foreigner under the Scheme will allow the foreigner and his family to reside in Mauritius as long as he holds the property.

For many, the inherent issues and true impact of the policy fur integrated resort scheme are not yet known. The Democratisation of the Economy unit in Mauritius spell the risks that are visible when they HAVE and HAVE NOTS living side by side and witnessing the opulence and lavish life style of those new neighbors. Then again so often the leveling criticism that the best fertile land are pic¬ked up and conversion for launching IRS proiects makes no wisdom reflections upon the scarcity of far¬ming areas in the country.

What makes these super rich move to the Mauritian side ? Many wealthy individuals seeking to externalise assets are "emigrating"to Mauritius by purchasing residential property which is widely being marketed as an excel¬lent investment. One of the much touted advantages is the acquisition of residence status under the so-cal¬led IRS, which earmarks specific residential property valued in excess of $500000. By acquiring a property, the purchaser can obtain residence status with a minimum of formality, with permanent residence status to follow sorne years later. The Born statement surges forth on the profit making opportunity when the property is sold by those same IRS buyers. This seems to present an easy solution: stump up $500 000 to acquire an IRS property, obtain resident status in Mauritius as a result and then relocate to sunnier elimes with your wealth in tow, albeit poorer thanks to the 10% exchange control charge and the additional 10% capital gains tax bit in the event that gains are rea1ised when the assets are liquidated.

The marketing company affirms the attractiveness of the IRS by spelling - there is no requirement that the individual spend a certain minimum amount of rime in Mauritius in order to qualify for the residence permit. ( ... ) Regular commentators are always criticizing whether it is the IRS schemes or what Government does or tries to implement as policies do attract foreign direct investment. For obvious reason that some foreign property buyers tried to secure loans from the domestic financial institutions. The high voltage claims that promoters are to abide to locality and social development where IRS are launched remain unconvincing. We are losing good farming lands and long time skill agricultural labour for there is no conversion of sugar land into other forms of production. Some debates the issue along such lines as stating that rush headlong into the IRS strategy and a savage set of new hotel plans that will ruin our coast-line forever, reduce our country to a ’’playground for world playboys". (...)

Source: le blog