Hong Kong Tax News Flash

Oct 2015, Issue 9

Applause for Hong Kong's removal from the EU's blacklist

On 14 October 2015, the HKSAR Government issued a press release announcing that Hong Kong has now been removed from the list of third country non-cooperative tax jurisdictions (the pan-EU blacklist) originally published by the European Commission (EC) in June 2015.

According to the updated information on the EC's website and the HKSAR Government's press release, of the 10 European Union (EU) Member States that had included Hong Kong on their national lists of non-cooperative jurisdictions when the pan-EU blacklist was first released, Spain no longer includes Hong Kong on its national list and Estonia no longer presents a national list. As a result, the number of EU Member States that still include Hong Kong in their national lists has been reduced from ten to eight, resulting in the removal of Hong Kong from the pan-EU blacklist.

To further defend Hong Kong as a cooperative tax jurisdiction, the HKSAR Government will (1) maintain ongoing dialogue with the EU to keep its Member States abreast of Hong Kong's commitments and efforts on tax cooperation, (2) proceed with the work on drafting the legislation for implementing the automatic exchange of information in Hong Kong and (3) continue its effort in expanding Hong Kong's networks of tax treaty or tax information exchange agreement.

In the post-Base Erosion and Profit Shifting environment and under the international pressure of increased tax transparency, inevitably companies in Hong Kong with cross-border operations/transactions will be affected by the more stringent information disclosure requirement and increased tax information exchange between different jurisdictions going forward.

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