Format: Hybrid. For those that one to attend online, please indicate on the form;
Time: 18:00 - 19:30, to be followed by drinks & snacks;
Where: Ernst & Young @ the Wavespace (22nd Floor, No. 1 Tim Mei Avenue, Admiralty)
By: Jo-An Yee (EY Hong Kong), Thenesh Kannaa (TraTax /WTS Malaysia), Barbara Voskamp (Loyens & Loeff)
Last year October, we hosted together with the IFA Branches of Malaysia and Singapore our first seminar in respect of the 'EU Grey Listing of Hong Kong & Malaysia'. During the event, speakers from Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore discussed the EU's concerns of double non-taxation of foreign-sourced passive income within the Hong Kong & Malaysian territorial tax regimes and looked into the reasons why the EU in particular had put Hong Kong & Malaysia on this Grey List, and not Singapore. We also heard about the EU views during this seminar, about the Hong Kong and Malaysian Government responses and the impact for businesses in these regions.
Now, one year on, companies in both Malaysia and Hong Kong are being confronted by their respective governments with new (draft) tax legislation. The new draft tax legislation in Hong Kong will come into force per 1st of January 2023, whereas Malaysia has given its new tax legislation retro-active effect per 1st of January 2022. Both countries have however one common goal: to be taken from the EU Grey List in 2023.
During the event, the panel members will discuss the Hong Kong and Malaysian (draft) tax legislation and try to form a view on how successful the new legislation will be in convincing the EU that the Hong Kong and Malaysian foreign-source passive income will be adequately taxed as from 2023 and 2022 respectively. Obviously, the EU will continue monitoring the implementation of the legislation in both countries and may decide in February 2023 whether the updated Hong Kong and Malaysia tax systems can be considered as adequate and fair, resulting in a removal of Hong Kong and Malaysia from the EU Grey List. Also, comparing the Hong Kong, Malaysian and Singaporean territorial tax systems with each other per 2023, which tax system is considered to be most competitive and therefore can potentially be considered as less 'fair' than the others? In addition, how can governments in Hong Kong and Malaysia stay objective when considering economic substance requirements? One should avoid being subjective, but without any safe harbor systems in place would this not be rather difficult? And how does Singapore do it and what is their take on the new (draft) legislation in Hong Kong and Malaysia?
We hope you can join our international panel in their discussions.
Thenesh Kannaa is a Partner at TraTax. He is a licensed tax agent for income tax, a member of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) and the International Fiscal Association (IFA, Netherlands), and a fellow member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA, UK), the Chartered Tax Institute of Malaysia (CTIM) and an ASEAN Chartered Professional Accountant (ASEAN CPA).
Thenesh is in-charge of the international tax and the indirect tax service lines, with diverse clientele base, including manufacturing, professional services, distribution, retail, F&B chains, construction, property development, healthcare, financial services, oil & gas, automotive, telecommunications, societies, GLCs and statutory bodies. Thenesh has also served as the Asia Pacific co-chair for the WTS Global Service Line for International Tax and Permanent Establishments.
Thenesh is presently the Chairman of CTIM’s Technical Committee on Direct Taxes that represent the industry on dialogues with the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia (IRBM/LHDN) on various tax policy and technical matters. He is also an exco member of IFA’s Malaysia branch, a member of ACCA’s expert panel on taxation and ESG task force, and member of Industry Advisory Panel for Taylor's School of Professional Studies.
In addition to serving as member of advisory committees and working groups formed by the Malaysian Government, Thenesh is also active in authoring articles and books, including the Malaysian chapter of the Holding Companies Database published by International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation (IBFD, Amsterdam). Thenesh has been interviewed by various media, including BERNAMA TV, Astro, RTM 2 and the Sun, and he has presented in a variety of contemporary tax topics in forums and conferences both in Malaysia and internationally.
Partner at Loyens & Loeff
Barbara Voskamp is Partner ASEAN, she is heading up the Singapore office and responsible for the ASEAN region. Barbara, is admitted to the Dutch Bar and a member of the Netherlands Association for Tax advisors (NOB).
She is specialised in international tax. She is a registered foreign lawyer in Singapore since 2006 and has been advising international operating corporate clients on the structuring of their cross border investments
Barbara frequently lectures on international tax at, amongst others, the Singapore Management University. She has been on the board of the Dutch Chamber of Commerce in Singapore and the Malaysian Dutch Business Council in Kuala Lumpur, is active in the regional trade committee of the European Chamber of Commerce in Singapore and currently a member of the executive board of the International Fiscal Association (IFA), Singapore branch.
Partner, International and Transaction Tax Services at EY
Jo-An is a HK tax partner specializing in the technology and telecommunication areas. She is currently the Technology, Media & Telecommunications Tax Leader for HK/Macau and principal key contact of APAC Tax Technology Sector Leader.
►Over 20 years of practical and extensive experience in providing tax advisory and compliance services to top tiered multinational clients.
► Worked on major telecom and technology accounts and has been actively engaged by well known clients in their fields on their industry specific tax issues.
► Some notable transactions Jo-An has advised on include: • Advising on significant portfolios of B2B and B2C E-commerce for tax efficient business structures such as tax incentives and IP planning. • Advising on business models and IPO structuring for games apps developer for Greater China region. • Advising on business models for setting up an Asian hub for a major technology group in Asia Pacific. • Advising on a precedent advance ruling in Hong Kong for a Fortune 500 technology group in respect of its cloud computing data center. • The acquisition of the first foreign telecommunication group by aChinese state owned enterprise. • The acquisition of listed Hong Kong groups, including one of the biggest telecommunication and information technology groups in Hong Kong.
► She works with government bodies to co-organize a series of tax seminars and is on a mentoring panel to technology start-ups to contribute to the innovation and technology development in Hong Kong.
► She also collaborates with accounting bodies, trade associations, chamber of commerce and trade councils and sits on committees to assist in helping the outbound investments of companies investing into the Asia Pacific region.
► She frequently contributes to tax related publications and is a well regarded speakers at chamber and professional associations.
► Jo-An was the co-author of several publications. In particular, besides her involvement with CCH and Ernst & Young for “The Hands of Guide of Tax Compliance in Hong Kong”, her publications include the thought leadership paper published by Ernst & Young “Talking tax – Telecom transactions in emerging and mature markets” and “Tax considerations in Cloud Computing”.
Professional qualifications ► Bachelor of Commerce from the University of New South Wales, Australia ► Master of Business Administration from the University of Surrey, UK ► Fellow member of CPA Australia ► Fellow member of Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants ► Fellow member of The Taxation Institute of Hong Kong ► Executive committee of International Fiscal Association ► Executive committee of Malaysian Chamber of Commerce ► Taxation Committee, International Tax taskforce of HKICPA
Managing Partner at Mayer Brown
Pieter de Ridder is the Managing Partner of the firm’s Singapore office and a member of the Global Tax Group. Pieter was previously based in Indonesia and Hong Kong and has over 30 years of experience in Asia advising multinational companies and institutions with interests in one or more Asian jurisdictions on their inbound and outbound work.
He is a Singapore-accredited tax adviser with an excellent working knowledge of regional tax matters in Asia. His practice focuses on advising tax efficient structures with respect to direct investment, restructurings, financing arrangements and joint ventures into or from Asia.
Pieter regularly advises on the tax aspects of investing in Indonesia including off-take agreements and how these can be optimised from a global tax perspective.
Chambers Global (2015) notes that “Singapore-based Pieter de Ridder advises a wide range of Asian clients on a variety of tax mandates”. He is known for his "long-standing experience" in the Asian market and is a "trusted source of advice" on local tax planning and deals and listed as one of five most highly regarded individuals in Asia by The International Who’s Who Legal: Corporate Tax (2013).