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Tax allegation refuted

June 18, 2015

The Government regrets that the European Commission has included Hong Kong on the list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions, saying the allegation is unfounded.


In a statement issued today, the Government said Hong Kong has always supported international efforts to enhance tax transparency and combat tax evasion. 


It said the Government is puzzled and very disappointed to note that the commission has regarded Hong Kong as non-tax co-operative, and said a few of its members states which have featured Hong Kong on their ‘blacklists’ had actually signed or are negotiating tax agreements with Hong Kong.


Hong Kong was denied any opportunity to comment on or clarify its position before the proposed blacklisting, which was unilateral and procedurally unfair, it added.


The Government strongly urged the European Commission to review with member states their lists of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions to reflect the latest developments in Hong Kong’s tax co-operation with those jurisdictions.


It said Hong Kong is one of the members of the Global Forum on Transparency & Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, and its commitment to meeting international standards on tax transparency was recognised in a two-phase peer review, completed in 2011 and 2013, by the Global Forum.


Hong Kong also accords priority to expanding its network of Comprehensive Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreements which provide relief for double taxation, and enters into standalone Tax Information Exchange Agreements with other jurisdictions.


So far, Hong Kong has signed 32 CDTAs and seven TIEAs, among them, 13 were signed with European Union Member States, and negotiations with five other EU Member States are under way.