The Singapore Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) has extended filing deadlines and is waiving late filing penalties for a period following system slowness and intermittent disruption issues with its business filing portal, Bizfile+.

In response to the concerns of Corporate Service Providers (CSPs) who had experienced difficulties filing annual returns and other transactions, ACRA has announced relief measures.

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Singapore – With effect from 30 July 2020, all companies, foreign companies and limited liability partnerships (LLPs), unless exempted, are required to lodge with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) the same information that they presently continue to maintain in their Register of Registrable Controllers (RORC). This is part of ACRA’s on-going efforts to uphold Singapore’s reputation as a trusted financial hub, and to further enhance the transparency of ownership and control of corporate entities.

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The Marshall Islands, following the lead of other offshore jurisdictions such as Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands, has introduced an economic substance regime effective 1 January 2019 in response to the work of the OECD and the European Union on fair taxation. The legislation has since been twice amended and supplemented by guidelines which were last updated in January 2020.

The guidelines provide some clarity to the international business community in interpreting the regulations, especially for shipping and pure holding companies, with further clarification provided on the launch of the reporting portal on 1 July 2020.  We have provided an updated overview.

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The International Tax Authority has informed all Registered Agents and legal entities with reporting obligations under the Economic Substance (Companies and Limited Partnerships) Act, 2018 and the Beneficial Ownership Secure Search System Act, 2017 that the Economic Substance portal as integrated with the Beneficial Ownership Secure Search system (BOSS(ES)s) went live on 12 June 2020.

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Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary, Paul Chan, outlined his budget for 2020-21 in his Budget Address on 26 February 2020. Following the HKD30 billion coronavirus relief package two weeks ago by Hong Kong Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, Chan’s budget offers additional relief with generous measures for business.

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