Tax Newsletter - May/June 2014 (China & Hong Kong)


Editorial Note:

Welcome to our redesigned Tax Newsletter.

You will notice we have streamlined the publication and will now publish bi-monthly instead of quarterly. For major developments that may be highly relevant to investments and operations in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), we will separately publish more detailed alerts to discuss the relevant implications.

The redesigned newsletter will highlight legal developments in tax and foreign investment in the PRC and Hong Kong in the preceding two months. We will also have a dedicated section when there are significant legal updates from other parts of the world.

In the past two months, the PRC and Hong Kong have experienced several important changes which may have far-reaching impact on local and international businesses.

In the PRC, the State Administration of Taxation (SAT) has specifically allowed foreign trade service operators to claim VAT refunds for exportation of goods. Further, the government has relaxed regulations on cross-border security and included the telecommunications sector in the VAT Pilot Reform regime effective from June 1, 2014. The SAT has also clarified the determination of taxable income for Enterprise Income Tax purposes and the concept of “beneficial owner” under the “entrusted investment arrangement” in the context of tax treaty benefits. In addition, the PRC and Germany have recently entered into a new tax treaty to facilitate investments between the two countries.

In Hong Kong, there have been recent developments in the exchange of tax information between Hong Kong and the United States (US), including an agreement to facilitate the implementation of the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). Hong Kong is also strengthening its ties with ASEAN with a proposed bilateral Free Trade Agreement. Domestically, the Hong Kong government is considering proposals to ease restrictions placed on the property market. The Inland Revenue Department has also reported a number of tax avoidance cases during the last two months and changes regarding the Inland Revenue (Amendment) Bill and Stamp Duty (Amendment) Ordinance 2014 are underway.

Please see full newsletter below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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