Tax blacklist claim called unfair to HK
The accusation that Hong Kong is a tax haven is unfounded and unfair, says Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Ceajer Chan Ka-keung.
Chan wrote in his blog that the European Commission should review its inclusion of Hong Kong in the list of non- cooperative tax jurisdictions in mid-June. He said the list is loosely compiled, breaching the international practice of mutual assessment on tax affairs.
The list includes 30 territories, with Hong Kong and Brunei the tax havens in Asia. The European Commission said the blacklist can pressure non- cooperative jurisdictions to adopt international standards on tax transparency.
Chan said the commission ignored the updates that Hong Kong has signed three agreements on double taxation avoidance with three out of 10 states that have accused Hong Kong, and two agreements have already came into effect.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has expressed its concern over the list, Chan said. The OECD pointed out that most of the territories on the list are cooperative tax jurisdictions.
Chan added that the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes has already recognized Hong Kong’s efforts in its two-phase peer review in 2011 and 2013.
Chan said some parties make the mistake of thinking that Hong Kong is a tax haven due to its simple tax system and the government will work to change that.