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Hong Kong Passes Inland Revenue (Amendment) Bill 2015 including Tax Exemption for Offshore Private Equity Funds

The Inland Revenue (Amendment) Bill 2015 was reportedly passed by the Hong Kong Legislative Council on 13 July 2015.

The main measure of the legislation is extending the tax exemption provided for offshore funds to also cover transactions involving shares in private companies incorporated outside Hong Kong. Currently, the offshore fund tax exemption applies only for certain specified transactions including transactions in securities, futures contracts, foreign exchange contracts, etc., but not for shares in private companies.

The legislation also relaxes the requirement that qualifying transactions be arranged through a person with a Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) license, and provides a profits tax exemption for gains from the disposal of a qualifying offshore portfolio companies by special purpose vehicles, including Hong Kong SPVs.

The changes will apply once the Bill is published in the Official Gazette, which is expected on 17 or 24 July.

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