A bird’s-eye view of Qianhai-Hong Kong International Finance Town. Courtesy of the Qianhai authority
A total of 62 Hong Kong and Macao tax professionals and two joint venture tax agencies have completed cross-border practice and administrative registrations in Qianhai, as the thresholds for them to practice in the area have been lowered, statistics from Qianhai Tax Service of the State Taxation Administration show.
On Oct. 18 last year, China unveiled a list of 40 comprehensive pilot reforms Shenzhen is authorized to carry out to build the city into a pilot demonstration area of socialism with Chinese characteristics. One of these measures was to implement a highly convenient practice system for overseas professionals and make it easier for them to participate in various vocational qualification examinations.
In this January, the city’s tax bureau issued interim measures to manage Hong Kong and Macao tax professionals’ practicing in Qianhai, which was the first official document for the list’s implementation.
The interim measures lowered thresholds for certified Macao auditors and accountants and Hong Kong tax accountants to practice in Qianhai. Previously, they were required to take the Chinese mainland qualification examination before they could legally work in Shenzhen. The measures also canceled the limits on the number of Hong Kong or Macao partners in newly registered tax accounting firms, as well as the number of working days annually in Shenzhen firms.
Cheung Kwow-wo, an accountant and chartered tax agent from Yongcheng (Shenzhen) Tax Agent Firm, said that the policy has created a desirable condition for Hong Kong and Macao professionals to practice and conduct business with their Shenzhen counterparts. This allows them to gradually integrate into the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area’s circle of life.
The Qianhai authority, the Shenzhen Tax Service, the Taxation Institute of Hong Kong and the Taxation Association of Macao jointly signed a cooperation framework agreement Aug. 12 to further promote the development of Hong Kong and Macao tax-related institutions and individuals in Qianhai.
According to Wei Kaijun, a senior staff member of Qianhai Tax Service’s tax payment service department, under this agreement, the tax authority will regularly provide training programs on the mainland tax laws for tax professionals who have completed their registration.
“Utilizing their international law knowledge, Hong Kong and Macao tax professionals are expected to help more Qianhai firms solve tax-related issues when entering the global market. We also plan to introduce more international tax professionals from countries like Japan, South Korea and Australia,” he said.
So far, the Taxation Institute of Hong Kong has assisted 46 Hong Kong tax accountants to obtain cross-border practice qualifications. Under the institute’s help, the third Shenzhen-Hong Kong joint-venture tax agency has completed industrial and commercial registration in Qianhai and will be starting operations soon.