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Hong Kong's tax co-operation status clarified by EC

     The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government noted that the European Commission (EC) updated its webpage on October 12 on the listing of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions amongst the European Union (EU) Member States. After the Government's liaison and clarification with relevant authorities, the technical error of presenting Hong Kong on the Spanish blacklist in June 2015 was rectified.

     "The updating is appreciated. Following the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation (CDTA) between Spain and Hong Kong in 2011, Spain has cleared Hong Kong from its national list as from April 1, 2013. The EC's publication in mid June 2015 failed to take this into account and wrongly classified Hong Kong as a non-cooperative tax jurisdiction listed by 10 EU Member States. We are glad that the EC has reflected the updated situation of Hong Kong on its website," a Government spokesman said.

     According to the EC's updated webpage, Estonia no longer presents a national list. Hong Kong was also featured on Estonia's list when the EC published the EU Member States' national lists in June 2015.  

     The CDTA with Italy has been ratified in Hong Kong and Italy. The Government will appeal for the early removal of Hong Kong from Italy's national list.

     "We will continue our dialogue with the EU and its Members States to keep them abreast of our long-standing commitments and efforts on tax co-operation. Amongst the 28 EU Member States, Hong Kong has signed 13 CDTAs and two agreements on tax information exchange with over half. Negotiations are under way with five others", the spokesman added.

     The Government would like to express its gratitude to many stakeholders in the business community for their assistance in helping refute the unfounded allegation against Hong Kong as a tax haven, and in putting across a correct message on Hong Kong's position on tax co-operation.

Ends/Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Issued at HKT 17:52


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