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Total Mauritius Ltd v Mauritius Revenue Authority

In Total Mauritius Ltd v Mauritius Revenue Authority (PC – 25 October) a Mauritius company (T) sold liquefied petroleum gas in portable metal bottles.

It required customers to pay a deposit for the bottles.

The tax authority issued assessments charging tax on the basis that the deposits were trading receipts and T appealed.

The Mauritius Supreme Court upheld the assessments but the Privy Council allowed T’s appeal holding that ‘sums received from or for the benefit of a customer that are to be held and ultimately paid to the customer without reduction fall to be treated as if they belong to the customer and are not trading receipts.

The supplier has the use of the deposits and will be taxed on the profits earned by such use but this does not make them trading receipts.’ 


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