ニュースレター June 2016


I am pleased to announce that Craig Murphy will join Zetland in early July as managing director and group general manager. Craig Murphy was born and educated in the UK and has more than 20 years experience working with private, corporate and institutional clients in structuring a wide variety of trusts; private equity and hedge funds; trading, licensing, royalty, structured insurance, asset and debt based transactions. He has been a member of STEP since 1998 and has served on its Hong Kong and BVI Committees. He is also accredited as a mediator by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR).

We also welcome back Francis Chew who has rejoined Zetland as group legal counsel and head of compliance based in Hong Kong. Francis is a Singaporean qualified lawyer.

Despite the short-term market turmoil I firmly believe that Britain’s democratic decision to exit the European Union (“EU”) will turn out to be a great success. The EU is a dysfunctional mess and the common currency is a disaster. Perhaps the UK will now focus on and rebuild relationships with countries such as the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand which have been sidelined in recent years. Also I fervently hope that the UK will recognise the immense asset it has in its numerous overseas territories and will allow them to continue to prosper by providing offshore services to the world.

Yours sincerely,

Jim Sutherland
Zetland Fiduciary Group


本年7月よりCraig Murphy(クレイグ・マーフィー)を代表取締役として迎え入れることになりました。クレイグはイギリスに生まれ育った後、20年以上に渡り機関投資家及び個人投資家に対して、貿易、ライセンス関連、信託、ファンド、証券化など広範囲に渡るストラクチャーを構築し提供してきました。1998年からは信託財産管理実務者協会(STEP: Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners)の会員でもあり、イギリス領バージン諸島と香港にて委員も務めた経験を持ち、また効果的紛争解決センター(CEDR: Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution)の認定会員として独立した立場で調停を行い、当事者双方の仲裁を行ってきました。

その他、以前弊社にて勤めていたシンガポール弁護士のFrancis Chew(フランシス・チィウ)も今回新たにリーガルカウンセルとして迎えることになりました。



Yours sincerely,

Jim Sutherland/ジム・サザーランド
Zetland Fiduciary Group

China’s VAT Reform and Its Impact on Real Estate and Construction Sectors


Changes to China’s value-added tax (VAT) policy are expected to be complete by the first half of 2016, ending industry’s dual tax system. One of the systems is business tax, which refers to a levy on the gross revenue of a business. Meanwhile, VAT refers to a tax levied on the difference between a commodity’s price before taxes and its cost of production.

Manufacturing entities have been subject to VAT since 1994, while other businesses continued to pay the business tax until a pilot scheme on business tax-to-VAT was launched in 2012 in Shanghai. The pilot scheme was found to be successful and the policy was rolled out across the country by August 2013. However, four service industries — construction, real estate, finance and consumer services — are still subject to business tax.

Starting from May 1 this year, the replacement of business tax with VAT was extended to the fields of construction, real estate, finance and consumer services — the lion’s share of the source of business tax and the most difficult part of the VAT reform. One main objective of VAT reform is to alleviate the corporate tax burden for enterprises. An across-the-board replacement with the VAT will lower tax burdens on all industries, streamline tax-paying processes and benefit small businesses in particular, encouraging more investment, entrepreneurship and innovation in the economy. From 2012 to the first half of 2015, the measure has resulted in tax savings of over 484.8 billion yuan (US$75 billion), accounting for 0.2 percent of GDP in the period. When all service players shift to VAT, the overall tax saving will be more than 900 billion yuan, or 0.4 percent of GDP.
Under the BT system, real estate and construction were the biggest sources of China’s tax income and the most economically sensitive to the reform, primarily because of the proportionately greater change in rates between BT and VAT. In order to ensure the smooth transition to the VAT system, the government has introduced a number of transitional policies, which we highlight below.

Transitional policies
Entities who fall into any of the following criteria may enjoy the simple taxation method of five percent:

  • General taxpayers developing a real estate enterprise.
  • Selling self-developed construction projects with a starting date before April 30, 2016.
  • General taxpayers renting real estate acquired before April 30, 2016.

This policy, which prevents a sudden jump to the 11 percent VAT, allows older projects to continue to enjoy the same rate as the previous BT. New properties (those sold after May 1) are subject to 11 percent VAT. However, this policy does not apply to the sale of private properties.

VAT input credit for land use rights purchase
Developers looking to sell real estate are able to deduct proceeds of land use rights purchased from the local government from their VAT liability. This policy only applies to entities which pay the 11 percent VAT rate, and not those who have enjoyed the above simplified taxation method. It ensures that the tax is only levied on the value added by the developer.

VAT exemption for sales of occupied or residential investment properties owned for less than two years
Sales of residential properties owned by an individual are subject to the five percent simple VAT taxation method if sold within two years of purchase. If sold after two years of purchase, they are VAT exempt. (Note – this does not apply to high end properties located in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou or Shenzhen, where the five percent simplified VAT taxation method applies to the net gain after two years). This policy offers the same rate as under the BT scheme, encouraging longer term holdings of real estate.

Staged input VAT credit for property purchases levied at 11 percent
VAT credit may normally be claimed by a general taxpayer in a VAT return on real estate purchased after May 1, 2016 and is subject to 11 percent VAT. However, a special policy exists which allows the input VAT credit to be spread over the two-year period after the purchase. 60 percent of the input VAT credit is claimable within the first year, with the remaining 40 percent claimable in the second year.

VAT paid under simplified tax method creditable where recipient is a general VAT taxpayer
China’s VAT reform law indicates that suppliers who are already general VAT taxpayers might be able to issue special VAT invoices by themselves, or must obtain authorization of a tax authority to issue a special VAT invoice on their behalf. However, it is not clear as to whether it will only apply to sales of real estate, or also to leases.

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







  • 一般納税人資格である不動産デベロッパーにおいて工事着工が2016年4月30日以前の自社開発の不動産を販売する場合
  • あるいは一般納税人資格者が2016年4月30日以前に取得した不動産をリースする場合











Belize LLCs – Structure with Strong Asset Protection features


It is evident that Belize as a financial center continues taking steps in progressing forward, despite the existing global battle against money laundering, drug trafficking and various terrorist atrocities across the world in recent years. With the aim of the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and the OECD’s Common Reporting Standard (CRS) to eradicate tax evasion, the International Financial Services sector of Belize is continuously subject to revisions and improvements to meet with international standards.

The Belize jurisdiction currently has approximately 162,000 active offshore companies and clearly has progressed continuously in how it designs its legislation framework. It continues to provide safe international banking, international accounts, formation of companies, secure offshore trusts, family foundations and limited liability companies.

The International Limited Liability Companies Act is known to have a special appeal for international investors. A Limited Liability Company or an LLC is a flexible business entity with strong asset protection features. An LLC is a hybrid between two familiar business structures, namely, a corporation and a partnership. The Act is designed to give statutory certainty to some of the key issues of concern to US attorneys using domestic LLCs. It provides a broad foundation to structure an LLC according to its own rules, rather than being dictated by statute. The operating agreement may contain any provision for the conduct of business that is not contrary to law and relates to the business of the company and the conduct of its affairs. A limited liability partnership avoids multiple taxations but it does require unlimited liability exposure of at least one general partner. Such exposure to risk is too great for an individual to assume and thus limits the usefulness of partnerships.

Furthermore, an LLC is a legal entity with separate rights and liabilities distinct from its members and managers. No manager, officer, member or employee of an LLC shall be liable for the debts, obligations or liabilities of the LLC unless he has assumed such liability by written contract. Other main attributes are that LLC’s are exempt from taxes and duties and exchange control in Belize. There is no requirement to prepare annual accounts or to appoint an auditor; however, a simple annual return in the form specified by regulations would need to be lodged with the Registrar setting out the name of the LLC and the address of the registered agent.

Feel free to contact us if you are interested in forming an LLC or in finding a corporate structure suitable to your needs.

For further information, please feel free to contact Anju Gidwani, Director of the Belize Office (anju@zetland.biz)



ベリーズにおける国際有限責任会社法(International Limited Liability Companies Act)は国際的な投資家たちにとって非常に魅力があります。LLC(有限責任会社)は出資者の資産保全(出資者の責任は出資金の出資額の範囲でしか負わないという有限責任)の特徴が強いフレキシブルなビジネスビークルです。LLC(有限責任会社)は法人とパートナーシップの両方の長所を兼ね備えているのが特徴です。米国LLC(有限責任会社)では不可能なストラクチャリングを可能にするのもベリーズLLC(有限責任会社)で、国際合同会社法(International Limited Liability Companies)はベリーズLLC(有限責任会社)を設立する際の定款自治を幅広く定めています。運営契約書では法を犯さない限りまた事業内容に沿っている限りにおいて運営条項を自由に定めることが可能です。LLP(有限責任事業組合)の場合、二重課税を逃れることができますが少なくともゼネラルパートナーを1人たてる必要があり、ゼネラルパートナーは債務に対して無限責任を負うことになります。1個人のリスクとしては非常に負担が大きいためLLP(有限責任事業組合)は利用価値の魅力として欠けます。



China Family Wealth Planning Through Offshore Trusts


The offshore trust settled in a Common Law jurisdiction is distinct from the trust principle in China and the objectives of the trusts could not be further apart. Chinese trusts, predominantly structured as single capital trust (单一资金信托), are designed with the commercial purpose to provide capital to private companies, incentivizing private lending and economic growth. Intended as investment vehicles providing credit to private organizations at high yields, inherently Chinese trust also carry higher risk, which became evident in the past years when some of the trust companies only narrowly avoided their defaults.

Offshore trusts on the other hand are typically designed for family wealth management, legacy planning, and the transition of businesses to the next generation. The focus is generally on asset protection and preservation of wealth as well as providing financial security for family members, especially children or even grandchildren.

Asset Protection

A properly structured trust may provide additional protection against creditor’s claims from bankruptcy or personal liability from a professional capacity. Considering the principle of community property in China, such claims could possibly also affect spouses.

In certain circumstances a trust may protect assets from divorce claims which can span over longer periods. As an example, although the marriage law specifies that property (movable property or immovable property outside of China) received by one party as a gift or by will of the parents of that party solely belongs to that party, the spouse could try to claim that this property is matrimonial or community property and thus to be divided. The property could be inaccessible for the duration of the divorce proceedings.

Asset protection applications in a trust arrangement can be much wider and beyond the statutory limitations of enforcement of third party claims and can be implemented by the Settlors. An example might be spendthrift trusts or to protect assets from probate disputes. Often, asset protection is one of many considerations in a succession planning trust, i.e. to provide for a child from a former marriage.

Estate and Succession Planning

Estate planning can be a sensitive topic, but it is probably the most important feature of an offshore trust to arrange affairs of a family business or to provide for future generations. Although China recognizes wills and statutory succession, i.e. forced heirship is only secondary to testamentary succession, a will may be contested in probate, its execution prolonged and possibly declared invalid. Overseas property in particular benefits from the protection of a trust. Testamentary or statutory succession may need to be enforced separately in an overseas jurisdiction or may even be subject to different succession rules. Having one’s affairs settled inter vivos provides clarity before the succession case.

An additional concern is the potential implementation of inheritance tax in China. Inheritance taxes in overseas jurisdiction, which can be in excess of 50%, could also impact Chinese successors, for property and especially real estate owned outside of China.

Provision for family members abroad

With the rise of investment immigration, the use of trusts provides a different aspect to provide for children living, studying or working abroad. A trust can be designed to pay for school fees, owning a property overseas, or even give cash allowances to family members that live abroad.

Offshore trusts are a flexible private wealth management instrument, not only for the ultra rich, to protect assets, preserve wealth and provide financial security.

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













ゼットランドでは香港、ニュージーランド、ベリーズにて受託者ライセンスを所有し、信託設立のアドバイスを初めとする受託者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。

HK Residence for CRS


With the implementation of the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) tax authorities are expanding their reach to overseas banking information of their tax residents. Thanks to Hong Kong’s territorial tax regime, CRS would be expected to have little impact on Hong Kong residents.
Foreigners could become Hong Kong residents by applying for a visa to allow them to work, invest and reside in Hong Kong. We have summarized the visa regimes and requirements below:
For Professionals
Applicants who possess special skills, knowledge or experience of value to and not readily available in Hong Kong may apply to come to work under the General Employment Policy (GEP).
The GEP is quota-free and non-sector specific. Apart from professionals in the commercial and financial fields, it is also applicable to talent and professionals in the arts, culture and sport sectors as well as those in the culinary profession with a view to enhancing Hong Kong’s status as an Asian world city.
Key requirements are:

  • Secured a job relevant to his/her academic qualifications or work experience that cannot be readily taken up by the local workforce
  • Remuneration package is commensurate with the prevailing market rate
  • Good education background, technical qualifications or proven professional experience

For Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurs from overseas, Taiwan and Macao who plan to establish or join in a business in Hong Kong may apply for a Business Investor Visa.
Key requirements are:

  • Good education background, technical qualifications or proven professional experience
  • In a position to make substantial contribution to the economy of Hong Kong

The consideration factors in assessing applications include the company’s business plan, financial resources, business turnover, investment sum, number of jobs created locally, introduction of new technology or skills.
Applications will be favourably considered for start-up entrepreneurs who plan to establish or join in a start-up business supported by a government-backed programme such as InvestHK’s StartmeupHK Venture Programme, Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation’s Incu-App, Incu-Bio and Incu-Tech programmes, Cyberport Incubation Programme, Innovation and Technology Commission’s Small Entrepreneur Research Assistance Programme, Hong Kong Design Centre’s Design Incubation Programme
For Chinese Residents
Chinese residents of the Mainland of China may apply to come to work under the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals (ASMTP) if:

  • the applicant has a good education background, normally a first degree in the relevant field, but in special circumstances, good technical qualifications, proven professional abilities and/or relevant experience and achievements supported by documentary evidence may also be accepted;
  • there is a genuine job vacancy;
  • the applicant has a confirmed offer of employment and is employed in a job relevant to his academic qualifications or work experience that cannot be readily taken up by the local work force; and
  • the remuneration package including income, accommodation, medical and other fringe benefits is broadly commensurate with the prevailing market level for professionals in the HKSAR

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact Dominik Stuiber at dominiks@zetland.biz.



香港にとって有益で、現地人にはない特殊技能・知識・職務経歴をもっている申請者は一般就業政策(General Employment Policy: GEP)の元での就業が可能です。
一般就業政策(GEP)では業種や人数の割り当てなどはなく、金融業界での専門職を初めとし、「Asia’s World City(アジアにおけるグローバル都市)」としての香港を盛り上げることができるとされる、芸術、スポーツ、料理部門での才能も含まれます。

  • 学歴または職務経歴に相応な仕事であり、香港現地人では代替不可能な職であること
  • 給与・報酬が市場価格に対し適正であること
  • 学歴がよく、技術を伴っており、証明可能な職務経歴があること



  • 学歴が良く、技術を伴っており、証明可能な職務経歴があること
  • 香港経済に貢献ができること


InvestHK (Invest HK投資推進局): StartmeupHK Venture Program
Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation(香港科技園公司): Incu-App, Incu-Bio and Incu-Tech programme
Cyberport(サイバーポート): Incubation Programme
Innovation and Technology Commission(創新科技術署): Small Entrepreneur Research Assistant Programme
Hong Kong Design Centre(香港設計中信):Design Incubation Programme

中国本土に居住者するの中国人は輸入内地人材計画(The Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals (ASMTP) )制度の元で就業が可能です。

  • 申請者は良い学歴、学位は職種に関連した分野であることが求められますが、場合においては専門的技能を証明するものや専門的な能力や職務経歴、あるいわ業績を証明できるもの提出でも代替が可能
  • 希望する職種に空きがあること
  • 現地香港人では代替ができない学歴または職務経歴に相応な仕事にて雇用が確約されていること
  • 給与・住居手当・医療保険を含む福利厚生などが香港での専門職の給与水準に対して適正であること

ゼットランドでは香港法人設立や税務・会計・ビザ取得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。

Key Tax Incentives in Singapore


Despite already having one of the lowest headline corporate income tax rates in the world at 17%, Singapore still offers a wide range of incentives to attract foreign investments. Generally, the tax incentives available are in the forms of either a tax exemption, reduced tax rate or tax allowance, subject to qualifying conditions. In effect, these incentives help companies from a broad spectrum of industries to lower their effective tax rates. There are also other non-tax incentives, such as financial grants.
The tax incentives can be categorized in 5 broad categories:
A. Manufacturing and services

  • Pioneer Incentive – tax exemption on qualifying income
  • Development & Expansion Incentive – reduced tax 5%, 10% or 15% on incremental income from qualifying activities
  • Approved Royalties Incentive – reduced withholding tax 0% or 5% on royalty payments to access advanced technology and know-how.
  • Approved Foreign Loan Incentive – minimum loan amount of S$200,000 for productive equipment for purposes of its trade / business
  • Investment Allowance – further capital allowance
  • Land Intensification Allowance – initial allowance of 25% of qualifying capital expenditure; annual allowance of 5% of qualifying capital expenditure over a period of 10 years.
  • Investment Allowance under the Automation Support Package – additional investment allowance of 100% on top of existing allowance for plant & machinery.

B. Internationalisation

  • Integrated Investment Allowance Scheme – a further capital allowance not exceeding 100%
  • Double Tax Deduction for Internationalisation Scheme – for qualifying expenses
  • International Growth Scheme – reduced tax of 10% on incremental income from qualifying activities.

C. Trading

  • Global Trader Programme (“GTP”) – concessionary tax rate of 5% or 10% on qualifying income.

D. Headquarters and treasury related activities

  • International / Regional Headquarters Award – a reduced corporate tax rate of 5% or 10% on incremental income from qualifying activities. Applicants are required to submit plans for substantive global headquarters activities to be carried out in Singapore, including proposed commitments in incremental business spending and creation of professional employment
  • Finance and Treasury Centre Incentive – 8% tax concessionary tax rate
  • GTP – Structured Commodity Financing Scheme – financing activity carried out to mitigate supply chain risk against underlying physical trade transaction.

E. R&D and intellectual property management activities

  • Up to 400% tax amortization on acquisition costs for legal and economic ownership of IP over 5, 10 or 15 years (or 50% per year over 2 years for EDB approved media and digital entertainment company)
  • Up to 400% tax deduction for R&D expenses and R&D cost-sharing payments

Depending on the tax incentive or grant being sought, applications will need to be made to the relevant government authorities such as the International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore), Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
The relevant approving authorities have certain discretion in administering the incentives and grants, hence such may be negotiated, reviewed and approved on a case-to-case basis. Award periods may vary from about 3 to 10 years, depending on the various conditions set by the approving authorities. Generally, these conditions include level of Singapore business expenditure, turnover and headcount in Singapore, fixed assets commitment, scope of activities that the applicant undertakes.
Zetland is able to assist in the tax incentive or grant application process. We work with a group of professionals who are able to provide seamless service without going through a few channels of people.
Source: IE Singapore, IRAS, EDB Singapore
For more information, you may contact Ms Su Lee Chan, General Manager of Zetland Singapore at suleec@zetland.biz or +65 65572071

A  製造業とサービス産業に関する税制優遇政策

  • パイオニア優遇制度 :今後成長が見込まれる企業への減免措置
  • 開発・拡張優遇制度 :該当する産業・企業の増収益に対する税率の5%、10%、15%のいずれかへの引き下げ
  • Approved Royalties Incentive (ARI) ロイヤリティの支払いに関する税制優遇
  • Approved Foreign Loan (AFL)の改正:生産設備を購入する目的での借入金に対しての優遇措置。最低借入金額は20万シンガポールドル
  • Investment Allowance( 投資控除):-資本控除の拡大
  • Land Intensification Allowance(LIA): 土地集約化に関する税務上の減価償却 で、 建物の建設や改築で生じた費用について25%の初期償却と10年間の5%の年間償却
  • 自動化サポートパッケージに関する投資控除-:工場において、自動化を行うとさらに100%の控除


  • 総合投資控除:100%を超えない範囲での資本控除
  • 国際化のための二重課税控除の拡充:適格費用の拡充
  • International Growth Scheme(国際成長スキームの導入):政府が認定を受けた事業に対し10%の優遇税制


  • Global Trader Programme (GTP) :適格事業・法人に対し、貿易からの収益に関して法人税を引き続き5 – 10%に軽減


  • 地域統括本部に関する優遇政策:政府が認定した事業の法人税率を5%もしくは10%まで軽減。優遇政策を受けるには統括本部機能がシンガポールにあることを申請する必要があり、専門的な職種の雇用を現地で生み出すことが必要
  • 金融セクターの優遇政策:引続き法人税率を8%に軽減
  • GTP – Structured Commodity Financing Scheme –:商品先物取引において現物受渡時におこるリスクを軽減するための資金融資制度


  • 知的財産権を取得するために法的・経済的にかかった費用に関して今後5~10年または15年間にわたり最大400%まで損金算入が可能。(シンガポール経済開発庁が認めたメディア・デジタルエンターテイメント企業に関しては2年間で50%まで損金算入可能)。
  • 研究開発にかかる費用に関して最大400%まで税控除が可能。

それぞれの税制優遇政策を受けるには、シンガポール国際企業庁(IE Singapore)、シンガポール経済開発庁(EDB)、内国歳入庁(IRAS)、シンガポール金融管理局(MAS)などの各政府機関に申請をする必要があります。


情報源:シンガポール国際企業庁(IE Singapore)、シンガポール経済開発庁(EDB)、内国歳入庁(IRAS)

Taxability of Payments Received Upon Termination of Employment

The Court of First Instance has recently dismissed the taxpayer’s appeal in the case Poon Cho-ming, John v Commissioner of Inland Revenue HCIA No.2 of 2015 on the grounds that certain payments received by the taxpayer upon termination of the employment were ‘income from employment’ chargeable to Salaries Tax instead of compensation for the abrogation of the contractual right which would not be taxable. The case is in line with another earlier case Fuchs v CIR (2011) 14 HKCFAR74 where a termination payment will be chargeable to Salaries Tax if such payment in substance is made to an employee in return for his acting as or being an employee or as an inducement to enter into employment. However, if the termination payment can be proven to be attributable to the abrogation of the taxpayer’s employment rights (e.g. restrictive covenant, etc.), such payment could be non-taxable.
Should you require further details or assistance on the above, please contact us at tax@zetland.biz.

先日、香港の初級法院はPoon Cho-Ming John V Commissioner of Inland Revenue(HCIA No.2 of 2015)の案件で納税者の言い分を却下し納税者が雇用契約終了時に受領した特定の報酬は、契約上の権利を破棄することによって生まれる非課税の補償としてではなく、給与所得として扱うことによって所得税の対象となる判断を下しました。このケースの法的原則は以前のケースであるFuchs v CIR(2011)が元になっており、課税対象となる給与所得の定義として、納税者の行為または従業員であることの引き換えとして支払われているかが問われました。ただし、支払いが契約上の権利を放棄することに対して行われた場合は非課税となります。