Sovereign Asia Focus October 2018




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Welcome to the Sovereign Asia Focus newsletter keeping you up-to-date with news and views from around this burgeoning region – Hong Kong and Singapore, in particular, where we have long-established offices.

Please click on the links below to read more and find individual contact details should you wish to discuss your needs further. 

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China makes changes to the Individual Income Tax Law

The National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee approved, on 31 August 2018, a second draft of the Individual Income Tax Law to amend a number of elements of the calculation and enforcement of individual income tax (IIT) in China.

The aim of the new IIT law is to ease the tax burden for low to mid-income earners while taking a tougher stance on both high-income earners and foreign workers. It includes significant changes to residency rules and the introduction of General Anti Avoidance Rules (GAARs) for individuals.

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Singapore’s Global Investor Programme

Singapore’s passport is now ranked as the most powerful in the world, with a visa-free score on the Passport Index of 166. A Singaporean passport will grant visa-free access to 127 countries, while just 29 countries require a visa upon arrival and 32 countries require a visa under any circumstance.

A foreign investor who is interested in starting up a business or investing in Singapore, can apply for the SPR status through Singapore’s Global Investor Programme (GIP). This is eligible for applicants that can demonstrate both a substantial business track record and a successful entrepreneurial background.

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Hong Kong is now the top city for the super-rich

Hong Kong has overtaken New York to become the top destination for the world’s wealthiest people. The number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) residing in Hong Kong rose by almost a third in 2017 to 10,000, according to an annual survey published by research firm Wealth-X.

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Singapore changes statutory requirements for AGMs and Annual Returns

As part of on-going efforts to uphold Singapore’s competitiveness as a regional business hub, the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) of Singapore continuously reviews the regulatory frameworks governing the companies and businesses registered in Singapore and makes necessary amendments to ensure their relevance, ease of application and efficacy.

To this end, ACRA has announced changes to the statutory requirements governing the holding of Annual General Meetings (AGM) and filing of Annual Returns (AR) to align them with a company’s Financial Year End (FYE). 

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