HK Tax Legislation On Automatic Exchange Of Information (“AEOI”) Came Into Effect On 30 June 2016
What is AEOI
A new system that involves transmission of financial account information from HK to an AEOI partner (i.e. an overseas tax jurisdiction that has entered into an AEOI Agreement with Hong Kong) to identify if a tax resident whose tax affairs are not compliant.
What is the purpose of AEOI
To cope with international standard for increasing tax transparency between jurisdictions. Over 100 tax authorities across the world have committed to AEOI.
Time frame for implementation
The Hong Kong Inland Revenue Department (“IRD”) targets to commence the first information exchanges in 2018 and hence the IRD will announce by the end of 2016, the list of AEOI partners.
Who will be the AEOI partners
In the first place, the IRD intends to enter AEOI agreements with those jurisdictions which have signed a comprehensive avoidance of double taxable agreement (“CDTA”) or tax information exchange agreement (“TIEA”). There are now 35 CDTA partners and 7 TIEA partners with Hong Kong by the end of June 2016.
- Mainland China
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
Why is it relevant for you?
If you have assets or income outside of the jurisdiction that you are a tax resident, then your financial information may be shared with your jurisdiction of residence. The financial institution will collect and furnish to the IRD information of the identified account holders (individual or entity including trust and foundation) and the financial account information on an annual basis. IRD will then transmit the information to the tax administration of the relevant jurisdiction of which the account holder is tax resident.
Hong Kong taxpayers who are not tax residents of any territory outside Hong Kong will not be affected by the implementation of AEOI.
- Name, address and other identifying information of the person concerned
- A reference for the financial account
- Details about the financial institution
- The balance or value of the financial account
- Interest, dividends, income from certain insurance products
- Sales proceeds from financial assets
Which types of organisations are reporting their financial information
A broad range of financial institutions including custodial institutions, depository institutions,investment entities, and specified insurance companies, commonly they are banks, insurers, wealth and asset managers.
How the information is collected
The reporting financial institutions are required to apply due diligence procedures to collect all required information and documentation from account holders. To identify reportable person, reporting financial institutions may ask account holders to complete self-certification forms for verification of their tax residency status. The self-certifications will be kept by the reporting financial institutions for a period of 6 years.
Self-certification would be required from account holders for all new accounts (accounts opened on or after 1 January 2017). For accounts opened before 1 January 2017, if a reporting financial institution has doubts about the tax residence of an account holder, it can seek a self-certification from the account holders to verify its tax residence. More information regarding the tax law of different jurisdictions for defining tax residence can be found at http://www.oecd.org/tax/automatic-exchange/crs-implementation-and-assistance/tax-residency/. An account holder is liable on conviction to a fine of up to (HK$10,000) if an account holder who knowingly or recklessly provides a statement that is misleading, false or incorrect in a material particular in making a self-certification to a reporting financial institutions. It is anticipated practice note on AEOI will be issued by the IRD in which further guidance on the implementation details will be provided.
How we can assist
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