ニュースレター October 2016


Belize International Foundation – Another Wealth Management Structure

Zetland is able to assist with the establishment of foundations in Belize, whether for the protection of personal wealth from potential financial and political instability, tax planning or the more convenient holding and management of assets.
The Belize International Foundation is very similar to that of trusts in establishment and administration. The crucial difference lies in the fact that a foundation in contrast to a trust enjoys legal personality and may be set up by the unilateral declaration of the founder and the assets of a foundation only need to be endowed rather than be re-titled. For clients in civil law countries this is of importance as a trust may not be validly recognized and courts may not recognize the transfer of property such as real estate into a trust whereas they will normally recognize a transfer of property to a foundation.
A Belize International Foundation is established upon the proper execution of a foundation charter or equivalent document, by a founder and the members of a foundation council, in which the founder makes a disposition of rights, title or interest in property to the foundation for a specific purpose. Some potential uses of foundations are for succession planning and wealth holding and management, for specific personal or business transactions, for beneficiaries, and for charitable or non-charitable purposes. Belize International Foundations are exempt from business and other taxes for foreign persons. Belize also offers a high level of confidentiality and is conveniently located in terms of access to other jurisdictions worldwide.
The International Foundations Act, 2010 makes it clear that a Belize International Foundation:

  • is established notwithstanding any foreign law, rule or regulation to the contrary;
  • shall not be void or voidable due to the fact that it is voluntary and without valuable consideration being given for a disposition to a foundation or being established for the benefit of the founder, or the founder’s spouse or children; and
  • endowments are not subject to transfer, encumbrance or other restraint solely because of the founder’s bankruptcy, liquidation or insolvency in any action or proceeding at suit of a bankruptcy trustee, receiver or creditor of the founder’s bankruptcy estate

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


  • 諸外国の法律および規定には影響されず設立される。
  • 任意団体であり、財団への譲渡または設立者やその家族の利益が有価約因となっていないことを理由に無効とされない。
  • 設立者の倒産、清算、破綻、あるいは破産管財人の、および破産した財産の受益者・債権者の訴訟手続きを理由に、寄付が移管や負債の対象となる等の制限を受けることはない。


G20 Summit is a new opportunity for Hangzhou


Traditionally overshadowed by metropolises such as Shanghai and Beijing in China’s international events, Zhejiang Province’s capital city of Hangzhou was in the global spotlight when it hosted the recent G20 Summit in September. Hangzhou made considerable press for the Chinese government’s intense efforts to beautify the city and ease congestion for its international guests, including by shutting down polluting factories, shipping away migrant workers, giving citizens vouchers to encourage them to go on vacation, and spending over US$1 billion on a new convention center. Despite these vast efforts, Hangzhou’s allure is not simply cosmetic. While China’s growth is slowing as its immense manufacturing sector struggles, Hangzhou continues to grow steadily on the back of its burgeoning high-tech industry, making it a model city for China’s broader economic transition.
Alibaba Group Executive Chairman Jack Ma is urging G20 nations to set up digital free trade zones that would enable small businesses worldwide to bypass complex regulations and protectionist trade policies that hinder global commerce. Ma wants to create a global online trading platform replete with virtual free trade zones for small businesses. These zones would allow small businesses in one country to sell to consumers in another, without anyone having to pay import duties and with speedy customs clearance. “Imagine if SMEs could buy and sell products anywhere in the world with mobile phones and PCs,” he said.
“We should build special rules and laws to help small guys move forward,” Ma explained. “Trains have stations, airplanes have airports, boats have docks,” he said. “We need global free trade zones for small businesses, or e-hubs,” Ma said, adding that Russia would be a logical host for a hub connecting Asia and Europe.
“We recommend G20 countries to support the Electronic World Trade Platform, which should help to support a new and more open way for global trade,” added Ma, who is the chairman of the G20 SME Development Task Force, a G20 advisory group.
During the forum, Ma spoke on a range of topics, among them ways to address the problem of a vanishing middle class around the world, and how G20 countries ought to create a new type of visa to allow entrepreneurs to travel more freely.

Our Shanghai office assists with the establishment of Chinese entities and their corporate and tax compliance. Please contact Phoebe Luo at phoebel@zetland.biz for further information.




Improving Banking Services In Hong Kong

img_improving_banking_services_in_hong_kongHong Kong, as an international financial centre, is dependent on the provision of financial services and support to companies not only registered in Hong Kong but globally. However, Hong Kong banks have recently been getting bad press for declining new account opening, and for poor customer service and satisfaction. The closure by some banks of accounts that have been open for many years has increased the frustration of both clients and trust and corporate service providers.
Banks and financial institutions have been left nervous by political and regulatory pressure to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, and in some cases banks have been fined substantial sums for compliance-related failings. In addition the need to comply with the USA’s Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act and, from 2017-18, with the automatic exchange of information required by the OECD-sponsored Common Reporting Standards has contributed to banks seeking zero-risk for existing and new bank accounts.
Consumer and trade bodies and organizations have become acutely aware of the commercial dangers of the banks aggressively “de-risking’ and several bodies have tried to try and mediate a reasonable approach by banks, although with limited results. Consumer complaints continued to increase until the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), Hong Kong’s banking regulator, had little choice but to intervene to try to ensure the financial inclusion of SMEs. In its latest guidance circular to banks and financial institutions HKMA recognized the seriousness of the issue and further clarified the risk-based approach they expect from financial institutions, and banks in particular. Furthermore, HKMA is taking an active role to assist banks in developing a more transparent and fair approach. Given this involvement and further efforts to reduce the expectation gap between banks and consumers, it raises the hope that account opening will become easier in the near future.
Zetland can assist with bank account opening in Hong Kong, Singapore and other jurisdictions. For assistance, please contact us at intray@zetland.biz.


Singapore’s position on the automatic exchange of information

img_singaporeAutomatic Exchange of Information (“AEOI”) and Common Reporting System (“CRS”) have become buzz words for practitioners in the taxation, financial services and corporate services industries. There were also extensive discussions in Singapore about the requirement of having centralized registers for beneficial owners versus making the registers publicly available.
For those who are unfamiliar AEOI, which is based on the CRS, refers to the regular exchange of financial account information between jurisdictions for tax purposes, with the objective of detecting and deterring tax evasion by taxpayers through the use of bank accounts outside their country of tax residence.
Aiming to reduce tax evasion through tax transparency, financial institutions around the world are faced with significant additional identification and reporting responsibilities, which may vary in detail and timing by jurisdiction. They will be required to collect and track complex, varied customer information in a timely manner, and report to its own domestic jurisdiction where they operate.
Singapore will commence the AEOI under CRS in 2018. Singapore-based Financial Institutionss (“SGFIs”) will be required to transmit the information of their account holders who are tax residents of jurisdictions that Singapore has a Competent Authority Agreement (“CAA”) with. Such exchanges will be carried out on a bilateral basis with jurisdictions with whom Singapore has signed CAAs. This will be subject to the following conditions:
a) First, there must be a level playing field among all major financial centres to minimise regulatory arbitrage;
b) Second, Singapore will only engage in AEOI with jurisdictions that have a robust legal framework, and can ensure the confidentiality of information exchanged and prevent its unauthorised use; and
c) Third, there is full reciprocity with AEOI partners in terms of information exchanged.
These conditions are necessary to make sure Singapore continues to respect legitimate expectations for taxpayer confidentiality, as well as to ensure the AEOI is effective in tackling tax evasion.
For more information, you may contact Su Lee, General Manager of Zetland Singapore at suleec@zetland.biz or +65 6557 2071.

a) 第1に、すべての金融センターで規制回避を最小化する公平な取引フィールドを構築しなければならない。
b) 第2に、シンガポールは、確実な法の枠組みを有し、交換した情報の機密を確保し不正使用を防止できる国とのみAEOIを締結する。
c) 第3に、情報交換の点においてAEOIの提携国とは完全な互恵関係とする。


Automatic Exchange of Information (“AEOI”) under the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”)

The Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No. 3) Ordinance, 2016 on implementing AEOI under the CRS in Hong Kong was gazetted and came into effect on 30 June 2016.

Under CRS, financial institutions (“FIs”) resident in Hong Kong are required to apply due diligence procedures to identify the financial accounts held by tax residents (individuals or entities) of CRS partner jurisdictions with which Hong Kong has entered into a comprehensive avoidance of double taxation agreement or tax information exchange agreement, and to collect and furnish the required information of such accounts to the Inland Revenue Department (“IRD”) on annual basis. The IRD will then transmit the data to the tax authorities of the respective CRS partner jurisdictions on an annual basis.

After the enactment of the legislation on AEOI, the HKSAR Government aims to identify at least one suitable AEOI partner jurisdiction and conclude negotiations with it by the end of 2016 to pave way for FIs in Hong Kong to start conducting due diligence procedures in respect of their financial accounts in 2017. Thereafter, reporting FIs are expected to register with the IRD by September 2017 and file the first AEOI forms to the IRD by May 2018.

The due diligence procedures will apply to all account holders for accounts opened on or after 1 January 2017 while account holders for pre-existing accounts are required to provide self-certification to verify their tax residencies if the FI has doubt about the tax residency of the account holder. The required information to be furnished on the AEOI forms generally includes name of the individual or entity, address, jurisdiction of residence, taxpayer identification number, date and place of birth, account number, account balance or value at year-end and gross amount of interest, dividends and sale proceeds from financial assets during the year.

Should you require further details or assistance with respect to CRS or any accounting or tax matter, please contact us at tax@zetland.biz.