Double taxation treaties in Hong Kong
Legislation which came into operation in March 2010 allows Hong Kong to enter into comprehensive DTAs, incorporating the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) international standard on exchange of information.
In April 2010, Hong Kong has entered a “new phase” in supporting the international effort to enhance tax transparency, and its next hurdle would be to sign at least twelve comprehensive double taxation agreements (DTAs).
There had been some concern within Hong Kong that the territory may become ‘black listed’ by the OECD, or be on the receiving end of sanctions for failing to implement the internationally-agreed standard on tax transparency and information exchange confirmed at the April 2009 G20 Summit in London.
In September 2012, Hong Kong has taken “remarkable steps forward” in establishing its international tax treaty network since the amendment to the Inland Revenue Ordinance in March 2010, and since then, the tax treaty network of Hong Kong has expanded rapidly. As at March 31, 2012, Hong Kong had signed a total of 23 comprehensive double taxation agreements, of which 17 were in force by that date.
- Austria (January 1, 2011)
- Belgium (July 7, 2004)
- Brunei (December 19, 2010)
- Czech Republic (January 24, 2012)
- France (January 1, 2011)
- Hungary (February 23, 2011)
- Indonesia (March 28, 2012)
- Ireland (February 10, 2011)
- Japan (August 14, 2011)
- Liechtenstein (July 8, 2011)
- Luxembourg (January 20, 2009)
- Mainland China (April 10, 1998, Second Protocol June 11, 2008 and Third Protocol December 20, 2010)
- Malta (July 18, 2012)
- Netherlands (October 24, 2011)
- New Zealand (November 9, 2011)
- Portugal (June 3, 2012)
- Spain (April 13, 2012)
- Thailand (December 7, 2005)
- UK (December 20, 2010)
- Vietnam (August 12, 2009)
Double taxation agreements between Hong Kong and the following countries have been signed but are awaiting ratification (with signature dates):
- Austria (Protocol, June 25, 2012)
- Jersey (February 22, 2012)
- Kuwait (May 13, 2010)
- Malaysia (April 27, 2012)
- Mexico (June 18, 2012)
- Switzerland (October 4, 2011)
There is also a memorandum of understanding with China under which:
Chinese source income earned by Hong Kong based shipping, aviation and land transport operations is exempt from tax on the mainland.
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