Hong Kong’s Financial Services and Treasury Bureau presented their proposals to extend the profits tax exemption for offshore funds to private equity funds to the Legislative Council on 5 January 2015, with a view to introducing a Bill in March 2015. The proposals were first introduced by the Financial Secretary in the 2013 / 2014 budget.
The Legislative Proposal to Extend Profits Tax Exemption for Offshore Funds to Private Equity Funds will allow offshore bona fide private equity funds to enjoy exemption without engaging an SFC licensed corporation. These proposals require amendments to the Inland Revenue Ordinance.
The proposals include a definition of an offshore private company eligible for tax exemption which must be incorporated outside of Hong Kong as well as meeting various other conditions within the three year period before the transaction. Further, in order to allow offshore companies which are not managed by SFC licensees to enjoy the tax exemption, the proposals have introduced a definition of a “qualifying fund”. The new tax exemption will also apply to transactions which qualify for exemption but are channelled through an SPV.