I am delighted to be elected as the President of the Taxation Institute of Hong Kong ("TIHK") with effect from 21 September 2018. I sincerely thank you all for your continued support of TIHK's work and activities.
There have been a lot of changes to the business environment around the globe over the past few years. The changes include the disruption by artificial intelligence advancement to traditional business sectors, the rise of economic localisation causing various trade disputes between countries and the development of tax regulations in different areas around the globe for instance 1) increased level of tax transparency; and 2) further tightening on compliance requirement. To compete for talent and technology innovation, it has become a trend for jurisdictions to use various tax incentive schemes as a means to attract foreign investments and talents to their jurisdictions.
In response to OECD's BEPS actions, Hong Kong like many other jurisdictions has already taken various steps to implement the minimum actions package which include transfer pricing documentation requirement, making amendments to various tax incentive regimes such as those for corporate treasury centres and aircraft leasing to avoid these regimes from being regarded as harmful tax practice regime. To ease off the burden for small and medium sized companies, a two tier profits tax regime was enacted this year with effect from year of assessment 2018/19. In terms of enhancing Hong Kong’s competitiveness and nurturing start-ups in the technological end, Hong Kong is introducing a super R&D tax deduction incentive scheme which is expected to be enacted before the end of this year.
TIHK has made recommendations to the Hong Kong SAR Government as well as the Central Government on various tax policies to enhance the economic development of Hong Kong as well as the Greater Bay Area. All of these recommendations attracted a lot of public attention and many of them were eventually adopted by Hong Kong SAR Government. They all proved to be effective in terms of enhancing Hong Kong’s competitive edge. In the coming year, we expect that there will be more tax related measures to be introduced by the Hong Kong SAR Government and new tax regulations to be issued by the Chinese authorities. TIHK will continue to contribute, reflect stakeholders’ views and make constructive recommendations to the relevant authorities in Hong Kong and Mainland China.
On the member training related matters, we will continue to arrange CPD seminars including the "Lunch and Learn" series first launched in this year and conducted over lunch time with guest speakers sharing with members the different practical tax experience in Hong Kong as well as other popular jurisdictions. For CTA examination, we are working on the first International Tax text book which is expected to be ready by 2019. This international text book is the first of its kind to be issued in Hong Kong and will be a useful guide for practitioners and especially for those who are studying the International Tax paper of the CTA examination.
In terms of collaboration with other associations, we continue to actively participate in AOTCA matters and closely connect with various associations in Hong Kong, Mainland China and overseas to share our experience and seek opportunity for collaboration. We will continue to build a stronger network with student and young members via various activities including free tax consultation, tax debate competition, etc.
Finally, I would like to once again thank all of the council members and advisors for their continued contributions as well as all of you for support of TIHK's activities. I look forward to another fruitful year ahead of us!