ニュースレター April 2016


By now everyone will be aware of the leak from Mossack Fonseca popularly known as the “Panama Papers”. We say “leak” but in fact the data has been stolen and is therefore criminal property but this will not deter the tax-hungry agencies of many profligate governments in attempting to squeeze the unfortunate clients of the firm. However there are a number of points of interest in the present situation.
Firstly it is not known by whom and how the 11 million plus papers were obtained and sent to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (“ICIJ”). The assumption must be that it came from someone with high-level access to Mossack’s IT systems possibly from “cloud” servers.
Secondly the information was apparently made available to ICIJ a year ago. Mossack must have been aware of this but seemingly did not alert clients to the situation.
Thirdly unlike the previous “leak” from TustNet in Singapore, sources close to Zetland have said that this time the ICIJ will not put all the data onto a searchable database. Clients who have plain vanilla offshore structures with Mossack may therefore breathe a little easier.
Fourthly, according to data from ICIJ, Mossack’s overall business seems to have been in decline for the past few years.
It is certain that the ICIJ will continue to drip-feed material from the Mossack files for some considerable time which will inevitably highlight the offshore world and prompt governments to further action. However it is Zetland’s belief that properly established and run offshore structures will continue to be viable and safe.
It should be noted that Zetland used Mossack only as local agents for a handful of companies and Zetland keeps all electronic data securely in house and does not use cloud computing.

Yours sincerely,

Jim Sutherland
Zetland Fiduciary Group






Yours sincerely,

Jim Sutherland
Zetland Fiduciary Group


On 17 March 2016 Mr James Sutherland was acquitted of a single charge of money laundering by a jury at the Southwark Crown Court in London. The unanimous jury verdict came after barely three hours of deliberation following a nine-week trial. The case was brought by the Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) a much-criticised law enforcement agency in the UK.
The following points should be noted:

  • The indictment related to payment processing and stock escrow services provided by four companies under the control of Zetland to two clients between 2003 and 2007. The clients were subsequently convicted of conspiracy to commit securities fraud in 2014. The SFO acknowledged that Mr Sutherland had no participation in or knowledge of the fraud.
  • Mr Sutherland was able to prove in court that Zetland’s anti-money laundering and “know your client” procedures were robust and in line with or in excess of the standards prevailing at the time. Furthermore it was demonstrated that Zetland always operated as a substantial and well-run business providing services to an international clientele.
  • The SFO failed to investigate the matter – merely serving up massive amounts of evidence used in the previous trial. At no time was any material taken from Zetland’s offices and no client confidentiality was breached.
  • The Hong Kong authorities despite being aware of the matter have never taken any action whatsoever.
  • Mr Sutherland intends to take further legal action against the SFO for malicious prosecution.

Mr Sutherland issued the following press release after the trial:
I am delighted that a jury has today acquitted me of money laundering after just three hours of deliberation following a nine-week trial. This was a charge I have always strongly denied, and I believe a case that should never have been brought, resulting from a flawed investigation by a discredited organisation.
Since being arrested in December 2013, I have been forced to spend millions of pounds defending my good name, which has been built up over a lifetime in business. Time I should have spent running a successful fiduciary company operating from Hong Kong has instead been spent on preparing a defence and proving my innocence in a London court.
The incompetence of the Serious Fraud Office was apparent from the outset of this investigation. The case against me was built on mud-slinging, smear and innuendo yet I was kept on bail for more than two years and forced to surrender my passport whilst in the UK and severely restrict my travel arrangements.
I then had to sit through a farcical and lengthy trial relating to events which took place in Hong Kong and attracted no interest from the authorities there, but which a UK government agency nevertheless decided was its business. Serious questions need to be asked about the decision to bring this case.
I now look forward to returning to Hong Kong where my focus will be on continuing to provide a first-class service to the clients of Zetland Fiduciary Group and introducing new clients to a trusted brand.

I would like to thank my legal team, particularly Mark Rainsford QC, Jason Sugarman QC, Rick Shearman and Ben Holden, in helping me decisively clear my name.
Press comment may also be found in the South China Morning Post and UK Sunday Telegraph.

2016年3月16日、ロンドンのサザーク国王裁判所は、マネーロンダリングの罪に問われていたジム・サザーランド氏に無罪の判決を言い渡しました。9週間にわたる公判のあと、たった3時間の審議を経て、満場一致にて無罪が言い渡たされました。今回の裁判は英国政府独立機関である、重大不正捜査局(Serious Fraud Office、通称SFO)によって起されたものです。

  1. 起訴内容: 2003年~2007年の間に行われたゼットランドのサービス内容で、ゼットランド社の管理下にある4つの会社より、当時顧客であった2件の顧客先に提供した送金サービスと株式預託サービス(エスクローサービス)について。この2件の(当時の)顧客は後に証券詐欺容疑で有罪判決を受けている。SFO はサザーランド氏が彼らの詐欺行為に加わっていないこと、そして彼らによって詐欺行為が行われていたことを知らなかった事実をこの裁判にて認めた。
  2. サザーランド氏は法廷にて、ゼットランド社のマネーロンダリング対策やKYC手続き(顧客審査手続き)が適切に行われており、それは当時の基準或いはそれ基準以上の厳しさであったことを証明した。
  3. SFOは前回の公判で使用した証拠の使い回しを行っただけで、この件に関する新たな証拠を提示することはできなかった。この件に関してゼットランド社より集めた情報はなく、ゼットランド社の顧客情報は渡っていない。
  4. 香港当局は、この件への認識があったが全くアクションはおこしていない。
  5. サザーランド氏は誣告(虚偽告訴)として、今後SFOに対して法的措置をとるつもりである。


※このプレスリリースは香港のサウスチャイナモーニングポスト誌(South China Morning Post)と英国のデイリーテレグラフ誌(UK Sunday Telegraph)にも記載されています。

Hong Kong’s 2016/17 Budget

Despite increasing needs of government spending, the Financial Secretary reports a surplus expectation of HK$30billion. This comes hardly as a surprise considering that for the past ten consecutive years the SAR has reported surpluses albeit slow economic growth and increased spending.

The surplus is, for the largest part, owed to greater income from stamp duty and higher than anticipated government income from profits and salaries tax.

Hong Kong is again handing out tax surplus sweeteners to companies and residents:

  • Tax under Profits Tax, Salaries Tax and personal assessment is to be reduced by 75% capped at HKD20,000;
  • Further expansion of the scope of tax deduction for capital expenditure incurred for the purchase of intellectual property rights to layout-design of integrated circuits, plant varieties and rights in performance;
  • Waiver of business registration fees for 2016/17;
  • Waiver of licence fees for travel agents, hotels and guesthouses, restaurants, hawkers and operators with restricted food permits for one year;
  • Increase of basic and married person’s allowances to HK$132,000 and HK$264,000;
  • Increase of the single parent allowance to HK$132,000;
  • Increase of dependent parent/grandparent allowances;
  • Increase of the deduction ceiling for elderly residential care expenses to HK$92,000.

Hong Kong is an attractive jurisdiction and base for regional and global operations and an international finance and trading centre.

For more information, please contact Dominik Stuiber at dominiks@zetland.biz.



  • 所得税において、予定納税額の75%還付(上限2万香港ドル)
  • 集積回路事業に対する税制優遇処置
  • 商業登記証(Business Registration)の登記費免除(2016年と2017年分)
  • 旅行代理店、ホテル、旅館、レストラン、屋台の商業ライセンスの免除(1年間)
  • 既婚者への基礎控除額の増額、132,000香港ドル~264,000香港ドル
  • シングルペアレントへの基礎控除の増額、132,000香港ドルへあげる
  • 扶養している両親或いは祖父母のいる成人に対する基礎控除の増額
  • 高齢者向け住居手当


ゼットランドでは香港法人設立や税務・会計サポートをはじめとし香港でのビジネスサポートを行っております。お問い合わせは intray@zetland.biz まで。

Risk Insured

WE FACE RISK EVERYDAY – house fires, driving to work, playing sports, etc – and we do many things to mitigate those risks – make sure we turn off the stove and install smoke detectors, wear seatbelts and purchase cars with the latest safety technologies, and warm up before we go out for a run. But, no matter how much we try to mitigate those risks, we know there are always accidents and adverse outcomes. For those instances, many of us purchase insurance such as property, automobile, and health insurances to protect those assets. We believe in this insurance because it is protecting something we put our hard earned money into such as house or a car. We may not always buy health insurance independently because many companies offer this as a benefit, but we have all been sick before and know insurance helps as it lowers our out of pocket costs. We value these assets because we can associate a dollar amount with these things. But when you really think about what is the most important asset in the world, you realize it is life itself. It is hard to associate a dollar amount with our lives because how do we value our own lives? It’s hard and as a result, most of us never insure our own lives; the single most important asset in the world.
I’m an accountant by training and the life insurance industry is the last place I thought I would be – I had likened the life insurance industry and those that sell it similar to used car sales and “ambulance chasers”. But the more I looked at life insurance products through the lens of an auditor and an accountant, the more the benefits made sense, like the tax advantages associated with estate and gift taxes and the preservation and the transfer of wealth to our families and loved ones.
In US and European countries, somewhere between 40-75% of people do not have life insurance. It is likely that a portion of those that do have some coverage, may not have enough. In the US, some coverage may be provided by one’s employer through a group term policy but likely those coverages are not enough to provide for one’s family in unforeseen circumstances. If we can all use life insurance, then why don’t more people purchase it?
The biggest roadblock for most people is fear. Inherently, life insurance deals with one’s own life and nobody likes to think about it ending. Frankly, it’s scary to think about. This is a perfectly rationale normal human behavior; we all have this fear. We don’t know when or how it will happen, we just know that it will happen at some point. And when we go, what will happen to our loved ones? What kind of situation will they be left in, especially if we are the providers? Wouldn’t one like to have some certainty about how their family will be taken care of financially?
The second roadblock for most people is the thought that life insurance is only for the wealthy or those who have assets. The truth is that everyone would benefit from having some sort of insurance. Yes, life insurance can be used as a wealth management/transfer tool. But there are many other ways it can be useful, such as helping with outstanding mortgage payments on a home, providing tuition for one’s children, or creating charitable contributions for one’s causes,. For many, a comparatively small premium can provide multiples of coverage for your loved one
There are many types of life insurance that are available. The life insurance market is competitive and thousands of agents and brokers are trying to get your business. First off, start listening. Understand that life insurance is useful, it is important, it is necessary. From an accountant’s perspective the numbers add up. Secondly, not all agents and brokers are the same. When you work with a broker or agent you are not buying an insurance policy from them, you are buying their advisory and consultation. We at Trinity Business Solutions can provide you the expertise you are seeking and the access to a multitude of products across various jurisdictions that will meet your various situations, needs, and goals. From term life to universal life and from US, to foreign, to offshore products, Trinity will custom tailor solutions that will serve you and your loved ones and will help ensure that the future of you and your loved one’s is secure, providing you with peace of mind.
Please contact Steve Man at steve@apeirongroup.com for more information

Trinity Business Solutionsでは多種多様の生命保険商品からそれぞれの顧客のニーズもっともあう商品を提供させていただきます。

本記事はTrinity Business SolutionsのSteve Man氏(steve@apeirongroup.com)による寄稿です。ゼットランドでは生命保険商品を直接扱ってはおりませんが、プロバイダーや代理店のご紹介が可能です。

お問い合わせは直接 steve@apeirongroup.com へいただくか、またはゼットランド(intray@zetland.biz )まで。

New Zealand as an Asset Protection Trust Jurisdiction
ニュージーランドでの 資産保全信託(アセット・プロテクション・トラスト)

Many Zetland clients will be familiar with the Belize Trusts and the fact that Belize is the most aggressive asset protection jurisdiction in the world with a statute of limitations, (for fraudulent conveyance), of zero years. As a consequence that means that the initial gift to the trust (or any subsequent gift) can never be challenged through the Belize courts, once accepted by the trustee, no matter what the circumstances leading to the gift. That is all well and good, of course, but Belize is perceived to be a very offshore jurisdiction and bodies such as the OECD and the ECB seems now pursuing an anti-offshore agenda. So holding European situs assets through a Belize trust is becoming problematic and many European banks are now refusing to open bank accounts for offshore entities including trusts or trust underlying companies. The malaise is also spreading as some Asian banks are bringing in new restrictions on establishing bank accounts for offshore entities.
One of Zetland’s other trust jurisdictions is New Zealand (“NZ”) and that is definitely not an offshore jurisdiction and is in fact one of the 34 member countries of the OECD. However the NZ “foreign trust” regime offers the same kind of tax exemption, for trust fund income, as offshore jurisdictions traditionally provide. In addition NZ has abolished capital gains and inheritance taxes so a NZ trust would not be subject to same.
It is a little known fact that NZ can also be used as an asset protection trust jurisdiction even through NZ Trust law has no specific creditor protection provisions, such as Belize has, nor any special rules that protect NZ foreign trusts against creditor or other claims. However NZ law does have rules in relation to creditor claims, forced heirship, enforcement of judgments and community property that can make a creditor claim ineffective when heard by a NZ court.
The Insolvency (Cross Border) Act 2006 and the Insolvency Act 2006 have created a situation where a claim by a foreign creditor can only made by the trustee in bankruptcy for the transferor with the consent of an NZ court. So that means that the only transactions that can challenge a gift to the trust are transfers at an under value or an “insolvent” gift made within two years of the transaction. After that period a creditor may only proceed under the Property Law Act 2007 which requires a specific intention to defraud creditors by the donor.
Although NZ law has no anti-forced heirship provisions that are common in offshore trust jurisdiction it is a fact that NZ has no forced heirship laws and property devolves according to the law of the Trustee. Furthermore NZ is not a signatory to the Hague Convention Applicable to Trusts and their Recognition. So a NZ court would not have jurisdiction to apply forced heirship principles to an NZ Trust even if a foreign judgment against the Trustee had been obtained.
There are also limitations on enforcement of judgments as the Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments Act 1934 and the Registration under the Judicature Act 1908 apply only to Commonwealth countries. And even an action under Common law would apply to contractual or personam claims for a definite sum.
Community property rules in NZ are governed by the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 and under this Act a NZ court may only grant orders where one of the spouses is domiciled in NZ, at the date of the application, or the marriage was solemnized.
In addition, because of the limited rights available to enforce foreign judgements, under the statutes considered above, and order of a NZ court would be a “non money” judgement, which requires an Order in Council to be effective and none has been made to date.
For more information on NZ Trusts please contact Dominik Stuiber (dominiks@zetland.biz) at the Zetland Hong Kong office.




2006年にニュージーランドにて国際と国内両方における破産法 (The Insolvency (Cross Border) Act 2006 / The Insolvency Act 2006) が制定され、委託者が破産した場合においてのみ、ニュージーランドの裁判所の同意にもとづき外国の債権者は受託者を通して債権の申し立てができます。信託にある資産を訴追できるのは資産の拠出から2年以内で資産価値が時価を下回ったものか回収不能な資産になります。この期間を過ぎた場合、債権者は2007年に施行された不動産法 (Property Law Act 2007) に基づき、債権者搾取目的があった場合においてのみ債権の申し立てが可能となります。


また、1934年に制定された判決相互執行法 (Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgment Act 1934)と1908年に制定された司法行政 (Judicature Act 1908)はイギリス連邦の国々にのみ適用されるので、強制執行には制限があり、たとえ強制執行されても執行できる内容にも制限が発生します。ニュージーランドにおいて共有財産は1976年に制定された不動産法 (Property (Relationships) Acts 1976) によって管理されており、ニュージーランド裁判所はニュージーランドに本籍(寄留)を構える者、またはその配偶者からの主張のみ受け入れます。この場合、配偶者は主張申請をした時点にてニュージーランド本籍者と婚姻していることが条件です。


ゼットランドではニュージーランド信託、香港信託、ベリーズ信託に対する受託者サービスを始めその他国における信託組成などの提供サービスを行っております。お問い合わせは intray@zetland.biz まで。

China Simplified VAT General Taxpayer Application Process after the VAT Reform

China initiated Value-Added Tax (VAT) reform with a pilot program in Shanghai in 2012, expanded it nationwide to selected industries in 2013, and continues to extend the reform into previously untouched sectors and now is completing its transition to a value-added tax (VAT) system. China’s VAT is an indirect tax on business transactions imposing a rate of three percent to seventeen percent of the transaction amount. In China, value-added taxpayers are categorized into general taxpayers and small-scale taxpayers based on their annual taxable sales amount. While taxpayers with annual taxable sales exceeding the annual sales ceiling set for small-scale taxpayers must apply for general taxpayer status, newly established businesses and other companies whose annual taxable sales are below the ceiling may voluntarily apply for the status. The key to managing the VAT system for some companies may lie in becoming a “general VAT taxpayer” and obtaining the right and ability to use input VAT credits to offset output VAT, thereby potentially reducing the VAT burden by a substantial amount.

China’s VAT system is complicated and contains pitfalls to the unwary. Failing to effectively navigate the system can result in the assumption of substantial tax liabilities that would consume what may already be thin profit margins. One is well advised to obtain the services of tax professionals well-versed in China’s VAT intricacies. Two pitfalls to the unwary that have recently come to the fore are the difficulty in qualifying for general VAT taxpayer status because an enterprise’s office premises do not satisfy certain tax bureau’s unwritten or “soft” standards and because the quota of VAT invoices granted to a taxpayer may be inadequate to meet the taxpayer’s commercial needs.

In March last year, the State Administration of Taxation (SAT) released new rules for the application of general VAT taxpayer status for implementation on April 1, 2015. Under the revised rules, taxpayers may become a VAT general taxpayer by submitting the tax registration certificate and an application form to the local tax bureau. The tax bureau will then check the tax registration information and finish the registration. Furthermore, along with the “three-in-one” business license reform (i.e., replacing the current tax registration certificate and organization code certificate with a special business license which has a unified social credit code on it), China’s tax bureau has simplified the VAT taxpayer registration process, clarifying that companies will no longer have the “general VAT status chop” stamped on their tax registration certificates/new version of business licenses starting November 2, 2015.

As a result, the time required to obtain general VAT taxpayer recognition has been substantially reduced from the previous 30 working days to around five. Previously, the application procedure also included an interview, an on-site inspection and the submission of a VAT general taxpayer verification form and invoice purchase licenses.

In August, 2015, the tax bureau released an announcement clarifying tax deduction issues incurred during this period. The announcement stipulated that VAT deduction vouchers obtained during this period may be used for input VAT deduction after the company is accredited with the status, given that the company has not derived any income from manufacturing and business activities and hasn’t declared VAT based on the simplified calculation method.

In cases where VAT deduction vouchers cannot be verified pursuant to the prevailing regulations, the sellers/taxpayers will have to issue a special red-letter VAT invoice first – to reverse the sales and reissue the special VAT invoice afterwards. The Special Letter of the Customs Import VAT Payment obtained by taxpayers may also be used for input VAT deduction upon the verification carried out by the tax bureau.

Taxpayers need to note that once they are accredited as a general taxpayer, they can never be converted back to small-scale taxpayers. Additionally, small wholesale companies (i.e., registered capital less than RMB 800,000 and staff less than 10) must pass a three-month probation period under a tax officer’s supervision to become fully certified general taxpayers. During the probation period, an applicant company is also able to purchase invoices from the tax bureau, but this can only be done in limited quantities.

For further information, please contact Phoebe in our Shanghai office at phoebe@zetland.biz.


納税者は一般納税者と小規模納税者に区分され、小規模納税者は年間課税対象額に基づいて、徴収率が決まります。基準を超える場合は、一般納税者として扱われます。新設企業など、売上げが基準に満たない会社は小規模納税者として申請をすることも可能です。 中国の増値税システムにおいて一番重要なポイントは一般納税者となることで増値税の仕入控除を受け、この還付制度を利用することで免税の優遇処置が利用できることにあります。







ゼットランドでは香港本社、及び上海支店にて中国におけるビジネス支援や税務サービスを提供しております。お問い合わせは intray@zetland.biz まで。

Filing Due Date of 2015/16 Profits Tax Return

The bulk issue of 2015/16 Profits Tax returns by the Inland Revenue Department (“IRD”) to corporations has taken place on 1 April 2016. Unless the corporation has engaged tax representatives to handle the Profits Tax return, the filing due date of the 2015/16 Profits Tax return is within one month from the issue date of the Profits Tax return. For corporations who are represented and have notified the IRD in writing, the filing due date of the 2015/16 Profits Tax return will be extended as follows:

Financial Year-End / Accounting Date   Extension Due Date
1 April 2015 – 30 November 2015

(Accounting Date Code “N”)

No extension
1 December 2015 – 31 December 2015

(Accounting Date Code “D”)

15 August 2016
1 January 2016 – 31 March 2016

(Accounting Date Code “M”)

15 November 2016

Please note that a further extension to 1 February 2017 will be available for “M” code clients who sustained allowable losses for the year of assessment 2015/16 upon application to the IRD.

Should you require further details or assistance on the above, please contact us at tax@zetland.biz.

The bulk issue of 2015/16 Profits Tax returns by the Inland Revenue Department (“IRD”) to corporations has taken place on 1 April 2016. Unless the corporation has engaged tax representatives to handle the Profits Tax return, the filing due date of the 2015/16 Profits Tax return is within one month from the issue date of the Profits Tax return. For corporations who are represented and have notified the IRD in writing, the filing due date of the 2015/16 Profits Tax return will be extended as follows:

4月1日に香港税務局(Inland Revenue Department、略IRD)より法人利得税(Profits Tax)に係る申告書が各香港法人に発行されました。税務申告代理人の選定を行わない場合、申告期限は発行から約1ヵ月後となります。税務申告代理人(弊社などの税務・会計事務所)を選定し、代理人によって一定のリストを作成して税務局へ提出した場合においては、以下の通りの申告期限の延長が可能です:

決算期   延長後の提出期限

(Code “N”)


(Code “D”)


( Code “M”)


また、Mコード(Code M)に当てはまる法人に限り、2015年/2016年度に課税対象となる損失が発生した場合においては2017年2月1日までの提出期限延長が可能です。

ゼットランド・タックス・アドバイザーズ(Zetland Tax Advisors)では、香港を始め、中国、シンガポール、米国、英国、オーストラリアなどの税務サービスを提供しております。お問い合わせは intray@zetland.biz まで。