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Recently, Hong Kong signs the comprehensive double tax agreements (“CDTA”) with Burnei, Indonesia and the Netherlands and which have also incorporated the latest clause of international standards on exchange of information (“EOI”).
Such CDTAs will become effective and enforceable after the completion of ratification procedures for both sides involved in those respective CDTAs. For CDTAs signed between Hong Kong with Brunei, and Indonesia respectively, in Hong Kong side, for the year of assessment concern commencing from 1 April in the calendar year followed immediately that in which the CDTAs become enforceable.
The CDTA with the Netherlands becomes effective in Hong Kong for any year of assessment commencing from 1 April 2011 and onwards.
In Brunei, CDTA becomes effective for any year of assessments commencing from 1 January in the calendar year immediately followed that in which the agreement comes into effect.
Under different CDTAs between Hong Kong and Brunei, Indonesia and the Netherlands respectively, there are different withholding tax rates on those passive incomes including the dividend, interest and royalty.
There is no withholding tax on dividends subject to CDTA between Brunei and Hong Kong whereas it can enjoy the lower rate for interest if the recipient is a financial institute and also enjoy 5% tax rate on the royalty payment.
There is lower rate of withholding tax (5%) on dividends subject to CDTA between Indonesia and Hong Kong if it fulfills the certain level of shareholding whereas it can enjoy the 10% tax rate for interest and also enjoy 5% tax rate on the royalty payment.
There is no withholding tax on dividends subject to CDTA between the Netherlands and Hong Kong if the recipient is a qualifying person and at holding the prescribed level of shareholding on the paying company whereas it can enjoy zero tax rate for interest and also enjoy lower tax rate on the royalty payment. The agreement is an ideal agreement in which provides a set of more favourable tax rates on those passive incomes.

We can provide the related tax planning services to those clients which has investment in Hong Kong, Brunei, Indonesia and the Netherlands. If you have problem regarding the group structure or intend to restructure your group of companies to minimize your tax liabilities, please feel free to contact us.

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