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Savings Tax Directive Under The Microscope In Hong Kong

by Mary Swire, for, Hong Kong

04 October 2006

With the EU hoping to fix its ineffective information-sharing regime by extending its writ worldwide, senior professionals will discuss the issue at STEP's first Hong Kong conference in October.

Martin Glass, Deputy Secretary for Financial Services & the Treasury in Hong Kong, will address the possibility of Hong Kong entering an information sharing agreement with the EU at the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners' Trusts & Tax in Asia conference from 12 – 13 October in Hong Kong.

A distinguished panel of experts, including David Russell QC (Australia), Richard Pease TEP (Partner at Lenz & Staehelin, Switzerland), and Martin Glass will lead the two-day conference.

They will discuss whether Asia’s regional governments will go the way of the Europeans in tax information sharing. The EU’s Savings Tax Directive has given the taxpayer a duty of disclosure in order to ensure that citizens of EU member states pay the appropriate level of tax. However, the EU are now seeking to extend treaty arrangements, that would have the same effect, around the world. With EU negotiators targeting Hong Kong and Macau this question looms over Hong Kong’s financial success. Martin Glass will give practitioners insight into the progress of negotiations in this area.

Bill Ahern TEP, Managing Director of Wealth & Tax Advisory Services at HSBC Private Bank said “At this exciting time, who can doubt that Hong Kong and Asia’s future is bright in so many ways. This conference will give practitioners an understanding of the threats and opportunities for commercial success in Hong Kong’s private client profession. The issue of information disclosure looms large over the industry in Hong Kong – it will be helpful to see where we will be heading on this issue.”

STEP's 12,000 members work across the legal, accountancy, trust, banking, insurance and related professions. Conference partners include HSBC Private Bank, Barclays, Butterfield Trust, Equity Trust, Jersey Finance, Royal Bank of Canada and Walbrook.

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