December 11, 2012 | Having difficulty viewing this email? View the online version


Welcome to the Tax-News weekly newsletter, carries topical headlines and features on international tax, legal, economics, business and investment issues.



Global Incorporation Guide [GIG] Featured Jurisdiction


Hong Kong has thrived historically as a trading entrepot serving many Asia Pacific countries and also as a low-cost manufacturing centre, and has turned towards the provision of services, particularly financial services. Its economic success is largely based on a whole-hearted adherence to free and open trade, the values encompassed in a British common law legal system and a laissez-faire, non-interventionist attitude on the part of government. There are few if any significant barriers to investment by foreigners. The government has consistently followed business friendly policies and continues to do so. It is not an 'offshore' jurisdiction as such, but has low tax rates which are levied only on Hong Kong-source income. There is no capital gains tax, no withholding tax, no sales taxes, no VAT, no annual net worth taxes and no accumulated earnings taxes on companies which retain earnings rather than distribute them.


Visit the full Hong Kong jurisdiction information page for further information on Hong Kong's suitability, vehicle types, capital and primary business districts, relationships with other jurisdictions, the tax burden for businesses and individuals, headline tax rates, treaty jurisdictions, TIEA Jurisdictions and more.



Latest Tax News


Brazil Announces More Stimulus Measures

Following lackluster economic growth during the third quarter of the year, Brazil's Finance Minister Guido Mantega has announced a slew of new measures, including payroll tax breaks for the construction industry, in an effort to revitalize the economy.
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France Seeks New Taxes On Second Homes

The Socialist French government has recently submitted an amendment to the country's year-end supplementary finance bill providing for two new real estate taxes to be introduced targeting wealthy individuals in France.
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New Austerity Measures Approved In Cyprus

Cypriot MPs have voted into law new austerity measures, including further increases in value-added tax and a controversial updating of the country's Immovable Property Tax regime.
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Liechtenstein, Austria Eye Swift Conclusion Of Tax Deal

Negotiations between Liechtenstein and Austria on a tax deal aimed at resolving the issue of Austrian citizens' undeclared bank accounts in the Principality are said to be in full swing.
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Mexican Tax Reform Proposals To Be Ready By July 2013

Following the previous disclosure from a top adviser to Enrique Pena Nieto that one of the first policies to be initiated by the new President of Mexico would be tax reform, Manlio Fabio Beltrones, coordinator of the President's party in the House of Representatives, has indicated that such tax proposals can be expected in July next year.
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Italian Cabinet Approves DTA With San Marino

On December 6, 2012, the Italian Cabinet approved the ratification of the double taxation agreement between Italy and San Marino, which also includes a Protocol for the exchange of tax information.
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Read more latest news

Sovereign Group

Q&A with Jacques Scherman, Managing Director of Sovereign Trust (Hong Kong) Limited


With the obvious ascension of China as a world leader and economic giant, and record growth in various South East Asian economies generally, the world is starting to look Eastwards when it considers matters of strategy and business expansion. Jacques Scherman, Managing Director of Sovereign Trust (Hong Kong) Limited, deals with some of the more frequent questions and concerns raised in connection with Hong Kong, the world's most open economy and natural gateway to the East.


Q1: HK companies seem to be popular with anyone trading goods globally, and particularly with those businesses that source their goods in Asia. Why is that the case? Click here


Q2: I have heard HK companies pay no tax. Is that correct? Click here


Q3: Apparently HK companies need to be audited every year and the auditors' costs in HK are astronomical. Is that correct? Click here


Q4: HK used to be a good place to form a company but apparently Singapore is much better as a financial jurisdiction recently. Is that true? Click here


Q5: Does HK have banking secrecy? What safeguards exist to protect me from 3rd parties trying to access my private financial information? Click here


Q6: If I mean to carry on a business or trade in HK, do I need a HK company and work visas for my staff? Click here


Q7: I understand HK is not really part of China and has a different legal system, with different company laws and practices. What happens if my HK company needs to deal with Chinese customers? Click here


Q8: I have heard that it is impossible for foreign companies to set up in China. Is that true? Click here




Sovereign Trust (Hong Kong) Limited
Suites 1601-1603
Kinwick Centre
32 Hollywood Road
Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2542 1177
Fax: +852 2545 0550


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