Short Reads

Belgium and Hong Kong sign Automatic Information Exchange Agreement

Belgium and Hong Kong sign Automatic Information Exchange Agreement

Belgium and Hong Kong sign Automatic Information Exchange Agreement

03.04.2017

On 16 March 2017, Hong Kong and Belgium signed an Agreement on the Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information to Improve International Tax Compliance (the “Competent Authority Agreement”).

An agreement for the automatic exchange of financial account information is a bilateral tax treaty which authorizes the parties thereto to exchange information for tax purposes on an automatic basis. It fits within the broader framework of the so-called Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”) developed by the G20 and the OECD, which aims at improving (automatic) exchange of information for tax purposes between participating member states.

Specifically, under the Competent Authority Agreement and pursuant to both parties’ domestic legislative frameworks, financial institutions that are based in Belgium and Hong Kong will be required to report on the information of financial accounts held by tax residents of the other jurisdiction. Such reporting will be aggregated by the relevant authorities and will be automatically exchanged on an annual basis with the other jurisdiction’s competent authority. It is expected that information is to be first reported with respect to the period commencing on 1 July 2017 (or possibly on an even earlier date as may be stipulated in the domestic laws of Hong Kong) and ending on 31 December 2017. All subsequent reporting periods will then be based on the corresponding calendar years.

The information to be exchanged includes the name, address and identity card or business registration number of the account holders, the account number, the account balance, and the amount of interest or other income paid or credited to the account during the calendar year.

The Competent Authority Agreement will now first have to pass through the national ratification procedures in Belgium and Hong Kong. In principle, the agreement will come into effect on the date of the later of the notifications provided by each competent authority confirming that its jurisdiction has the necessary laws in place to implement the agreement. Moreover, in the slipstream of the Competent Authority Agreement, it is expected that certain changes will now also be brought about to the exchange of information clause laid down in the bilateral income tax treaty concluded between Belgium and Hong Kong.

On the same date as the Hong Kong - Belgium agreement, similar agreements were signed between Hong Kong and half a dozen other jurisdictions, being Canada, Guernsey, the Netherlands, Italy and Mexico in addition to Belgium. They joined Japan, Korea and the United Kingdom, bringing the total number of Hong Kong’s competent authority agreements to nine. More agreements are expected to follow in the coming months as Hong Kong is under pressure to accelerate its number of bilateral competent authority agreements in order to avoid its being blacklisted by the EU as a non-cooperative tax jurisdiction.

Team

Related news

28.12.2021
Recente arresten over de informatiebeschikking en de inlichtingenplicht: verbetering van de rechtsbescherming?

Articles - Met regelmaat verschijnt nieuwe rechtspraak over de informatiebeschikking van art. 52a AWR. Deze regeling roept na de inwerkingtreding in 2011 nog steeds vragen op, waardoor vele kwesties voor de Hoge Raad zijn gekomen. Tirza Cramwinckel en Mieke Lavreysen houden in het Tijdschrift voor Formeel Belastingrecht de ontwikkelingen rondom deze regeling tegen het licht.

Read more

20.12.2021
Verplichte rapportering door accountants over fraude en continuïteit in de controleverklaring

Short Reads - Aanleiding De onderwerpen “fraude” en “continuïteit” en de werkzaamheden die accountants verrichten rondom deze onderwerpen zijn zeer actueel. Op 13 september 2021 publiceerde de Nederlandse Beroepsorganisatie van Accountants (“NBA”) een consultatiedocument waarin werd voorgesteld dat accountants verplicht worden om altijd in aparte secties over fraude en continuïteit te rapporteren in de controleverklaring.

Read more

24.12.2021
EU Commission presents proposals for directives against shell entities and ensuring a global minimum level of taxation

Short Reads - On 22 December 2021 the European Commission (hereinafter: ‘EC’) presented two legislative proposals for EU directives, one to introduce a global minimum corporate tax rate and one to target EU shell entities. The key aspects of both proposals are discussed below.

Read more

20.12.2021
Extension of exceptional measures for the holding of Luxembourg companies meetings

Articles - In the context of the uncertain evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic, continuing applicable travel restrictions and the encouragement of the Luxembourg Government to observe social distancing, including in a business environment, the Luxembourg Chamber of Deputies has adopted the law dated 17 December 2021. This law extends the possibility to hold meetings without physical attendance until 31 December 2022 and thereby amends the law of 23 September 2020 concerning the holding of meetings in companies and other legal entities, as amended.

Read more

15.12.2021
Toepasselijkheid ESEF in verslaggeving vanaf boekjaar 2021

Short Reads - Aanleiding Het was aanvankelijk de bedoeling dat uitgevende instellingen hun jaarlijkse financiële verslaggeving over boekjaar 2020 in een uniform elektronisch verslaggevingsformaat (ESEF) zouden moeten publiceren. De Nederlandse wetgever heeft echter gebruikgemaakt van een door de Europese Commissie geboden uitstelmogelijkheid. Van uitgevende instellingen wordt verwacht dat zij verslaggeving vanaf boekjaar 2021 in ESEF publiceren. Deze alert geeft praktische tips op basis van de eerste praktijkervaringen met ESEF.

Read more