Hong Kong and Switzerland today signed an agreement for automatic exchange of financial account information in tax matters (AEOI). The agreement would commence in 2018 and the first exchange of data between tax authorities would occur in 2019.
“We have been seeking to expand Hong Kong’s AEOI network with our tax treaty partners. Including the agreement with Switzerland, Hong Kong now has 15 AEOI partners. The others are Belgium, Canada, Guernsey, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, and the United Kingdom,” a Hong Kong government spokesman said.
Both countries must complete internal procedures before the new agreement enters in force.
The Swiss government initiated a consultation on the Hong Kong AEOI, as well as on a similar AEOI agreement signed with Singapore in July.
It is important for Switzerland’s financial sector that the same competitive conditions exist all over the world, the government said, noting that Hong Kong and Singapore are two such competitors.
Hong Kong’s Inland Revenue Department also said that Hong Kong plans to extend the application of the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters to Hong Kong to further expand Hong Kong’s AEOI network.
In this connection, the Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No. 5) Bill 2017 will be introduced into the Legislative Council on October 18, the government said.