The Hong Kong Inland Revenue Department (IRD) announced that application forms for Certificates of Resident (COR) status will be revised with effect from 12 June to comply with international tax cooperation standards and the changing business environment.
The process is now adjusted such that the IRD will base its decision of whether a COR can be issued on the plain definition of “resident of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region” in the relevant double taxation agreement (DTA).
The IRD has also taken the opportunity to formalise the existing administrative facilitation measures in respect of COR where the claim for tax benefits in the Mainland falls within the Circular of the State Taxation Administration (STA) on matters concerning ‘Beneficial Owners’ in tax treaties (PN9).
Previously, all applicants were required to provide details of the establishment and business activities in the appendix to the application forms. In the revised forms, companies, partnerships or trusts that are incorporated or established in Hong Kong are not in general required to provide full details of its establishment and business activities. Only the following applicants are required to provide such details:
- Applicants incorporated or established outside Hong Kong
- Applicants claiming tax benefits under PN9.
- Applicants claiming tax benefits under the DTA between Hong Kong and Japan.