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Tag: #Hong Kong

Hong Kong Intends to Join the OECD’s Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement

Published: Olena Vydysh | 09/02/2018 | news

On February 2, 2018, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region officially formalized the process of ratifying the OECD’s Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA). That means that the jurisdiction will join soon the existing multilateral network of data exchange between the tax authorities of many countries and territories around the world. The Hong Kong Tax and Fees Department introduced the Ordinance on Automatic Exchange of Information on Financial Accounts (AEOI), which will optimize the process of obtaining information by the countries with which the jurisdiction agrees to exchange. This refers to the exchange both under the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) and the intercountry reporting exchange under the BEPS Plan. After joining of Hong Kong the Multilateral Agreement, the authorities of the country will be able to pass a rather formal procedure for finalizing the relations with other participants through the OECD secretariat. If we compare this process with the conclusion of separate bilateral agreements with a number of the countries, it is much faster and easier. It is important to note that until the end of this year, the old (bilateral) rules for...

Hong Kong Legislation on Significant Controllers Register Will Enter into Force in March 2018

Published: Olena Kamenetska | 05/02/2018 | news

On January 24, 2018, the Companies (Amendment) Bill 2017 was passed, which mandates incorporated companies of Hong Kong to keep a Significant Controllers Register (SCR). The new legislation will enter into force on March 1, 2018. The Hong Kong Companies Registry has set up a special section on SCR on its website containing, amongst others, a detailed Guideline on the Keeping of SCR and specific forms for the companies to use. The main requirements for the new SCR regime are listed below. Who are required to keep a SCR? All companies “formed and registered” in accordance with the the Hong Kong Companies Ordinance, including dormant companies, financial institutions, charitable organizations, companies limited by guarantee and any other types of companies incorporated in Hong Kong, except for the listed companies, and foreign companies registered under Part 16 of the Hong Kong Companies Ordinance, must keep a SCR. What should be contained in the SCR? The SCR must contain information on the significant controllers of the applicable company, namely registrable persons (i.e., a natural person or a specified entity such as a government and international organisation) and/or...

The register of data on beneficiaries of Hong Kong companies will be non-public

Published: Yurii Krasilnikov | 01/09/2017 | news

On June 23, 2017, the official government publication of Hong Kong published a draft amendment in the Ordinance on the companies (Companies (Amendment) Bill 2017). One of the changes it covered was the introduction of a requirement for the companies registered in Hong Kong to collect, store and provide up-to-date information on their beneficiaries for the verification. This refers to the so-called "Registers of people with significant control over the companies". This innovation was adopted within the framework of the international policy on combating money laundering and financing of terrorism and it is designed to bring the corporate jurisdiction legislation in the line with the standards of the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering. By analogy with the definition given by the FATF, in anti-laundering legislation of Hong Kong, "significant controllers" are defined as individuals and legal entities that: directly or indirectly own more than 25% of the company's shares; directly or indirectly have more than 25% of the voting rights of the company; directly or indirectly have the right to appoint or remove the majority of the members of the company's board of...

Hong Kong has adopted amendments in Ordinance on companies

Published: Olena Vydysh | 01/09/2017 | news

On June 23, 2017, the official Hong Kong government publication published a draft amendment in the Ordinance on the Companies (Companies (Amendment) Bill 2017). The changes were adopted as the additional measures in combating with money laundering and financing of terrorism, and they are designed to bring the corporate legislation of jurisdiction in compliance with the international standards of the FATF (Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering). The project provides for the introduction of two requirements for Hong Kong companies, one of which is the maintenance of public registries of the beneficiaries or "persons with significant control over the companies" (Register of People with Significant control). "Significant controllers" refer to the persons owning directly or indirectly of more than 25% of the company's assets, as well as entitled to exercise significant influence over its activities. The second change concerns the introduction of the mandatory licensing for the providers of trust and corporate services. The license, which has validity for 3 years, will need to be received within 90 days, starting from January 1, 2018. The administrative liability will be...

DTA entered into force between Russia and Hong Kong

Published: Sergey Panov | 08/08/2016 | news
DTA entered into force between Russia and Hong Kong

Comprehensive agreement for the avoidance of double taxation (CDTA) was signed in January of this year between Hong Kong and Russia, which came into force on 29 July 2016. According to the sources, this agreement shall remain in force for Hong Kong each year since its signing to double taxation, which took place on or after April 1, 2017. The CDTA is informed about what is required to support efforts to expand the tax obligations undertaken by the two countries in the framework of the «Belt and Road», which is a project of the Chinese government for the economic development aiming at the integration of trade and investment between the approximately 60 countries in Eurasia. In the absence of the CDTA program, of Hong Kong companies income, which conduct their entrepreneurial activities with the help of permanent missions in Russia and taxed in both places if their earnings was received in Hong Kong. On this basis, in the new agreement, double taxation is eliminated, and now any Russian tax paid by the companies on their earnings, will be allowed to tax payable in Hong Kong. Besides, in accordance with this agreement, the rate in Russia on income tax on royalties,...

Hong Kong: a new tax benefit for companies

Published: Sergey Panov | 09/06/2016 | news
Hong Kong. Benefits for Companies

June 3, 2016 in the official government publication in Hong Kong were published changes in the tax law, introducing a tax break for companies that perform the function of the treasury center. The changes were adopted by the Legislative Council of Hong Kong on May 26, 2016. Now, the company engaged in Hong Kong treasury activities (namely intra-group financing business, the provision of treasury services and conducting treasury operations), under certain conditions, are able to take into account the the interest paid by them on loans as an expense for tax purposes. Under the changes, the Hong Kong companies, which meet the criteria of corporate treasury center will pay income tax at a reduced rate, in the amount of 8.25% (the standard corporate tax rate in Hong Kong is 16.5% rate). The reduced rate of corporation may be applied against to income from treasury activity, obtained from April 1, 2016 and later. The new rules on percent accounting in the composition of expenditure of companies involved intragroup funding, will also be applied in respect of amounts accrued for payment on April 1, 2016 or later. By introducing new benefits Hong Kong trying to increase...

Tax breaks in Hong Kong’s double tax agreements

Published: Sergey Panov | 24/05/2016 | news

Recently Hong Kong has signed DTA with Romania and Russia, which will cut tax for cross-border trade and investors. Due to Romanian double tax agreement, income tax of Romania can be paid from any other tax which has the same income. Withholding of tax in Romania will cut to current 16 percent to 5 or even 3 percent. The income profit earned by Hong Kong's residents will be enjoying to for full tax exemption. Due to Russian DTA from Hong Kong will income tax paid by Russian residents or companies shall be allowed as a credit against any tax payable in respect of the same income in Russia. Withholding of tax in Russia will cut from current 20 percent or 30 to even 3 percent. The cap of 5 percent will be allowed if even one of the official owner has more than 15 percent of common profit of the company. Profit from international shipping transport also will be enjoying to for full tax exemption. Hong Kong airlines which operating in Russia will pay tax only due to Hong Kong's tax rate. Author: Sergey Panovmanaging partner Finance Business...

Hong Kong, free trade negotiations with Georgia and the Maldives

Published: Sergey Panov | 11/05/2016 | news
Hong Kong, Georgia and Maldives

The government announced that in Hong Kong in the near future there will be an agreement on free trade after negotiations with Georgia and the Maldives. The government also prepared a document for consultation to interested parties could submit proposals for the areas to be covered in the two agreements. "Georgia and the Maldives is the emerging markets with the potential for further growth. The conclusion of free trade agreements with these two countries is of strategic importance for Hong Kong. These agreements after their signing will enhance Hong Kong's trade network in their respective regions, including Eurasia" the spokesman said. "In order to minimize the risk of marginalization, it is important for Hong Kong to participate in the negotiation of free trade agreements. The negotiations with the mainland of China which is our largest trading partner, accounting for about 50 percent of the total trade, have a special importance for maintaining Hong Kong's position as a major trade and logistics center, "he added. The provisions of the two new free-trade agreements will include the elimination or reduction of tariffs; the liberalization of non-tariff...

Hong Kong – Latvia, the avoidance of double taxation agreement

Published: Sergey Panov | 18/04/2016 | news
Hong Kong - Latvia

It has been signed an agreement on avoidance of double taxation between Hong Kong and Latvia on 13 April, Riga. This is the 35th contract that Hong Kong has signed with its trading partners. The Treaty establishes a clear allocation of taxation rights between the two jurisdictions and it helps investors better assess their potential tax liabilities. It has been signed an agreement on avoidance of double taxation between Hong Kong and Latvia on 13 April, Riga. This is the 35th contract that Hong Kong has signed with its trading partners. The Treaty establishes a clear allocation of taxation rights between the two jurisdictions and it helps investors better assess their potential tax liabilities. In the absence of an agreement on avoidance of double taxation the profits of Hong Kong companies which operate through a permanent establishment in Latvia, were taxed in both places if the income comes in Hong Kong. Similarly, revenues received Latvian residents in Hong Kong are subject to tax in Latvia. Under the new agreement, the tax rate in Latvia for royalty (currently different rates to 23 per cent in some cases) will be reduced to zero percent for companies and a maximum of...

Changes to the tax laws of Hong Kong

Published: Sergey Panov | 01/04/2016 | news
Legislation Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government wants more multinational enterprises (MNEs) to call Hong Kong home. Recent financial budgets have contained important tax initiatives to encourage MNEs (including Chinese enterprises) to establish their asset management businesses, corporate treasury centers and intellectual property holding hubs in Hong Kong. Under existing Hong Kong tax law, income earned by a group treasury company from its ordinary course of corporate treasury management and money lending activities carried out in Hong Kong is subject to profits tax at the rate of 16.5%. However, any interest payment made by such a group treasury company to its overseas group companies is not tax deductible because such interest is not chargeable to Hong Kong profits tax in the hands of the overseas recipients. This asymmetrical tax treatment has resulted in Hong Kong being a less attractive location for corporate treasury operations. In the 2016 Budget, the Financial Secretary also sought to provide a more commercially friendly environment for operating an intellectual property (IP) hub in Hong Kong, with a view to attracting MNEs to hold their IP...