Hong Kong 2021-22 Budget proposals

Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary, Paul Chan, outlined his budget for 2020-21 in the Budget Address on 24 February 2021. Acknowledging a record high deficit and another difficult year ahead the budget proposals focus on stabilising the economy and relieving people’s burden.  The Financial Secretary outlined measures to support enterprises, and revive and stimulate the economy, as well as regarding tax policy. Highlights of the measures of particular interest to Hong Kong companies and our clients operating in Hong Kong are set out below. ·        Waiving business registration fees for 2021-22 It is proposed again that the business registration (BR) fees for the period 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022 will be waived, and only the BR Levy will be charged. As such, the total BR fee for a 1-year certificate will be HKD250 (USD32) for this period, instead of HKD2250 (USD287). The IRD will announce the refund arrangement after the relevant legislative amendment is passed by the Legislative Council. Marbury clients who have already been billed for their BR fee the coming financial year will receive a reduced invoice to account for the fee waiver in their next billing cycle. Whereas our clients who are incorporating in the coming financial year will be charged according to the proposed fee waiver. Hong Kong companies continue to benefit from the waiver of registration fees for company Annual Returns as announced in last year’s budget.  Watch this space: ·        Tax Policy The Financial Secretary confirmed that Hong Kong will actively implement the BEPS 2.0 proposals, relating to global minimum taxation,  whilst seeking to minimise the impact on local SMEs and Hong Kong’s simple tax regime, and its attractiveness to multinational corporations to invest and operate in Hong Kong.  More information can be … Discover More

Singapore update: BizFile+ filing extensions and filing penalty waivers

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.

Implementation of a Central Register of Controllers

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.

Economic Substance in the Marshall Islands

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.

BVI Economic Substance framework now fully operational

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.